The number 4 is my lucky number, so I took it as a harbinger of good things to come.

To begin my Great 2012 Mileage Run, where I visited 4 countries in 5 days, I woke up on the morning of February 2, a Thursday, at around 6am to leave for JFK airport. Once a the airport, I was able to utilize my new elite status with Delta Airlines and skip much of the line, though it was short to begin with that morning, for some reason. I was also pleased to find out that my newly-acquired elite status afforded me priority boarding; this, too, was unnecessary, as this particular flight was less than half full (normally, I appreciate early boarding for the ability to get prime overhead bin space). As I walked down the jet bridge, I was amused to find that it reached the pavement of the ground below and let us out onto the tarmac. It seems that I would be flying a Canadair Regional Jet, or CRJ, on the way to Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), which is too small and low to the ground for the bridge to attach to it properly. It gave me the nowadays rare feeling of the pre-2001 procedures, because I stepped outside onto the tarmac, dropped my carry-on luggage next to the plane on the pavement, and boarded the plane via the drop-down stairwell.

View from my seat #1B, usually the seat I would love to have.

This flight had me in seat 1B, a seat I would envy on almost any other flight, as it would probably be an aisle seat in First/Business Class; this particular flight had no other class of service other than their standard economy, but it was still quite a convenient spot. My carry-on luggage was too large to fit in the tiny overhead compartment on this plane, so I had to leave it outside on the tarmac to let the baggage crew shove it in the rear of the aircraft. Normally I hate checking bags in, because I am too impatient to sit for an hour in front of the luggage belt and wait for my bag to finally come around (in who knows what condition), but when they take it at the gate, it usually means that I can pick it up at the gate when I arrive.

Seat 1B was a bit awkward, as the lone flight attendant had to sit directly in front of me during takeoff and landing. Though she was cute, we kept accidentally meeting our eyes, then quickly averting them elsewhere, a trick she must have picked up on the NYC subway, as I had (we New Yorkers hate to make eye contact when not in conversation). The flight, Delta’s #4174 was scheduled to leave JFK at 9:30am and arrive at YUL at 11:16am, about an hour and three-quarters; it ended up being half that, because, though the flight actually took off a bit late (9:44am), it landed at 10:35am, which was a total of about 50 minutes of flight time.

All in all, the flight was quite ordinary. I arrived at Montréal airport, picked up my luggage, then went through customs to explore Montréal for my nearly-8 hour layover until the next segment of my trip, when I would continue on the way to Warsaw, via AMS.

JFK to YUL, straight north.