My Virgin Atlantic flight back to London leaves at 5.30 pm so I booked a shuttle from SJC at 1.45 pm. It’s scheduled to take an hour so I should have plenty of leeway if Hwy 101 decides to act as a parking lot, which it often does. So I check-out of the hotel at 12 noon and sit in reception until it’s time to catch the 12.44 pm VTA to the Airport / Metro stop. From there I catch the free shuttle bus to Terminal B. I’m early so I go into the terminal to have lunch.
The sub I bought in Austin airport was huge and I didn’t finish it. I saved the rest, storing it in the fridge in San Jose. I wasn’t sure when I might eat it but then I realised I would need something for today. So I kept it, and hoped it might be OK. If not, I’d dump it and buy a fresh one in the terminal. But it was alright actually. Refreshed, I go back outside a few minutes before the shuttle is due. It’s very hot but thankfully the bus stop areas have roofs to give shade against the sun.
A Dangerous Drive
The shuttle arrives pretty much on time and we set off. I was the only pick-up here but there are 5 others on board from previous stops. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is right by Hwy 101 and as we drive on the airport’s internal roadways heading towards the freeway, the driver starts to pick up speed. He seems to me to be driving a touch too fast for the road we’re on. As we near the freeway he’s still going very fast. Then as we reach the on-ramp his speed he does not slow at all. The ramp however is a long left 90º curve and he’s driving that fast that we’re all holding on and leaning over in our seats. And at the same time the driver is talking to the guy who’s sitting in the passenger jump seat next to him, and he keeps looking over to him and not on the road ahead!
When we get onto Hwy 101 he accelerates even more. And then proceeds to weave in and out of traffic, across lanes, just so he doesn’t have to slow down when coming up on cars ahead. Now I’m all for a fast transfer time, but I’d like to arrive alive please, I think to myself. I become seriously concerned when traffic starts to back up on the road ahead on a few occasions, as it inevitably does on 101, because the driver just starts to weave about the lanes more aggressively. The traffic ahead does actually keep moving, but this driver is going way too fast for these road conditions. I consider him dangerous.
We do arrive at San Francisco International Airport alive, obviously. Needless to say I do not tip the driver. So after one scary ride today I’m hoping for no more ‘issues’ as I enter the terminal. Which there aren’t, thankfully. I get my boarding pass double-checked at the Virgin check-in desks because the hotel printer wasn’t brilliant, and the agent issues me a ‘proper’ pass. Through security without problems or delays, a coffee and pastry to pass the time, and boarding soon comes around. The flight’s on time – hurrah! – and as I pass through the gate and into the walkway to the plane, another road trip comes to a close. 🙁