Yesterday, I flew from Redmond, OR to Los Angeles, CA (LAX). I have a four day live review course in preparation for a November exam that I am attending. I planned on spending my entire day within the friendly confines of LAX, but after about 2 hours I got cabin fever and bolted.
Throughout the day I began to realize a number of things that were truly and eye opener.
Airport Lounges Are Overrated
Yes, you heard me say it. I often hear about how great airport lounges are. I'll admit that I have two credit cards that grant me access to certain airport lounges. When I signed up for the credit cards I considered lounge access to be a big time perk. I mean, most lounges cost over $400 annually or around $50 per visit!
Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the Admiral's Club Remote Lounge at LAX followed by another hour in the main Admiral's Club Lounge in Terminal 4. The snacks were marginal at best as the offerings included yogurt covered pretzels and crunchy snack mix. These snacks were no better than what you would purchase at a crappy grocery store! For alcohol they had their "house spirits" which included nothing I could pronounce. Of course their finer offerings, like Smirnoff were available for purchase.
I would say the best part of my lounge experience included the cappuccino machine and the amazingly comfy lounge chairs in the deep dark corners of the Terminal 4 Admiral's Club! These lounge chairs were so nice, I would replace my couch tomorrow in favor of them!
What I came to realize is that airline lounges are truly overrated. Yes, they provide a nice space to work when on business. But there are places to work on the outside. For someone not trying to work, I enjoy the hustle and bustle involved in travel that you find at an airport. As a result, airport lounges aren't worth more than a quick stop to grab a mocha or sink a couple of beers!
Business Travel Is Not For Me
It occurred to me yesterday that this is the first trip in my lifetime that I have been alone and/or not traveling for an event or meeting friends. I am essentially traveling for business, an exam live review course, which will be nothing short of intense. Unlike past trips, where I may have a day or two to myself, I actually feel as if I am on a business trip.
I arrived in Los Angeles way too early due to my American Airlines award flight, courtesy of British Airways' amazing distance based award chart. As I mentioned above, I planned on spending the entire day in the airport, but I got incredibly bored, extremely fast. Thankfully, my room at the Marriott hotel outside LAX was ready for my arrival quickly. I took off to the hotel and as soon as I arrived I didn't know what to do with myself.
After a nice long workout, I decided to park a seat in my room and watch planes. The view from the room was stellar! And the plane spotting was even better.
About the same time I watched my 2nd Airbus A380 takeoff, I realized that this business travel thing is not for me. I once envied the people who I refer to as road warriors. That all changed yesterday....
Yesterday was a great day. Albeit I got extremely bored at times, it was peaceful. I had a major realization that I want no part of business travel (without my wife tagging along). Additionally, sitting in my hotel room watching planes come and go from LAX was an unforgettable experience. I had my flight trackers up and couldn't be more excited as I saw planes takeoff for Tahiti, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, Berlin, etc.
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