2,000 Miles to Nowhere

You know how you sometimes are flying, and due to delays or other problems, you think, I just spent hours on planes getting nowhere. Yesterday, I specifically just that--purposely.I was invited a few weeks ago to attend a press event in San Francisco for Virgin America that would take reporters, some notional celebrities, and others up and around the airport to launch Virgin America's in-flight Internet service. (Some meager photos I took. My coverage over at Wi-Fi Networking News.) Because I'm a journalist, I couldn't accept travel to SFO (nor did Virgin offer), but I found an incredibly cheap round-trip--on Virgin America ($160 for a same-day itinerary). The event started at 2.30 pm and the plane was scheduled to take off around 3.30 or 4 and land around 5.30 to dovetail with some YouTube event that was coordinated with the flight. We had two real celebrities on board from NBC's 30 Rock: Katrina Bowden (the pretty young thing, Tina Fey's assistant), and Keith Powell, one of the writers (his character went to Harvard, but I don't hold it against him). I got to Seatac at about 11.20 for 12.20 pm flight. Security was quick--they've definitely improved flow and are taking measures that I think involve more scrutiny with less hassle. I noticed this on our flight to Maine a few weeks ago. Less security theater, more help, more attentiveness. Once inside the security bubble, I didn't leave it until 11 pm last night! I flew into SFO, walked to the gate the reception was happening at (inside the same terminal, a real problem at SFO which has a lot of cases in which you have to leave and re-enter security), flew the Wi-Fi flight, landed, ate supper, and got on another plane. It was a bit surreal, partly because of the kind of event, and partly to spend the day at the airport. I probably flew at least 2,000 miles, spending nearly six hours in the air--all to get back to Seattle.