We are on good flights today – UA1930 departs at 10:53 AM
(boarding at 10:13 AM) and according to the app is ON TIME. I scheduled a taxi for 9 AM but because it is
snowing lightly, I called the cab and asked him to come 10 minutes early – just
in case we run into some traffic due to the visibility. Ider, our taxi driver, came right on time and
took our suitcases down the stairs (not all cabbies do that). We got to the airport at 9:20 AM and decided
to check in using the curbside kiosk. No
charge since we had already purchased the bags (part of our ticket set up). I used my digital boarding passes since we
had nothing to print out and our bags were dropped. TSA pre-check is off to the left of the
counters in Terminal 1 and our time through there went relatively quickly. The guy in front of me was at his “first
rodeo” and kept asking the agents what he needed to put on the belt. It was my lucky day since I was randomly
chosen to participate in the “do I have a bomb” survey. My hands were swabbed and I never saw what
the TSA agent did with the swabs. I got
my stuff off the belt and we were off to our gate.
We are in Concourse C so we crossed under the tarmac – no new age music today – and up the giant escalator. Our gate, C21, was really close and we settled down. After my last episode with flying and the flu, I am still masking at the airport.
There was a plane there – in spiffy red, white, and blue livery. It was not typical United colors and it was not a 737-800 and the gate was not very crowded and we were supposed to board soon. I checked the app and it said we were now at C-23, where, indeed, a 737-800 was being gassed up and deiced.
We are in Priority Group 2, which doesn’t
mean that much since just about everyone is in Group 1 or had special
boarding. We are in sardine seats. 36C
and 36D – aisle across – just two rows from the back of the plane. My knees were touching the seat in front of
me. I usually upgrade to Economy Plus
seats but on this flight – and due to corporate greed – the seats were
We were in the children’s section because there were at
least five kids in the two or three rows in our area. The kid in my row had the window seat and her
father was in the middle seat and partially in my seat also. Noise, screaming, and general annoyance kept
me company for the plus three-hour flight.
I basically made it through the whole flight without a bathroom break.
Ellen had made delicious egg salad sandwiches for the flight and along with the
plane supplied pretzels and Biscott made for a very nice lunch.
The flight itself was smooth enough – we departed about an
hour late due to some mechanical issue and the fact that passengers can’t find
their seats. You can tell because they
keep looking at their boarding passes and then compare those passes with other
passengers to make sure they are in the right seats. It was a plane full of flying rookies.
We landed in Miami about 15 minutes late, which is a
result of the padding they put into flight times. When we got to the baggage claim – some 3500
steps later – our bags were not on the carousel but in a row of suitcases
sitting there. It’s like they came in on
another plane. I called the hotel for a
shuttle pickup and I was told to exit baggage and go across the street to the
hotel shuttle stop (number 23) to get our van.
It was a veritable miracle but our shuttle showed up in about five
The ride to our hotel – Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Miami Airport East – was less than
five minutes away. The hotel is
literally across the street from MIA and planes come in right over our hotel as
they land. (NOTE – unleaded gas was
$5.99 a gallon at the station next to the hotel).
We checked in and are in Room 202 – a tad too close to the elevator but with no neighbor on one side.
We were a bit hungry so we ordered from Fabios Pizza and Caffe – using a menu we found in the hotel
lobby. We ordered a medium mushroom pizza
(the smallest they had and it was good once reheated in the microwave), a
garden salad with Ranch Dressing (a lot of Romaine Lettuce and sliced tomatoes
stuffed into a small clamshell container), and two bottles of water – I didn’t
get an itemized bill but the prices had increased significantly from the
published menu and the total came to $31.01 (maybe with tax and the delivery
charge, that made sense). The food was
delivered to our door and the delivery guy had one of those wireless charge
After dinner, we went down to the pool area and sat in the
comfy couches outside of the pool proper.
The treat for me was watching the jets come in to MIA – they were
landing every 30 seconds on so. I missed
a huge ANA jet but I did capture another pretty big plane.
It started to cool down so we went back to the room. We are right across the street from MIA so I took two pictures from our room - one early in the evening and one at night.
The third party shuttle to the port of Miami
runs $12.00 pp so we will probably take an Uber to the port.
We are going to need earplugs since the hotel has some noisy guests – lights out at 10:30 PM.