Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Made it through the toughest part of the trip

I'm sitting in the Star Alliance Lounge, just after a snack and a beer with about an hour to go until the flight boards.
I arrived in LA after a two hour drive down from Santa Barbara, parked my car at the Airport Hilton and took their shuttle to Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX to catch my flight on Thai Air. I arrived about an hour before the ticket counter opened to check in. I went up to the mezzanine level where there are some chairs and tables that passengers can use while waiting. I went down to the line at 8:00 to find that there was a tour group ahead of me that took forever to check in. After about a 20 minute wait one of the security people motioned me to another line that was free and I was checked in. I had weighed my bag at home before leaving and it appeared to be 55#, about five # over the free limit). However the agent accepted it without batting an eye and shortly issued me a boarding pass, gave me directions to the lounge and sent me on to the security checkpoint.
Security was quick with enough lanes to handle the relatively few passengers and I was waved through the metal detector with no problems.

One thing that struck me outside of the speed of the whole process was the relatively small number of flights that are scheduled now. There is a display of all Star Alliance flights in the lounge. This shows United, Lufthansa, Singapore, Thai, and several other airlines. It shows a total of nine unique flights over a 24 hour period. Due to a lot of code sharing there are many different flight numbers, but these are on the same nine airplanes.
Singapore Air operates a non-stop on four days of the week and there is a one stop in Tokyo on six days, but no flight on Monday. My recollection is that in better days they may have had three flights a day on seven days.
Next post from Bangkok. Hopefully, I'll have some interesting sights on the way to share and maybe a view from my hotel room.

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