July 12, 2012

Waiting is more than a movie title, it is my life

I like to get to the airport early. I vowed early in my traveling career to never make like OJ Simpson and run through an airport*. There is always another flight. I was walking briskly on the moving walkway** that leads to the terminal earlier this week when my cell phone rang. It was the airline, my 3:30 flight was delayed until 4:15. Damn. My premeditated arrival time just grew a bigger cushion. Shortly before 2:00 found me heading into the B gates security area. Oh well, I had plenty to read on my trusty Kindle ereader.

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 murder robberies?

**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.

4 comments:

Erin O'Brien said...

"I arrive in Charlotte."

What? You worried about Charlotte's husband?

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

WRT note #2: I learned that years ago in the Washington Metro. I wish I could get my wife to understand the need. But she grocery-shops the same way; cart left in the middle of the aisle while she reads labels. Sigh.

Joe said...

Erin -- only as much as I worry about myself...

Nathan -- I met her doppelganger blocking up the aisle at Kroger Sunday afternoon. I kept my curses under my breath.

Woodman said...

I went to our nation's capitol last week.

Firstly I'd like to mention that I found the stimulus dollars, and they're being spent on all kinds of construction down there.

Secondly, I tried to tell my offspring and her friend walk left, stand right, on our way to get on the escalator on the Metro. The both went left and tried to turn around to talk to me as they were almost trampled by the crowd.

Lesson learned.

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