Wednesday, 4 March 2015

On planning how to spend time in Philadelphia airport

To my vast lack of surprise, there are no direct flights between Montreal and Puerto Rico.  As far as I know, the only direct flight from anywhere in Canada to Puerto Rico is a weekly Air Canada flight out of Toronto. The flight is timed so as to be able to go out and back in one day. This means that it leaves early in the morning and gets back late. Aside from the inherent fact that six days is too short a time to do what I want to do, the timing of the flight means I would have to spend one or two nights in Toronto in order to catch the flight.  This very quickly led me opt for an American airline.

The choice of airline involved a surprising amount of fiddling around with various American airline websites.  The experience involved some rather baroque itineraries being proposed by their computer algorithms.  One was flying from Montreal to Miami, then changing planes and flying to Philadelphia, changing planes again, then flying to Puerto Rico.  That wasn't even the worst proposal! One airline wanted me to go through Dallas. Another Chicago O'Hare which I am reliably informed is an airport worth avoiding at all cost.  As well, my sources tell me that if possible, when travelling with a bike, it is best to fly with as few airlines as possible. Ideally only one.  This was actually a bit of a benefit as it meant I was spared having decide whether to use a website travel agent like Expedia (which I am of two minds about) or book directly through an airline website (which I prefer to do).  One thing I found frustrating about Expedia was that while there is a "direct flight only" filter option, it isn't useful when there aren't any direct flights!  While I accept this, I would rather not have to scroll past "multiple change" flight options in order to find the "one change only" flights.

I eventually settled on US Airways. Strangely enough, it is the only American airline I have flown on. It used to be called USAir.  It featured in the Montreal to Miami leg of my trip to Bolivia back in 1992.  (Lloyd Aero Boliviana (a.k.a. LAB, a.k.a. Llamas Are Better) didn't fly to Canada and Air Canada didn't fly to Bolivia.)  It won't be around for much longer as it is in the process of merging with American Airlines.  The resultant airline will be called "American Airlines."

Anyway, my flights involve changes of planes in Philadelphia. On the way down, I have a three-hour pause which should be enough for Leonardo to change planes.  I idly wondered what I might do in that time. I came up with the notion of partaking of one of Philadelphia's culinary delicacies, viz the Cheesesteak. At lunch time at work, I decided to look up where one might acquire one in Philadelphia airport.  A quick Google search revealed that I was far from the first person asking that question!  What a time to be alive!


Christopher Oram said...

How much will they charge you for Leonardo?

Bikemoose said...

American airlines as a general rule don't so much charge as gouge for bicycles. Of the potentially useful airlines, the price was same, namely $150 each way. Coming back from Spain in 2007, Air France charged me 100 Euros.