Thursday was a super packed day, with me trying to get all my appointments completed and work done before leaving on my Moldova adventure.
Remarkably, I held my shit together the whole day, kept a tight schedule, and then left directly from my last client to go to Penn Station to take the JFK AirTrain.
It was at that moment that I realized how much I was on fatigue emergency override mode, because I suddenly forgot how to do everything. I walked into Penn Station and couldn’t figure out where I was. I stumbled around the Amtrak area for awhile before finally remembering that JFK AirTrain is LIRR. I figured out what train was going to Jamaica station, and when I arrived I kind of had no idea where I was. I had to ask the conductor on the track if I was indeed at Jamaica station. Then I had to ask him where the fucking AirTrain was. Seriously. My brain was in full fritz. I just followed the signs. A route I’ve taken a zillion times looked vaguely familiar, at best.
Anyhoo, I finally made it to JFK terminal 1, where I’m not sure I’ve ever been before. Alitalia doesn’t do TSA PreCheck, so I had to do my first regular TSA line in a while, and man, that blew. If you don’t have Pre, get your shit together and just do it. Your life is worth more than the regular slow-ass TSA shoes-off laptop-out assume-the-position experience.
The terminal is small. It’s only got 12 gates. On principle, I checked out the KAL lounge with Priority Pass from my Chase Sapphire Reserve, and it was smallish and full of humans and had nothing appetizing, so I left. I instead got a lamb wrap thing from a Turkish joint called Eat & Go, which was an appropriately descriptive name. It was pretty tasty. I was afraid of what the airline might feed me, so it was a starvation mitigation strategy.
Though there were 66 empty economy seats 36 hours before the flight, which excited me because I had fantasies of a row to myself, but there were zero empty seats on takeoff. Of course. But I eyeballed it carefully as the situation developed, and as soon as I saw that my hoped-for own row had been invaded, I defensively moved to seat 40J, an aisle in the third row from the back, with one window seat neighbor. I read from a review of the A330 aircraft on The Points Guy that it the middle section in those rear rows are reserved for curtained off crew rest (though SeatGuru incorrectly shows them as presumably available best seats), with extra legroom. So I figured being next to a curtain in an extra wide part of the aisle was the next best option. Some dude came up and asked if I’d take his window because his gf was sitting next to me, but I politely I told him to gfy, because mine was a carefully considered seat. My claustrophobia is real, man. If it’s gonna last, they’ll feel the love they have for each other all the way from 40K to 33A or wherever the fuck he was.
The plane interior was attractive enough, the flight attendants were pleasant, my seat was reasonably comfortable, and the plane took off on time. They served my meal first — I ordered Kosher Meal as another airplane food defensive measure. It was passable. I then passed the fuck out immediately and got a solid six hours sleep.
So far, so good!