For the second time in less than a week, I am sitting at an airport way before the crack of dawn waiting for a flight to board. Those around me as well as yours truly look like cast members from Night of the Living Dead, not to be confused with Dawn of the Dead. Well, there are a few children who are all eager to go, but their parents as well as those around them are givinImageg them the old fish eye. One kid just got lectured by a bleary-eyed mother on the proper use of technology in an airport. Proper use of technology? What is that? Perhaps I will write on that topic some time. A few misguided folks are wolfing down delightful breakfast sandwiches, available only at your local airport. Just let me know how that sandwich sits at 33,000 feet. You might not be thinking about the proper use of technology, just the shortest trip to the restroom.  A few soon-to-be passengers are grabbing some winks, hoping that they will be completely revived by the time boarding group 1 is summoned to get in line. I am in group 2 on the first leg of this trip. My goal is to be asleep before wheels up.

One advantage of booking an early flight, especially if you are traveling west and crossing a time zone or two, is that there is still much of the day left upon arrival (if you have any energy left). My favorite is the trip back to Chicago from Beijing where you arrive before you leave — after crossing the International Date Line. Today, I leave at 6:05 am, arriving in Orange County California before 10:00 am PDT. I have a meeting in San Diego at 11:30 am. Going east is another story. You get up early, fly early, and arrive after most of the day has passed you by.

The gate dude just announced that the flight will be full. Is there any other kind of flight these days? The bodies are stirring. It is still dark.