And just two days after a company layoff, 400 of my US based colleagues and I all few to Denver for our annual sales and success kickoff — the very first one happening in person since pre-pandemic. It’s the first one I’ve been in person for: the first one was virtual, where I actually was an MC; the second one was last year, when I was out on maternity leave; and this is the third one. This September will mark three years with my company. It’s strange how time flies… and during all that time, this is the very first time I’m meeting so many colleagues in person for the first time.
A travel agent helped make all of our travel arrangements to and from Denver, from flights, hotels, to airport transfers. Although I got put in an “American Airlines” flight, it was actually a Jetblue flight due to their partnership. And since someone else did the booking for me, I didn’t even have a seat assignment until I called AA after the flight was booked to request one. All the window and aisle seats were booked in the front of the plane, so to be as far forward as possible, I opted for seat 8B…. yes, that’s a middle seat. I cannot even remember the last time I sat in the middle. But this was a class-less plane, and I knew having a seat in row 8 would pay off because I’d get off the plane faster. It actually wasn’t that bad, either, and Jetblue was a decent flying experience overall: they honored my AA elite status by allowing me to board first with Jetblue Mosaic status fliers. They gave me free snacks (plantain chips!), a screen per seat with a really good selection of movies and TV shows, plus charging outlets. The charging outlets were especially helpful because my phone battery is especially sad right now, so I pretty much had it charging the entire 4 hour-20 minute flight. Did I think it was weird that they offered earbuds and blankets for a fee? Yes, but I guess that’s how they make money, so why not? I happened to have earbuds to plug in from a long-ago AA flight when they used to pass them out for free in business class. It’s a good thing I saved them in my travel bag because they finally came handy!