UA1148 BOS ORD 0901 1059 739 4A I got dropped off at the airport at 7 so had a good long visit with my friends at the UC before going to the gate. This was the first time I'd used the autogates in Boston. Of course, there were many glitches, not caused by the equipment as far as I could see but by the passengers not being able to see the big 3 or 4 on their boarding passes, whereupon of course they complained and held up the line, and, guess what, the automated system doesn't look like such a great idea any more, does it. A quick pleasant flight with relatively fresh flight attendants; we ended up early enough so I had an hour's layover at the B club for a banana and the e-mail. UA 881 ORD NRT 1210 1510 744 14B was 15B The end gates in the concourse are the only ones that can accommodate the big planes, but the seating area, despite the extra square bit over to the side, is constricted by the curve of the building. Translation: more people milling about even than normal. As the crowd and I milled about, my sharp ears picked out my name from the din, and I hied to the desk thinking, ooh, upgrade time, but in fact it was just a courtesy call to inform me that a party of 4 had wanted my beloved row 15, and I was being moved forward a row, not a whole cabin. Pooh. So grumpily upstairs I went (this is a nice and comfortable place in any position, truth be told). I was settling in, when a rather superb woman about a decade younger than me excused herself and slid into the window seat next to me, so this was an upgrade of sorts after all. We got to talking, and though any scanty charm I may ever have possessed has abandoned me, we got on reasonably well. Paula is an artist turned social work professor, going on to Osaka to see her son; and though we knew nobody in common, we did share a lot of attitudes, past haunts, and interests. It was a very nice, chatty flight, and I got less sleep than I had planned on.