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The Irish Adventure Begins: Leaving on a Jet Plane (or Three)

This entry is part of a series, Ireland 2009»


The Big Day finally arrived. We’re off to Ireland!

We didn’t have to get an early start, as getting to Ireland involves an overnight flight. We finished our packing and preparations, and somehow all the stuff that PJ bought, bartered for and borrowed was stowed in four carry-ons. I’m sure one of them is a fold-box or something; there’s no way she got everything into that small a space without some sort of magic!

Paula’s bestest friend Deniz, and a her friend Isador, drove us to the airport. (Deniz also took great care of our house and our demanding cat-persons while we were away; thanks, Deniz!) Check-in and security clearance went very smoothly. Traveling First Class helps, of course. It’s no less than PJ deserves, on this trip; and besides, my delicate constitution requires that sort of thing.

Well, anyways, we had seats up front. Row six, all three flights to Ireland. Seems we were lucky that way. We also had a bit of time to spare, so we relaxed in the Admiral’s Club. Flying internationally on American gets you certain perks, you see…

The first hop was pleasantly short, up to Dallas. The flight we were on was continuing on to somewhere, but they made everybody get off the plane. Seems there was an equipment change for the continuation. We hopped off, then looked for our next gate. It was the one we came in through! The plane we rode was changing to the Dallas-Chicago continuation of our trip. So we had nowhere to go.

You ever tried to kill time in Dallas-Fort Worth Airport? Well, we found a fun way: Go up on the train and ride around! Looking at airplanes has always been one of my favorite hobbies. There was a tram ramp right next to our gate. We rode all the way around, then got off the train. When we got back to the gate it was time for boarding. Perfect!

A couple of hours later we were in O’hare Airport. The Dublin flight was only a few gates down, so again we had some time to spare. We walked around a bit, and shopped some. Not enough time to visit the Admiral’s Club, though.

Our plane was a Boeing 767-323, with a newly redone interior. Lay-flat beds in business class! Okay, they tilt your feet downwards a bit; it’s really better than being all bent up when trying to sleep. The entertainment systems were personalized as well. Very Nice. We watched movies during dinner as we headed out over the Atlantic.

There was only one small glitch, hardly worth mentioning (but I’m going to anyway): No Beef! Paula wanted the tenderloin, but by the time the steward got to us all the beef dishes were spoken for. I had chicken, PJ had fish, and it was quite good. Especially given the reputation of airline meals. Like I said, it’s good to go First Class.

I mentioned to the steward that maybe we should change our seats on the return flight. He suggested we not do that, especially if we wanted beef on that leg. I was really confused until he explained. On American flights, they take meal orders from the front rows on even-numbered flights, and from the back of the cabin on odd-numbered flights. Headed TO Dublin was an even-numbered ride, the other direction is an odd number flight. Mystery solved!

(Note: We stayed put. And we got beef on the ride home. But that’s for later.)

As soon as dinner was cleared away I took a nap. All the way until breakfast! I’m used to longer flights than a mere seven hours, so my nap was a lot shorter than I expected. PJ and I had a light meal and got ready for the landing. And a Big Day in Dublin…

Enjoy the (High-Class Traveling) Heat!

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