First we waited for a few straggling passengers to extricate themselves from the clutches of the TSA, and then we sat on the ramp with doors closed, waiting for rampers to come load the last of the bags. Finally we pushed back, started up and got our taxi clearance — to Runway 18L, clear on the other side of the airport, stuck behind the first and only Southwest Airlines jet I’ve ever seen taxi at that mythical walking man’s pace. We climbed southbound for a good 20 miles before Orlando Approach got us turned back toward our flight-plan route. No sooner did we check in with Jacksonville Center than the en route delays started: “Turn right heading 090, 280 knots or less, vectors for the sequence to Kennedy.” An hour later, Washington Center slowed us further, to 250 knots, and gave us several nearly perpendicular turns off the route to follow traffic. Apparently, several airlines were simultaneously bringing in their entire fleets to spend Christmas Eve in New York!