David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD           


Blintzes… – April 2023


  Yes, Blintzes.  The most non-travel item one could think of. And yet this is a blog about some of my most random travel experiences of the last month, and surprisingly cheese blintzes play a significant part.  But let me start at the beginning before I lose you all even more than I already have…we’ll eventually get to the blintzes.

·   So you know those grey benches at the end of the TSA security lanes at Newark airport?  The ones where you can sit for a minute and collect your belongings, recover from the digging-out of your most personal items and reorganize before boarding?  Well, during my last trip through the Terminal C Pre-Check lanes they were gone.  I looked like an overloaded shopper with stuff in each hand, stuff under each arm and my beltless pants falling as I looked for a spot to sit-down.  I swear, the people that run EWR must do this stuff on purpose just to watch us and amuse themselves – sort of like that old Far Side cartoon:

·   Leave it to Avis to take something wonderful and make it terrible.  I recently had to change from National Car Rental to Avis due to my employer’s contract.  I hated having to leave the freedom to choose my own car from National’s executive section.  On my most recent trip, when I landed at MCO, I learned Avis Preferred will also let drivers pick their own car, but what they created more closely resembled throwing meat into an alligator pit.  There were ten families for every available car.  When one new vehicle got driven into the area people rushed toward it like a feeding frenzy.  After wandering around the garage for forty minutes trying to find a car that didn’t have writing on it like “missing key” or “broken” something, (and bending my luggage’s handle in the process) I finally rushed a Jeep 4x4 which drove-up with a broken driver’s seat control panel.  It was my car for the week, broken panel and all.  Avis did send me a coupon for two free days as compensation, but I hope they can make this system a little better for my next trip to MCO in June.

·   So then there’s the Blintzes.  My most recent outbound trip was on a 738Max – with no mid-cabin lav – an aircraft design feature more important to me as I get older and continue my recovery from my surgery last year.  For ~$200 I could buy a (TOD - if you know, you know) upgrade to first class on the route – so I did.  United asked me a few days before flight what first class meal I’d like to reserve.  As it was an early morning flight the choices were breakfast meals, and I picked the cheese blintzes.  For the life of me I don’t understand why United offers these meal choices when in the years they’ve offered this pre-order stuff I’ve NEVER ONCE received the item I pre-ordered – from the menu they presented each time.  So, after boarding, the FA explains that they “don’t have my pre-ordered choice, so would I like miles or a travel cert?”  Huh?  As I said I’ve never received my choice before, but was never offered anything in compensation those times.  I picked the cert – a $50 off future travel, thus making my upgrade only $150.  The FA then told me in all her years of flying she’s never even seen a cheese blintz.  So, ultimately, that’s a guaranteed $50 off the upgrade cost scheme – just pick a morning flight and pre-order the non-existent blintzes.

·   On the return flight I received the text below from United a couple of hours before boarding:

OK.  I’ve decided I’ve had just about enough of this boarding insanity – where I’m in Group one but am the sixth group to board.  I’m still recovering from my surgery of late last year.  I explained I needed more time to walk slowly, get settled and use that nearby lav (this time on a 757.)  I boarded after all the wheelchairs and have no idea what the new process may have been.  I’m done being a guinea pig.


Also, p










In my four decades of flying I’ve never seen MCO as insane as it was on this most recent trip.  Spring break is now apparently two months long, and that only adds to the pent-up crowds.  There were six pre-check lanes and they were as long as any I’ve ever seen.  As I said in a recent, prior blog, this is not going to be a great summer of traveling.  Heaven help us all.




This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2023 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!