We arrived at JFK about 2.5 hours before our flight, not knowing how bad the traffic and parking were going to be on the day after Christmas. We slowly navigated our way to the long-term parking lot, which is several miles from the terminal (well, it seems like several miles), where we were greeted by a guy who yelled at us that the lot was full, and there is no more parking; we’re not going to be able to go anywhere.
That wasn’t going to work for me, so I said “so where are we going to park?” After some confusion, we were sent to the overflow lot, which was also full, but they allowed us in, crammed us into a spot that was formerly coned off, and we made our long shuttle-based trip back to the terminal. Fun times. Good thing we left early.
Check in was fast, since we can use the first-class facilities, but even with the first-class priority line for security, we stood in line there for a good 45 minutes. As always, numerous people were getting expedited through because they showed up late, and wanted the airport to make up for their personal negligence. I understand when exceptional circumstances cause one to arrive at an airport late, and thus people need to be snuck through security to make their flight, but leaving for the airport the day after Christmas intending only 45 minutes of time before your flight once one gets there is not exceptional circumstances. It’s lazy selfish bullshit, and way too many people were getting escorted through for it to be anything but. As is typical, the airlines always find way to award the people that abuse the system, and punish the people that try to help the system. Not exactly a positive-feedback loop for the nice guys.
Additional weirdness came from the fact that my seat was reserved on the plane, but Sarah’s was not. I’m not really sure how that sort of thing happens. So, we managed to get Sarah an attractive exit-row seat a few rows behind my seat, with the plan of bartering with the person that sat with me to trade. The guy who showed up stank horribly, and complained that he couldn’t take the trade, because he needed to make his connection. After some pleading, he agreed to do so, but required that for landing he be able to exchange seats so he could get off the plane quickly. That was weird, but it allowed Sarah and I to sit together, which was really nice. Plus, he got more legroom out of the deal, and was only two seats further behind us in the aircraft. I tried to pay him for his trouble, but he refused.
Also, I realized at this point that in my hurry to get out of the long-term parking lot, that I put two entirely different shoes on, and would be stuck with that arrangement for the rest of the trip. I am the coolest person alive.
We departed about an hour late, tried to ignore the smell of the folks who didn’t believe in deodorant that surrounded us, and drugged ourselves to sleep, with the hope of getting some rest before arriving in Paris the next morning.