Within seconds of posting the previous entry, the phone rang. When I picked it up, the caller ID showed Jeff’s last name and for a moment I was confused, since he should be in the air a third of the way to California. Then I realized that the name following the last name was not Jeff’s, but his father’s. His mother was on the phone; this was the first time I’d spoken to either of his parents. She was worried and wanted to make sure he’d gotten to the airport and away on time, since this was the first time, apparently, that he hadn’t called just before his flight took off.
Jeff had been running late at work today, to finish up before heading out of town for the rest of the week. By the time I picked him up and we got back home, that only left us 15 to 20 minutes before we’d need to leave if we were to get him to the airport 90 minutes before its scheduled departure. So he fixed himself a quick snack-like dinner, and then finished packing. We didn’t end up leaving until more like 40 minutes later, which put us at the airport just about an hour before his departure time. Checking the JetBlue site, I see that the plane actually took off 10 minutes early (and when does that ever happen? I always get the reverse, at best), so he was probably scrambling to get checked in and boarded, in the process not having a chance to call his parents before take-off this time. Jeff was also musing in the car on the way to the airport that this was the first direct flight home he’d had in a while, so that he wouldn’t have a layover this time–and it was often on the layovers, I suspect, that he would make the phone call.
I reassured his mother that I’d left him whole and well at the airport and that I’d heard nothing since so I was certain everything was fine, and also let her know that Jeff had worked late and that in turn we’d been running late to the airport. She thanked me for the flowers I’d sent them and we chatted for a few more minutes, which was very nice. I told her I hoped to come out to the Bay Area to meet them, and she agreed that she was looking forward to that.
After I got off the phone, I went to the JetBlue site–to check the flight information, as noted above–and was intrigued to find that in addition to the data about actual take-off time and estimated arrival (35 minutes early is the current estimate) the flight info also includes regularly updated information about the plane’s altitude and ground speed (35000 feet and 402 knots) as well as a graphic showing the route and the current position of the plane. As of 11:03 p.m. EDT when I was checking the site, Jeff’s plane was approximately near the border of Indiana and Missouri, with some possible light rain as he approaches Utah and Nevada later. It’s cool to be able to keep tabs on his progress like this (though I’ll be in bed well before he arrives at the Oakland airport, just before 3 a.m. my time).