Traveling these days is exhausting, especially when going half way around the world. Stopping off in Los Angeles and travelling business/first class certainly takes the edge off, but it's still grueling.
One oasis on my journey was Terminal 5 at JFK (Jet Blue Terminal). Terminal 5 has free Wifi, reasonable places to eat (the salad bar at CIBO Express is exceptional), and a large atrium to people watch while surfing the net. Today, while waiting for my airline connection to Portland, I was treated to live music, a jazz quartet. It's like being at a night club. It reminded me of the Nashville airport, which also provides live music. I actually enjoy being at Terminal 5, even when it's a 5 hour lay over, like today.
One disappointment during this trip was the Red Carpet Club (United Airlines "Elite" Member Lounge). I recall the Red Carpet Club as being something special. I used to look forward to it. However, over the past few years, the Red Carpet Club has gone steadily downhill. For one thing, it no longer provides very much food to its guests. It used to have a variety of yogurts, cheeses, bagels, cereals, breads, fruits, and pastries available during the early morning hours. And in the afternoons and evenings, it usually had a variety of soft drinks, vegetables, cheeses and breads. The Red Carpet Club does provide free wine and beer, but it not good (makes the Trader Joe "Charles Shaw" wine seem like quality wine).
This morning the only things to be found in the Red Carpet Club were slices of bread, a few apples and bananas, and some cereal. When I compare the Red Carpet Club to its competitors, there is no comparison. For example, the Air New Zealand Lounge in Sydney has an actual food buffet, which offers a large selection of meats, cheeses, fruits, casseroles, vegetables, desserts, and even pancakes! The Air New Zealand Lounge also offers, free of charge, a good selection of wines, beers, sparkling wines, liquors and spirits.
I wonder why someone would pay for a Red Carpet Club day pass ($39, if purchased online, and $50 at the lounge) when an airport restaurant meal can be had for half the cost.
Spelling Mistake: I should never read previous blog postings. I always find typos and spelling mistakes!! Today, I found a big one. The capital of New South Wales is spelled: Sydney. It is not spelled with an "i," as I spelled it. Oops! Spelling was never a strong subject for me in grade school.