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Police Encounter, Blocked Truck Layover, Panoramic Views, Changes in Plans

Police Encounter, Blocked Truck Layover, Panoramic Views, Changes in Plans

Old Dec 16, 09, 2:58 am
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Police Encounter, Blocked Truck Layover, Panoramic Views, Changes in Plans

Tour of Duty 6th October 2009 to 21st November 2009
Part IV: 14th November to 21st November


I got up early to a damp and dreary day. There was fog and drizzle and road surfaces were wet. I took the shuttle to BWI. I checked in the previous evening so I already had my boarding pass so I checked my bags with the skycap and cleared security for both ID Check and WTMD. There was no secondary screening and no hand searches of carry ons.

Southwest #1181 BWI-BUF B-737-700 Boarding Pass A48 Seat 11A Exit Row Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 0:47, actual 0:48 Scheduled departure 08h45, actual 08h48 out of A7 Scheduled arrival 09h50, actual 09h46 into gate 18

Plane was nowhere near full with 75 seats out of 137 taken. I got an exit row seat and the middle seat was empty. Pushback was 3 minutes late followed by taxi/hold of 6 minutes and takeoff to the west and we were into the clouds in less than 20 seconds. We were above the clouds within 2 minutes and there were some bumps during climb. There was a drink run and I got cup of soda at 0:18. I got pretzels at 0:22 and second drink at 0:26. During the short flight I had my yellow note pad out and was writing down notes about the flight. More on that later.

I thought I felt descent at 0:26 and it was announced at 0:26 with calm winds, and partly cloudy skies and 50F at BUF. There were clouds almost all of the flight but the clouds broke some as we approached BUF. I saw Lake Erie to the distance and we made a slight turn to the northwest. I saw what looked to be US219. At 0:41 I saw the NYS Thruway then we went over Lake Erie and turned east. I saw the Peace Bridge and Canada and downtown Buffalo and the buildings of Niagara Falls, ON to the distance. We landed west to east and taxi was 3 minutes and we arrived at gate 4 minutes early.

After I deplaned I used the washroom and headed to bag reclaim to get my bags. My bags were there when I arrived 16 minutes after arrival. I was greeted by a female Buffalo Transit Police Officer and she told me the reason she was stopping me was someone was suspicious that I had a note pad and was taking notes

I explained that I always take notes on each flight for the purposes of writing and posting Trip Reports such as this one. I asked who made the report and the officer said she did not know. I further asked if it was crew or a passenger and she said it was a passenger and not a crew member who reported me. I was asked for ID and got out my passport but was asked for drivers licence so I got that out and presented it. The officer than went and made a call and then she handed me back my passport and licence and wished me a good day.

I rang the company and was told there was a change of plans. I was to take a shuttle to Burlington, ON to get truck but was told to take a taxi to an address in Tonawanda, NY and pick up a truck left there as another driver got turned around at the border and I was to take that truck to the yard in Burlington and get the truck to go to New Jersey. So I got a taxi and the driver had some difficulty locating the address but finally found it.

Trip: Tonawanda, NY to Burlington, ON ~62 miles Route: Interstate 190 to Ontario 405 to QEW Maximum elevation: unknown
Diesel price USA: $2.999/gallon at a filling station in Tonawanda, NY


I picked up the truck and got some emergency fuel at the nearest filling station then got started. At the border, Customs had me take the papers back to the broker for corrections due to a mistake. Finally I was cleared and I got to Burlington and prepared to drop off the truck but alas the truck I was to pick up was blocked in by another truck. I searched but was unable to find the keys for the offending truck so I rang dispatch and explained the situation and was told to "get a room." I was told someone would come the next day (Sunday) to unblock my truck. I said OK but I plan to go to church. I was told not to take the truck to church. As a result I spent an unscheduled night in Burlington, ON.

