I realized when I landed on my most recent flight that there’s a story I hadn’t told in quite some time. I wasn’t even on Boarding Area back when this happened. Many of you that read my blog on a regular basis right now probably don’t know the story behind why a small airport in New England is my favorite airport. For me, it’s a funny story. I’m pretty sure I wrote about this years ago, but I’m sharing this from my memory.
Just about 5 years ago, I was part of a team that organized an aviation geek event that involved us chartering a plane from American Airlines and flying around the country doing a bunch of AVGeek sort of things.
We showed up in Seattle later in the evening at our hotel and enjoyed a reception that was hosted in part by Japan Airlines. They were getting ready to launch the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to the United States. As part of our event, they were giving away a free round-trip ticket in Business Class on the inaugural flight from Boston to Tokyo (Narita). Everyone was eligible, and they’d decide the winner via a really big game of trivia (150-ish people).
The first set of questions were ones with only two answers. Think True/False. Depending on which answer you picked, you’d slide to the right side of the room for True, left side for False. A wrong answer and you were eliminated. The crowd started to thin out as we got a bit further into the questions. I’m not ashamed to admit that my friend Gary (who writes View From The Wing) tugged on my sleeve to direct me to a couple of correct answers.
Thankfully, I survived until fairly late in the game when the crowd was much smaller. Gary was gone at this point, so I was on my own. We got down to the final handful of people. The organizers handed each of us a pad and paper. The final round would be identifying airports.
Now, those of you that know me today probably think I know every airport in the world. Heck, it feels like I traveled to all of them in the past year. 5 years ago, I didn’t have nearly the amount of random aviation data crammed into my head that I do today.
The airports started out easy. DCA? Sure, that’s Washington-National. A couple of folks dropped out and there were 3 or 4 left. Our quiz master asked us to identify where Bradley International was. Easy, right? For me, yes. I’m from the Northeast and I drove by Bradley a number of times to visit an old girlfriend. As I’m getting ready to write down Hartford, I noticed the rest of the participants set down their pads and pencils and walk away. Um, what?
As it turns out, nobody else knew the answer. Before it set in that I had won this awesome trip, I asked our host what the next question was. He showed me the card that asked us to identify where John Lennon International Airport is. While plenty of other folks knew the answer, I didn’t. To this day, that’s another airport I’ll never forget that one either. I’ll leave you in suspense, but Google can help.
The Final Two Pennies
The trip to Japan was fantastic. You can see a bunch of the excerpts here and here. And yet, up until this week, I had never actually been to Bradley airport in Hartford (technically Windsor Locks). I knocked that off of my list this week. It was a perfectly pleasant, smaller airport in the Northeast.
As I walked around the airport I couldn’t help reminiscing about my first trip to Asia, and how Bradley was the reason I ended up there. While it might seem like a quirky story for you, it sure was a fun one for me.
ETA: the original post I wrote over 5 years ago I did go back and find . Looks like I got most of it right the second time around. 😉
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