I’m on my way to my parents house in Massachusetts (reasons legit but undisclosed). Normally, flying from SF to BOS is a hassle but not the end of the world. It’s kind of a 5/10 on the airport annoyance scale. That’s mainly because SFO is surrounded by traffic.
Today was a little different. I live about 30 minutes from the airport in a low-traffic day. Today, I went from front door to gate in 45 minutes. That includes parking at the off-site parking and shuttling to the terminal. That’s astounding. TSA was chill. I walked in, flashed my ID, tossed my bags on the new scanner system (much improved continuous flow closed loop system), got my balls scanned by the TSA’s X-ray specs, got my bag tossed by some friendly folks who asked me about my chocolate. Top tip: Guittard Chocolate Company is a 150 year old chocolate company from San Francisco that blows Ghiradelli’s garbage chocolate out of the water. They sell it at Target on the west coast and it’s worth every penny. Their 63% dark chips are the perfect snacking chocolate. However, be aware, the bags are foil and set off every alarm in the TSA scanner.
The airport itself is a ghost town. Even as we edge towards normal, this is not even close. Being a frequent traveler, I know what normal looks like here. At noon on a Friday, this place is normally a bustling place full of lines for food and lines for planes - full of people speaking 10 different languages and scurrying about through crowds. Most of the restaurants are closed and the gates are empty. Anyone who has spent an overnight in an airport with a 12 hour layover knows what this looks like, but this is midday not midnight.
Boarding, was front to back. The plane has no coffee or food - aside from a sealed plastic bag that they gave us as soon as we took off. I also have my wonderful chocolate chips. I won’t be sharing since the plane is mostly empty. Though the flight attendants are bored stuff and singing and dancing in the galley.
A passenger wearing a face shield over his mask and baseball cap spritz’s his head rest with disinfectant. Suddenly everyone is Howie Mendell.
Looking out the window is a really refreshing feeling. It’s what I imagine the astronauts see when they look at our big blue pearl. From up here, you don’t see empty streets, closed stores, or people avoiding each other. It’s quite the symbol of hope.
The pilots seem to be giving 0 fucks about comfort. Usually, they will hunt for a good altitude. We’ve been cruising along at 37/38k ft in stomach churning turbulence for hours. If I had to guess, they are trying to maintain some kind of efficiency. This is not good hyper-miling.
We’re supposed to be wearing masks for the entirety of the flight. However, they announced a more reasonable policy on the plane itself: wear a mask when you can’t keep a distance. The closest person to me is currently 10 ft away and no one has mentioned anything about me taking my mask off. The mask really does restrict my breathing (I have a deviated septum) so I’ve been only wearing it when socially/distance required.
Besides, it really makes eating this bag of chips difficult.