Sunday morning I was picked up and taken to Trinity Baptist Church in Burlington, ON. Sunday School was in progress when I arrived and the lesson was on the Attributes of God. The sermon in the main service was on the Humanity of Christ. After church I was taken to lunch then back to the motel and I drove to the yard and found the truck was unblocked so I dropped one truck and picked up another.

Trip: Burlington, ON to Bayonne, NJ 450 paid miles Route: QEW to Ontario 405 to Interstate 190 to Interstate 290 to Interstate 90 to Interstate 690 to Interstate 81 to Interstate 84 to Interstate 380 to Interstate 80 to Interstate 280 to Interstate 95 to Interstate 78 to New Jersey 440
Maximum elevation: unknown
Diesel price USA: $2.929/gallon at Flying J Corfu, NY
Permits needed: PA trip permit


This truck was a Mack road tractor. Crossing to the USA went without a hitch but I was sent to VACIS. I spent Sunday night in Henrietta, NY. Monday was a routine day and I got to Parsippany, NJ.

Tuesday was bright and clear and visibility was good and while on the NJ Turnpike I saw downtown Newark on one side and New York City on the other. I got to the port and made delivery but was unable to complete delivery until after lunch. After delivery I shared a taxi with a person who delivered another truck who lived in the area. The driver was good enough to take me to a view point and I took some pictures of the skyline of New York, Brooklyn and Jersey City as well as the Statue of Liberty. Then I was taken to the Federal Building in Newark, NJ where I got the bond canceled. It took longer to clear security into the building than it did to get the bond canceled. Then I was taken to EWR.

Upon arrival at the airport I went into Terminal A and rang the company. The company booked me on USAirways to Chicago and I was told the next truck would be from Streator, IL to Ontario. I checked in and paid $60 to check two bags which weighed 48.5 and 47.5 pounds. These checked bag fees are getting out of hand! I cleared security and there was no secondary screening but my briefcase was hand searched.

USAirways Express #4539 EWR-PHL Dash 8-300 Boarding Zone 1 Seat 1F Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 0:30, actual 0:34 Scheduled departure 17h45, actual 17h41 out of A36 Scheduled arrival 18h52, actual 18h27 into F23

The plane was a 50-seat prop. I had the front row seat which was facing backward. The plane was mostly but not totally full. Pushback was 4 minutes early followed by taxi/hold of 8 minutes and takeoff to the north. I saw the NJ Turnpike, the Port of Newark and the lights of New York City on climb before turning west. Announcement was made beverage service would be on request only. At 0:17 announcement was made weather was fair and 52F at PHL. I saw what looked to be Delaware Memorial Bridge on approach. We landed south to north and taxi was 3 minutes and we arrived at gate 25 minutes early.

USAirways #958 PHL-ORD B-737-300 Boarding Zone 3 Seat 21A Cruising altitude 32,000 feet Estimated flying time 1:37, actual 1:42 Scheduled departure 20h50, actual 20h50 out of B3 Scheduled arrival 22h21, actual
21h59 into F8


Plane was almost full. Pushback was on time. Taxi/hold was 20 minutes followed by takeoff to the north. I saw Interstate 95, Citizens Bank Park and the Ben Franklin Bridge and downtown Philadelphia as well as the Delaware River. Then we turned west. We got some bumps at 0:18 and seatbelt sign went off at 0:22. At 0:37 I saw what looked to be lights of the Pittsburgh area.

At 0:40 I got cup of ginger ale. I felt descent begin at 1:14 and descent was announced at 1:16. We had some bumps and seatbelt sign went on at 1:19. During approach I saw the lights of Chicagoland partially blocked by clouds. We landed west to east and taxi was 6 minutes and we arrived at gate 22 minutes early. I got my bags 22-23 minutes after arrival and got a taxi to lodging in Schiller Park, IL.

Next morning I had trip paperwork faxed to me and found out I was going to Ottawa. I got transport down to Streator and it rained most of the way.

