The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Jaw-dropping delay at SFO security this morning

From getting out of my cab at San Francisco Airport this morning until I finally got through the security line took seven whole minutes, including checking a bag.

Yes. Seven minutes.

I don't understand why more people aren't signing up for the TSA PreCheck program. If you're in the program, you can zip through airport security without removing your shoes, emptying your bag, or waiting behind people who have never seen a magnetometer before.

Eligible travelers

...include U.S. citizens of frequent flier programs who have been invited by a participating airline. Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a CBP Trusted Traveler program, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS that are issued a Known Traveler Number qualify to participate. Passengers 12 and younger are allowed through TSA Pre✓™ lanes with eligible passengers.

TSA Pre✓™ is currently available for eligible passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

Seriously. Seven minutes from the curb to the gate area.

Of course, with the BART strike (possibly ending later today), it took me over an hour to get here, but that's beside the point.

Not going to a Cubs game tonight

Since I planned to visit San Francisco anyway, I got a ticket to tonight's CubsA's game at O.Co Stadium. O.Co is just across the Bay, and it only takes about 30 minutes by BART, so...um...oh, crap:

Almost 2,400 striking BART workers from the Amalgamated Transit Union and Service Employees International Union went on strike at midnight Sunday after negotiations collapsed hours earlier.

Union officials say the major sticking points continue to be pay raises, health care and pension contributions.

BART representatives said the agency had doubled its salary offer - to an 8 percent raise over four years - but that the unions had reduced their proposal for a 23.2 percent raise by one-half percent. They said it was the unions' turn to make a proposal and criticized them for leaving the last-gasp bargaining.

Union negotiators say that BARTs increased salary offer is a ruse rather than a generous offer. Three percent of that increase is contingent on the transit agency achieving ambitious goals including ridership, revenue, sales taxes and reductions in the number of employees taking time off under the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

Driving up from Half Moon Bay didn't take any time at all until I got to 6th St. The next hour of my life seemed longer than usual.

So, no game, and tomorrow I'll have to figure out how to get to SFO. I think Caltrain will get me close...

My flight on Saturday

It turns out, I'm working a lot more than I anticipated this week, in addition to being on, you know, vacation, so not much blogging for the next day or two.

Meanwhile, this is what I got to see on our descent to SFO two days ago:

The quality could be better, but that's because I snapped it with my tablet about 15 seconds before the flight attendants told me to turn it off. But it shows pretty well why I always sit in the window seat.

Walking across the country

I just listened to a This American Life segment by Andrew Forsthoefel, a 23-year-old from southeastern Pennsylvania who walked across the U.S. for a year. Fascinating.

He wound up, after walking 6,000 km, in Half Moon Bay, Calif., about 800 m from my family's house. I have to say, if I were to walk across the U.S., I'd want to wind up in Half Moon Bay, too.

What a start to this kid's life. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.

American Airlines computer systems crash

Yesterday American's scheduling and ticketing systems went offline around 11:00 CDT. By noon CDT, the Dallas Morning News had this:

“American’s reservation and booking tool, Sabre, is offline,” American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said at midday. “We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.” (American subsequently absolved Sabre of any blame. ”We apologize to Sabre & customers for confusion.”)

She confirmed that the problem is causing some delays of American flights.

Shortly after, American grounded all of its flights for about three hours before getting its networks talking to each other around 3pm CDT.

I found out about this crash while stepping off the BART at SFO. My dad texted, "Are you affected by the AA ground halt?" Talk about a WTF? moment.

I was affected, but I'm happy to report that (a) I got to SFO shortly before American resolved the problem, and (b) American's gate agents had their crap together and got everyone out as quickly as possible. I was only 30 minutes late arriving at O'Hare.

American hasn't explained what happened yet; the Dallas Morning News has a theory...

At least it got to O'Hare

The last time I flew home from San Francisco, we landed in Rockford after missing the approach at O'Hare because of wind shear.

Yesterday, we didn't divert to a different airport, but neither did we take the most direct path:

We almost flew into Canada, according to the captain. As it is we were only about 20 minutes late.