The coast of Greenland from 38,000 feet

The pilot called our attention to the coast of Greenland as we passed over at 38,000 feet. Kathryn, who had the window seat, quickly grabbed the camera and took this photo.

On our flight from Philadelphia to Paris, we departed in darkness and arrived in heavy snow, so we didn’t see much other than the lights on the wingtips. On the way home, though, we had clear skies and bright sun almost the whole way. The pilot called our attention to the coast of Greenland as we passed over at 38,000 feet. Kathryn, who had the window seat, grabbed the camera and took this photo. Continue reading “The coast of Greenland from 38,000 feet”

When a flight delay works in your favor

Shortly after passing through the security checkpoint at Sky Harbor, just before 5:00 am, we saw the departure monitor showing our flight to Charlotte would be delayed by 45 minutes. It turns out the first officer for the flight hadn’t shown up for work for some reason, so 45 minutes was just an estimate. In any event, we’d definitely miss our connection in Charlotte.

Flight delays are an inevitable part of air travel. Sometimes, though, they work out in your favor. Continue reading “When a flight delay works in your favor”

False start: Who needs money?

I don’t remember how, why, or when, but at some point, the conversation turned to debit and credit cards. I mentioned how I’d just learned our debit cards, like our American Express cards, had different numbers on them, so if I lost my card, we could report it lost and continue to use Kathryn’s, or vice versa. At this point, Kathryn announced she hadn’t brought her debit card.

Our 2007 trip to Europe started with a flight from Phoenix to Phoenix. The aircraft we boarded to begin our journey had a mechanical problem just after takeoff. However, it had too much fuel to land safely, so we circled west of the airport for about an hour before landing. We then rescheduled a later flight. Continue reading “False start: Who needs money?”

Dealing with airfare for a multi-city itinerary

Normally when I travel to Europe, I buy a round-trip ticket, and that’s the end of the story. Since I live in Phoenix, I usually have to connect somewhere, often Philadelphia, and it’s not a problem. I decided to try pricing the trip as a multi-city itinerary, Phoenix to Philadelphia to Rome to Phoenix. It’s a good thing I did.

When we first started planning a trip to Pennsylvania that would continue on to Europe, I wasn’t really sure how to go about booking the airfare. Continue reading “Dealing with airfare for a multi-city itinerary”

Packing carefully: Is one suitcase enough?

Kathryn decided to take her case to Facebook to see what the consensus would be. Most of her friends agreed that one suitcase would not be enough for two people. Fortunately, social media polls are not binding on anyone.

Several weeks before our trip, Kathryn and I began negotiating how much baggage we would bring. I wanted to pack light, especially since we would be using public transportation in Rome to transfer between the airport and our guest house. I insisted we could share one small suitcase. She, on the other hand, wanted to travel with more options. She thought we should bring one suitcase each. The difference in price wasn’t really a factor. The extra piece would cost us $25 more on the Phoenix to Philadelphia leg of the trip, but it would be free on all the international segments. Continue reading “Packing carefully: Is one suitcase enough?”

Eventful start

Our adventure has started rather eventfully. We took off from Phoenix this morning right on schedule, and now we’re safely back on the ground … in Phoenix. The aircraft had a mechanical problem shortly after takeoff, and we had to return to land, but only after circling for almost an hour to burn fuel. We’re not sure what happens next.