So my flights to Knoxville and Pittsburgh were relatively uneventful. My first pair of flights was NY to DC, DC to Knoxville. I did figure out that Reagan Airport (DCA) is not the best place to have to spend a layover, not much shopping or food there. Knoxville’s airport was cute – 10 gates and the place was totally shut down (even the security lines) when my flight got in around 9pm. As in the area was gated off for the night. I didn’t know airports shut down at night, it was kinda weird.
Then I flew from Knoxville to Charlotte to Pittsburgh. Charlotte is a much more interesting place to spend a layover; however, it’s a dangerous place. My flight came in at terminal E and my next flight was from terminal C. There are tons of food places and shopping places, though I didn’t partake in too much of that since it took so long to get between terminals, that was exercise enough! To top it off it’s like a slalom course trying to avoid the golf carts for the handicapped people. What is going on in Charlotte? There were more people being driven around on carts then there were walking around. The theory I came up with is that there were always a higher number of handicapped people there and then they built the airport and started running people over with the carts creating a larger number of handicapped people. These are the theories you come up with when you spend too much time in an airport…
These flights to Pittsburgh were the more interesting pair. First we got NO service flying to Charlotte, I got service in Egypt on a 30 minute flight, US Airways Express is a bunch of weenies. I finally learned why it is that on some flights you can gate check a larger carry-on and why on others you don’t. I flew US Airways – US Airways does not do gate checking, if you’re on a smaller plane either it fits or it goes as checked baggage. On US Airways Express the planes are smaller so they will gate check larger carry-on. Finally, a mystery solved! I still didn’t figure out how come the smaller plane that US Airways uses, which held a similar number of people as the US Airways Express plane, had so much more room in the overhead bins and why the seats seemed roomier too. But I did meet a nice girl on the flight into Pittsburgh, we talked the whole trip which made us not notice that our flight got in a little late.
Flying home from Pittsburgh was with Jetblue. I love Jetblue – I’ve only had one delayed flight with them, the staff is nice, you actually get a snack and you have a TV. When I got in the airport I had to check to see if my carry-on was still carry-on size. My friend in Pittsburgh had a large present for me and I had to expand my carry-on. It turned out to be too big for the smaller plane, though they did offer to let me try to take it on as a carry-on since there weren’t a lot of people on the flight. I decided since it was free to check my bag and I didn’t feel like dragging the thing around if I was going to end up checking it that I would just check it there. That worked out fine since the suitcase made it to NY. Also my flight got in 40 minutes early and I had to wait for my ride anyway, why not wait the extra 2 minutes to get the suitcase. Which reminds me, they had our suitcases at baggage claim super quick, I don’t ever remember getting my bag that quick before!
My rental car… I rented from Thrifty at Knoxville for 3 days. I rented an economy car since it’s just me and I don’t need more then that. The girl kept trying to up-sell me a bigger car, saying the mountains down by Pigeon Forge were so big I might need more power. I didn’t take her offer. I got a Toyota Camry, which is the first rental car I’ve had that I actually liked, and it had plenty of power for what I was doing. They probably ran out of economy cars and wanted to get me to pay for the upgrade. When I dropped it off, Thrifty was closed so I just dropped the keys in a box, I haven’t heard anything since so I’m assuming everything was fine. One thing I didn’t like about Thrifty at the Knoxville Airport is that their cars were parked the furthest away from the terminal. But then the airport was so small that it wasn’t that big of a deal.