Tampa to San Fran for the CISO Exchange West event

Yesterday was one of the longer trips I’ve had in a while. This trip was from Tampa two DFW, then To San Francisco. It’s a pretty long day of travel when you’re going across the country like that, and that just means more opportunities for interesting things.

In this case, we started out in Tampa boarding a “Super 80” aircraft. Now let me tell you, there is nothing super about a “Super 80”. It’s about 116 years old and considered a narrow-body. That means two seats on one side of the aisle and three seats on the other. This is an updated version of the DC-9 and was launched back in 1979.  Let this be a reminder to me to double-check the aircraft when I book flights.


So I got on the plane, and got to my seat. For me this is the most important part. I just want to get in my seat let everyone board and relax. As we were all loaded up and getting ready to head out, I started hearing some noises even through my Bose headphones. It was sobbing and hysterical crying from the gal two rows ahead of us.  My first reaction was to be a little annoyed, thinking that this was just a case of someone afraid to fly. However, it became fairly clear that it was more than that. I was able to discern some phrases related to somebody passing away, So I felt a bit bad for her. I felt even worse for the people sitting next her, who did not know her and were now quickly becoming a part of the drama.  I personally was in flight heaven, because the middle seat in My row was empty. Once that was clear to me, I could deal with just about anything… so I thought.


Mah knees!

About an hour into the three-hour flight, the person in the seat in front of me decided to recline. This was not a gentle action, this was more of the action of an angry Hun who’s decided to lay back. If I hadn’t had anything on my tray table, it would’ve been game over. Another side effect of the ”Super 80 “ is that the seats were apparently designed to recline completely into somebody’s lap. Maybe things were more friendly back in the 1930s when these planes first took to the sky, but I was practically gaining a family member here. This did not deter her however, and we spent the rest of the flight like this. I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed around landing time, as the attendance did not have her put her seat up for landing. Now for me, it seems like if the seat is even slightly reclined they’re all over me like a pack of wild hyenas when it comes time to land.
So we made it on the ground safely, and as we’re getting ready to deplane, any sympathy I had for the lady that had been crying was lost. Now I was a sailor and supported the Army for a long time, but the string of obscenities coming from her mouth, very loudly, would’ve made a 1st Sergeant blush. There was a lady about two rows ahead of her who I’m pretty sure was filing her toothbrush down to a shiv so she could shank the lady as she walked by.  If looks could’ve killed, this lady would’ve been vaporized where she stood.


Not a bad view at all

Having survived this flight, I was able to move onto my next connection to San Francisco. This was mostly uneventful, with exception of the boarding. What was unusual was, the TSA was at the gate in force. They did an identification recheck on everyone boarding, Then as we went down the hall toward the plane, they had a dog sniffing every person, and Johnny McBigKnuckles standing at the end of the walkway. I’ve never been so intimidated by rubber gloves. This flight was on an Airbus 321, which was a world of difference. Everything is better on those planes including the in-flight entertainment.  Over the next four hours or so flying, I did watch the Deepwater Horizon movie and thought it was pretty good. We landed without incident, And I was able to find an Uber pretty quickly. The ride into town was mostly uneventful, with the exception of the driver who thought he was in some sort of race. Let me tell you, in the hills of San Francisco, a fast driver can give you all the butterflies in your belly you ever need.


First hotel I’ve been to with a glowing statue in my room

I’m staying in a very nice hotel called ”The W” in downtown San Francisco. It’s a very nice hotel, but a little more upscale than I’m comfortable with. I’m a blue-collar meeting potatoes sort of guy, in these folks are all refined and whatnot. On a plus note, my hotel room is full of booze, and a very interesting glowing Buddha.  At five bucks for a bottle of water, I can’t imagine how much they get for the Patron.


This bed was one of the more comfortable ones I’ve been in at hotels. My sleep was therefore fantastic and my dreams were filled with happy visions filled with the soft pink light of the glowing Buddha. I was up a bit early as expected due to the time change. I’m trying not to adjust since I’m only going to be here through tomorrow.


Today should be a lot of fun as I’m doing a very interactive talk. I really like the sorts of events. I look forward to sharing with you how my day goes tonight or tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading.





Erich Kron is the Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, and has over 20 years’ experience in the medical, aerospace manufacturing and defense fields. He is the former security manager for the US Army 2nd Regional Cyber Center-Western Hemisphere.

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