California Day 1 – Leicester to San Jose

It was an early start to the day, so early in fact that not only could I not get a lift to the airport, but there wasn’t a train running either. My only choice was to take a 05:30 taxi to the airport, and that was probably slightly later than I should have really. The taxi turned up late, but I was still at the airport in plenty of time to drop off by bags. Even though I’d checked in online and had the boarding passes on my phone they still printed off passes at the desk. Between baggage drop and security it took about 30 minutes which left me with just over an hour to wait until the boarding was scheduled to begin.

The flight out of Birmingham left the gate 20 minutes early, something that is fairly unusual as far as flights go. During the flight they served crackers with a drink, and a little later on the option of either chicken curry, pasta, or a vegetarian meal. During the flight I watched “The Vacation”, “Pixelated”, and a couple of episodes of television programs. A couple of hours before landing they then served a turkey and cheese sandwich which was actually quite nice.

The flight then landed 1 hour earlier than scheduled, but it still took 30 minutes to go through customs. As always with Newark airport I had to collect my luggage on the way through to transfer it to another carousel before taking the AirTrain to terminal C. By the time I was through security and at the gate around 80 minutes had passed since landing. This left me with two hours to waste at the gate before catching my onward flight to Denver, Colorado. As the flight time approached they announced the flight was overbooked and that some would need to give up their seats for the flight. With a connecting flight out of Denver I couldn’t volunteer for this even if it was the polite thing to do.

The plane was then delayed a few minutes, and by the time it was in the air it was running 15-20 minutes late. This meant there was then the possibility that I could miss my flight to San Jose. I was fortunate though – the plane I was arriving on was the same one I’d be leaving on (I realised this as my arrival gate and departure gates were both the same!). I wasn’t in Denver airport for more than 15 minutes before I’d reboarded the plane – almost in the same seat as the previous flight. In this time my friend had just arrived in from Toronto and caught the plane as I was boarding.

By the time we landed in San Jose I had been awake for over 24 hours. It would be safe to say I was exhausted. The day wasn’t yet over though – it was then a 50 minute wait before we could collect our luggage, apparently due to another plane coming in within 6 minutes of ours.

From there it was a $21.74 taxi ride to the hotel, which was only a short journey. That was a relief though as it meant that I could finally get some sleep.

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