Trip: Streator, IL to Ottawa, ON 866 paid miles Route: Illinois 23 to Interstate 80 to Interstate 94 to Interstate 69 to Blue Water Bridge to Ontario 402 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 403 to QEW to Ontario 427 to Ontario 401 to Ontario 416 Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: $2.819/gallon at BP Imlay City, MI
Lowest diesel price USA: $2.699/gallon at Flying J Lake Station, IN
Diesel price Canada: $0.880CAD/litre at Flying J London, ON


I made pickup of a vacuum truck with a 10-speed manual transmission. It was not raining when I made the pickup but I picked up some light rain after I entered Michigan and I spent the night in Benton Harbor, MI. Next day was rainy and I decided to shut down in Imlay City, MI as there were some unanswered questions regarding the border crossing.

Next day I crossed the border and things went OK so I proceeded and stopped at the yard in Burlington to drop off some paperwork and talk to dispatch. The plan was for me to get a truck in Quebec and take it to Indianapolis and fly home from there. However that fell through so the company booked me a "Northwelta" flight from Ottawa to LAX with connection in Detroit. Then I was told there was a bus in Plattsburgh, NY going to Vancouver, BC and I was asked to consider taking that trip and the company would eat the nonrefundable air ticket they got for me. I had been gone long enough but I said I would think about it.

I was held up enough that when I got rolling again I traffic was for the most part moving well in the GTA and I spent the night in Napanee, ON.

Next day was Saturday and I informed the company I looked at the situation whether or not to take the bus and I elected to fly home as had been away long enough. So I got rolling and made an after-hours delivery in Ottawa. A friend of mine picked me up and took me to the airport and we visited while en route.

Upon arrival to the airport I checked in and paid $50CAD to check two bags. The bags weighed 47.8 and 48.2 pounds. I dropped the bags off and cleared security and my briefcase was searched. Then I precleared US Customs and I made it to the gate with more time than expected.

Delta Connection #3452 Northwest Airlink #3796 YOW-DTW CRJ-200 Seat 4A Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time not given, actual 1:14 Scheduled departure 15h00, actual 15h28 out of gate 5 Scheduled arrival 16h54, actual 17h00 into B11

This flight was delayed due to a machine at the security checkpoint not working properly. Officers were considering whether or not to do a terminal dump but elected instead to wand each passenger before boarding. So I was wanded then boarded via jetway.

The plane was not very full. Pushback was 28 minutes late followed by taxi/hold of 11 minutes. Takeoff was to the north. To the right I saw the Ottawa River and the Ottawa area before going into the clouds at 55 seconds and over the clouds at 1min 18 seconds. At 0:15 there was drink run and I got cup of soda plus Biscoff cookies.

I felt descent begin at 0:45 and descent was announced at 0:50. The seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. Announcement was it was 53F at DTW. I saw some of the Detroit metro area during descent but I was unsure of exact locations because it was extremely hazy. We landed north to south. Taxi was 6 minutes and we arrived at gate 6 minutes late.

I passed through a colourful tunnel to get to Concourse A. It was a good thing I was able to preclear US Customs in Ottawa otherwise I would have missed my connection for sure. I got to gate A77 and preboarding was underway.

Northwest #2377 Delta #2386 DTW-LAX A-320 Seat 21F Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 4:26, actual 4:26 Scheduled departure 17h50, actual 18h00 out of A77 Scheduled arrival 20h11, actual 19h49 into gate 54A

This plane was an A-320 with Delta markings. Announcement was made there were cloudy skies and it was 65F at LAX. Plane was full or nearly full. Pushback was 10 minutes late. After pushback the cabin went totally dark and I was unsuccessful in turning on the reading light. Taxi/hold was 16 minutes followed by takeoff to the south. I saw Interstate 94 and 275 and lights of the Detroit Metro area and there were some bumps during climb. Then I saw lights of what appeared to be Lansing followed by Grand Rapids and Holland, MI then we went over Lake Michigan. Later I saw what looked to be the lights of the Milwaukee area. After some of the lights came on including the reading lights.

