Spain Travelogue

I arrived safely Wednesday morning (6 Sept. 2017) at Madrid airport.  Here is a picture from my window in the airplane as we descended into Madrid.  Quite a beautiful site.

The journey started out a little rough.  My Uber ride picked me up at 5:30am and I arrived at the San Diego airport without any difficulties.  Check-in went smoothly and I was seated on the plane by 7:20am (for 7:45 departure).  Well, I was barely seated when I overheard the flight attendants talking about a 2 and a half hour delay because the FAA would not let us take off until an open gate was identified for us to land at JFK!

Sure enough.  5 minutes later, we were invited to leave the airplane and they would keep us posted on status of departure.  My 3-hour layover in New York might not be long enough for me to catch the flight to Madrid.   I had signed up for text alerts from American Airlines and got a message at 7:45 that the plane was going to depart at 8:15am.  I had not gone far; just walking around nearby, so I went back to the desk to see what was up.  I saw the Departures board as I walked back which said that the flight was “On time.”  🙁   Not good information there.

The staff at the gate laughed when I told them about the text from AA and said that I would keep getting those very 20 minutes.  There was an update on departure from 2.5 hours to 2 hours and they were trying to get it down to just a 1-hour delay.  Sure enough, every 20 minutes I got a text stating the flight was departing shortly.  Fortunately, a gate was identified and, just a little over an hour later, we were back on board and ready to leave.  We arrived in New York with an hour and a half to spare before the flight to Madrid.

The Madrid flight was uneventful and not too long (under 7 hours).  I am staying in a hotel (Artiem) which is not far from the conference center (IFEMA) where the first meeting is.  It is also quite close to the apartment where I will be staying for the rest of the time I am in Madrid.  I will check in on Thursday after I set up the booth.  More on that later.

Hasta mañana!