Frickin' American Airlines

Chicago Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
I was close to the very back of the flight from London to Chicago.  Once again, I was placed next to a small woman on this flight.  I wish that Lufthansa would do the same for me.  I actually slept a little more on the British Airlines flight.  I enjoyed have a little screen for my own in-flight entertainment and play TV czar.  I was able to finally watch Iron Man.  I thought it was only an OK movie and nothing to really get worked up about, but I will admit I did fall asleep for about 15 minutes of it.  I also finally watched Kung Fu Panda, which was a good movie.

We hit a batch of turbulence that had people to the point of screaming.  Not to sound overly macho, but it made me laugh.  I have been on enough military flights that turbulence to me is like being on a roller coaster and makes the flight much more interesting. 

We landed in Chicago.  I was concerned with having a little over 2 hours between flight and knowing that I had to collect my bags, go through customs, recheck in bags and get another boarding pass.  This proved to be a little more stressful than it may sound.  I got stuck in a line to get my passport checked that did not move.  The passport control officer in the line seemed to be more concerned with flirting with the three women at his booth than getting people through the line.  I switched lines and I ended up getting through passport control before the three women did.  My bags were some of the last ones to get on the carousel.  I collected my bags and had a customs officer grill me about how long I was in Azerbaijan and what I was doing there.   I rushed to get in line to check-in my bags again only to discover a massive long line and a waiting line to get into that line.  I was one of the last persons to get to the check-in desk.  I was a little upset to discover that if BMI had checked in my bags all the way, it would have saved me from standing in line for over an hour.  Additionally, it would have saved me $100 as American Airlines decided that I needed to be charged again for having a third bag.  It seems that the airlines of America are using the “energy crisis” as another excuse to stick it to the consumer.   The UK has had higher gas prices for much longer than the US and it only cost $120 to get my third bag from Baku to Chicago on UK airlines, while that same bag for a short flight from Chicago to Indianapolis is charged $100.  I think that I will avoid flying the airlines of the US as much as I can if I can help it. 

I had 30 minutes to get from the check-in desk to my flight.  Once again, I had to get clear across to another terminal.  I made it to my next flight to discover it was delayed by 15 minutes.  I was shocked to see men wearing short pants at the airport.  In Azerbaijan it is considered culturally inappropriate for men to wear shorts even if it is so incredibly hot that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk.  Being a guest there, I tried to uphold that unwritten law as much as possible.  It was my first foray into reverse cultural shock. 

We loaded the plane and there were not too many people on the flight.  I fell asleep while waiting for take off but eventually we were off.
rotorhead85 says:
One-way rental cars are nice way to still travel with dignity between US cities.
Posted on: Dec 12, 2008
IceTea says:
it must be weird to come home like that after living in another culture for so long. Home becomes another meaning right?
Posted on: Oct 17, 2008
MoonStarFarAway says:
I had my sunday breakfast at 18:30 last weekend, because I couldn't go out to buy bread due to the weather was really hot, about 45 c. degree :)

.. I have a flatmate since last week. A grasshopper! It is huge. For now, it stays under the refrigerator. Clever :)
Posted on: Aug 27, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: mahoney