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Observations about SJC
Since I've been spending a bit of time at San Jose International over the last few years, I've grown to both love and hate it. Here's some notes:
  • After landing on a full flight from Austin (the "nerd bird"), AA flights make an announcement allowing you to use cell phones, and for a moment, the plane sounds like a Las Vegas casino with a variety of electronic chirps, warbles, and melodies all going off as people power up their mobiles.

  • Food at SJC is pretty good, at least here in terminal A. Down at the American gates is a Max's location that has a great vegetarian sandwich -- rye bread, havarti dill cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce, cucumber, marinated bell peppers, deli mustard, and a couple of crisp pickle halves. Over by Southwest, you've got a California Pizza Kitchen that's got bowls of split pea and barley soup along with roasted veggie pizza.

  • The worst feature of the airport is the shuttles to the rental car facility. They're often crowded, take a long time to cycle, and you have to walk a pretty long way, including a trip through baggage claim, just to get to the shuttle. On Monday morning, the queue for the shuttle bus extended back to the parking garage, and it took two full loads before I was able to get a ride out to Avis.

  • If you take I-880 from Milpitas, you can get off at the Coleman exit, go past the airport entrance, do a turnaround, fuel up at the San Jose Costco, and then come back to return your rental car. It's easier than trying to get fuel farther away and fight the lines for the normal "last-chance" gas stations.

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Yay Max's! And boo to rental car shuttle! What were they THINKING?

I hear that once, the rental cars were right next to the terminal, and people were happy. The current setup just screams short-term hack that got ossified into their ongoing solution.

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