I entered the security area. There was no one there. As in passengers. I walked right up to the ID checkpoint, no need to use the frequent traveler shortcut. After chatting with the agent I headed to the naked passenger viewer line. I slipped off my shoes and belt. I grabbed my liquids from a handy pocket of my bag and padded to the machine. I performed my requisite moose horn pantomime***. Out of habit I grabbed my stuff quickly off the belt and plopped down on the nearby bench to re-shoe my feet and re-belt my pants.
Throughout the afternoon the digital minutes clicked by as I read away in my Kindle. Me and Michael Corleone got that bastard Solozzo****. The plane suffered yet another delay and a move to a different gate. Finally around 5:00 the flight was cancelled altogether and we were told to go down to another gate for re-assignment. I was among the first in line and scored a seat on a plane leaving in 45 minutes. I had to trade my aisle seat for a middle seat, but Charlotte is only a little over an hour away by plane,
Only about 20 minutes late, the aircraft pushed off from the gate, waddled across the tarmac and parked. The man-in-charge came over the scratchy speakers and said we were on ground hold. He said we could pull out our electronic devices since we were going to be there a while. At least he left the A/C on. The last time I was stuck in the biscuit tube they call an aircraft I was in Detroit and the pilot turned off the engines and let us swelter for 2.5 hours. We sat there for a little over an hour and a half before we got the go-ahead to brave the wild blue yonder.
I finally arrived in a rainy Charlotte***** sometime around eight thirty in the PM. The trip only a few scant hours shorter than I could have driven it. Such is life. I arrived a the Hertz counter, my Gold reservation long since given to another driver. The happy lady asked if my flight was delayed. I gave her a ten second synopsis: delayed, cancelled ground hold. She responded by finding me a brand new car, a VW Passat with 23 miles on the odometer.. It smelled new, no rental car odor. The hotel surprised me with an upgrade to a suite. Diamond membership does have its rewards. As a bonus, since I arrived so late there was no issue with traffic!
So while the long day started poorly, it ended well. So, you wish you had a job like mine and get to travel all over the place, eh?
* Remember when OJ was famous for something besides knives and gloves and
**Walk left stand right. I am not sure why the concept of a moving sideWALK is so complicated for the average traveler.
***If have been in an airport lately you know what I mean by this
**** I am aware that is not proper English
***** "I arrived in Charlotte" -- every time I type that phrase I crack up for reasons I cannot publicly explain.