Seatbelt sign went off at 0:46 and I saw the lights of the Quad Cities in IL and IA and the Mississippi River but the view was partially blocked by clouds. At 1:19 there was a service run. I was told there was no ginger ale so I settled for a can of Coke and got Biscoff cookies and I purchased the red travel box for $5. This was the only service run for the entire flight which I consider to be subpar especially considering the length of the flight.

We picked up some bumps starting at 1:49 and seatbelt sign went on at
1:55. There was some choppy air here and there and the seatbelt sign stayed on the rest of the flight though many people got up anyway. At 4:02 announcement was made we would be arriving in about 30 minutes and I felt descent begin at 4:07. I saw lights of what may have been Yucca or Morongo Valley then I saw Interstate 10 and Yucaipa/Redlands.

I saw the lights of San Bernardino with lights of the Victorville area farther out. I saw California 91 with the junction of California 60 and Interstate 215 and Riverside. Then I saw Interstate 15 and warehouses of the Ontario area and Ontario Mills Mall plus truckstops then I saw ONT.

We crossed Interstate 605 at 4:20 and I saw downtown Los Angeles at 4:23. We landed east to west. Taxi was 6 minutes and we arrived at gate 22 minutes early. I got bags 24 minutes after arrival and a friend picked me up and took me home and my 47 days on the road came to an end.

END OF POST
Loose Cannon is offline  
Old Dec 17, 09, 1:24 pm
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How odd that someone would think taking notes was suspicious behavior.

How do you select the churches you attend? Who usually takes you back and forth to them?
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Old Dec 17, 09, 1:45 pm
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LC,

Interesting report as always. I hope that you have a Merry Christmas.

dh
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Old Dec 22, 09, 1:31 pm
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Then I was told there was a bus in Plattsburgh, NY going to Vancouver, BC and I was asked to consider taking that trip and the company would eat the nonrefundable air ticket they got for me.

Were you being asked to deliver the bus to Vancouver or relocate there on the bus? I sure wouldn't relish riding on a bus for three days, but driving one across to Vancouver would be an entirely different matter.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
Then I was told there was a bus in Plattsburgh, NY going to Vancouver, BC and I was asked to consider taking that trip and the company would eat the nonrefundable air ticket they got for me.

Were you being asked to deliver the bus to Vancouver or relocate there on the bus? I sure wouldn't relish riding on a bus for three days, but driving one across to Vancouver would be an entirely different matter.
I would have delivered the bus.
Loose Cannon is offline  
Old Dec 22, 09, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Paint Horse View Post
How odd that someone would think taking notes was suspicious behavior.

How do you select the churches you attend? Who usually takes you back and forth to them?
I've used some databases and also made contacts during my travels. Also I sometimes consult the Yellow Pages.

Sometimes the pastor comes to get me to take me to church and sometimes one of the parishioners does.
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Old Dec 26, 09, 2:16 am
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Hi Loose Cannon:

Thanks for posting the report. You mentioned the baggage fees that you pay on flights, and I immediately wonder why you can't stick to one or two airline alliances to earn elite status when you take the flights to/from deliveries and back home. You would save on those baggage fees (which I presume comes out of your earnings) and maybe get some other perks. Another curiosity...have any of the airlines ever given you an upgrade ??(OP UP or otherwise)
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Old Dec 26, 09, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Robt760 View Post
Hi Loose Cannon:

Thanks for posting the report. You mentioned the baggage fees that you pay on flights, and I immediately wonder why you can't stick to one or two airline alliances to earn elite status when you take the flights to/from deliveries and back home. You would save on those baggage fees (which I presume comes out of your earnings) and maybe get some other perks. Another curiosity...have any of the airlines ever given you an upgrade ??(OP UP or otherwise)
In the vast majority of my cases it is not my call who I fly. Normally the company books the flight and many times they use WN or WS or whatever the cheapest fare is. No upgrades recently. I suppose I could burn miles to upgrade on US but those flights have not been long enough to make it worthwhile.
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