Exhausted from a three-day conference of schmoozing (see Art of Schmoozing post from March 20th), I am currently recharging in the Atlanta airport for the 2nd leg of my nearly 9 hour cross-country trek. This week, I had the opportunity to see San Diego for my second time. Staying in the Pacific Beach area, it was beautiful. However, it was unseasonably cold at 60 degrees and wind. It certainly did not meet my expectations for Sunny California.
Each morning, I took a great run on the Pacific Beach boardwalk (see picture below). Used to the Caribbean waters in Florida, the Pacific certainly reminded me of my vacations to Cape Cod and my years in Beantown. It was quite evident, as a reaction of most when then travel to California, that everyone is very active. Whether it was 6 AM or 5 PM, people were biking, running, roller blading, surfing, or kayaking.
The conference I was attending certainly used my bi-lingual skills, not Spanish and English, but technology speak instead of travel industry speak. The days were filled with networking, speakers, seminars, and more. The evenings were packed with social functions that proved to be much more productive for business that the actual meetings.
So after a three-day marathon of networking and seminars, I wanted to just sleep through the trip home. Taking the Red Eye was the most logical to get home by Sunday AM to have what remains of the weekend (as if my body even knows what day or time it is now). However, prior to boarding at 10:30 PM PST, the gate attendant stated something that I have yet to experience, another true first. “Attention those boarding the 10:40 flight to Atlanta, please be advised that the San Diego airport has a curfew of 11:00 PM. If we are not boarded with the door shut prior to 11:00, they will cancel the flight.”
I thought to myself, “this is just perfect.” I have never heard before of canceling a flight with the crew and passengers there, weather condition OK, but it was too late in the evening. What a ridiculous idea! I guess I can understand the logic behind a curfew for the citizens of San Diego regarding the noise of the planes, but last night I could have cared less if we would have done a fly by like the scene in Top Gun to that neighborhood. I was less than compassionate for those San Diegans living close to the airport. I wanted to get home.
The rule of the curfew of the San Diego airport, in combination with a long 3 day networking event and the a la carte ambiance of flying now days, I am counting my lucky stars that I got on the plane and took off prior to 11:00PM and that Atlantahas a Dunkin’ Donuts upon at 5:00AM EST.
Do you have a Red Eye experience to share or perhaps another story regarding an airport that has a ridiculous rule such as San Diego?