5 am: Alarm blares. Time to get up and hit the shower. God willing my automatic coffee maker actually made my cup of Joe. I'm targeting to leave by 5:30 to get up to Bradley International Airport to make the flight. What could possibly go wrong? I hate flying, but it beats driving across country.
5:31 am: Grrrr. Not out the door. I have this vision of me standing at the end of the runway watching my plane blast off into the wild blue yonder. Trying to remember what I might have forgotten. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but I won't bloody know what it is until I go to look for it. Raid my Christmas Stocking... bonus, grab two protein bars that Santa left for me, and some breath mints.
5:40 am: Drag my luggage to the car. And my three carry-on bags. I know they are going to give me grief about having three carry-ons (the limit is two) even through one is a C-PAP. I have enough electronic equipment in my carry-ons to make it seem like I'm starting my own electronics store or to wire a small space station. Oh well, with that - I'm off. Glove, hat, snow boots, and I'm off...
6:15 am: Make it to the airport parking garage. Round and round and round we go, where there's a spot, I'll never know. Finally found something in the far corner of the garage. As long as I don't have to clean ice and snow off my car when I get in at 11 pm at night, I don't care if I have to walk 500 feet more.
6:30 am. Bring my luggage to the Delta Counter. I greet the guy at the counter with a smile, and a good morning, and tell him that I haven't flown in a long time - hoping it would help. Nope. I'm being waited on by a older black guy with a huge chip on his shoulder. Frak! He asks me for a credit card without telling me what its for, and then rolls his eyes and takes an attitude when he is forced to explain to me why he wants my card - any credit card identifies you against your reservation in the system. He whines on and on. Grrr. I hate to be stereotypical, but Jesus - it is what it is. So anyways, I try to be nice. He picks up my suitcase and declares that it feels overweight. He weighs it - and indeed - I'm exactly four pounds over the limit.
He tells me I have to remove four pounds from my bag or it will cost me an additional $90. I say or not me ... least, my company will pay it. He remarks that companies have all the money anyway. Wow. I bet this guy voted for Obama. So I take out a pair of shoes and weigh them. They weigh three pounds, he says ok, you're good. Just don't put them back in your luggage. He gives me a big break with the one pound excess.
I marvel over the airlines' genius - so I can be four pounds over the limit as long as I displace the weight by moving it from my luggage bag to my carry-on bag. Ok, whatever.
6:45 am. I bring my bag over to security praying they don't get carried away by ripping apart my nicely ironed shirts and slacks. It took me and hour to iron, press, and fold each item so it fits nicely in the bag. I ask the lady if she wants me to wait, I can tell she doesn't want me to wait, but insists its fine. After 8 minutes of watching the TSA clowns pile more bags in front of mine, I opt to just move ahead through the personal security checkpoint. Screw it!
6:50 am: Ok, I expect that because I'm a white male with blue eyes, that I'll likely fit the TSAs profile of the model Islamic terrorist. So I fully expect to be brought to a private room, stripped, and molested by an army of TSA agents. I put my three carry-ons in grey trays, and they instruct me to take my gear out (two lap tops, ipods, smartphone, GPS, lots of chargers, and a thousand wires) and put them all in separate trays. I'm asked to take my coat off, blah blah blah. To be a wise-ass I put my Manchester United winter hat in separate tray #9 by itself. Whatever. I smile at my weak attempt to get back at the system.
7 am: Not to bad. They let me repack all of my stuff and I head off on my journey through the airport.
7:10 am: Arrival at the dreaded holding area. I encounter a few employees from my last position. They are friendly. And they are kind enough to watch my stuff while I make my first eating violation. Breakfast at -- McDonald's. Jesh, they jack up the prices at the airport - where's the f'n dollar menu? $10 later - I'm off. Back to the holding area. I chat with some folks to pass the time.
7:15 am: I approach the Delta Desk with my so-called Boarding ticket. It states that I have a seat but that its UNASSIGNED. I hand it to the Asian woman and she is smile-free - all business. She hands me a revised boarding pass - aisle seat. Drat! I ask her if I can have a window seat, she says that she'd keep me in mind if one became available. I stumble a few feet from the desk feeling rejected. The lady behind me is greeted with a warm smile from the previously stoic Asian lady. Then I hear, "would you like an aisle or window seat?" I'm thinking "Christ!!" I wasn't even given the option!
I go back to my chair and frown thinking about the injustice of it all.
7:40 am: Oh No! From a distance I see the worst boss I've EVER had heading my way. A total A-HOLE who I've vowed to run down should I ever have the displeasure to encounter him again. The lady sitting across from me knows the problems I had with him. I signal to her with my eyes. She smirks. He wanders over and starts talking to everyone. Then, in an act of total stupidity introduces himself to me.... "Jeff." He mutters with hand extended. Under normal circumstances, you might normally say something, but surrounded by others who may be mutual acquaintances - best option is to say nothing and shake his hand - but I don't say anything. Funny this is that he's the most despised person in his organization. Well, enough about him. 10 zillion flights, and he has to be on the same flight to nowhere? Pray God's sense of humor isn't large enough to include me being stuck next to him on the plane.
8:00 am: I run into a few more people who happen to be going my way. One is the psychopath lady from Canada. Her name is Dana. And that is pronounced with a short a not a long A. She will correct you each time you say it wrong and get bent out of shape. Of course, I know better than to start off the day with her by mispronouncing her name. She greets me warmly but she is friends with the jackass I mentioned before so I play it cool.
8:05 am: Ok. why not give it a risk and find out if a Window Seat became available. I walk up to the Desk, and before I can finish my question, the Delta lady hands me a revised Boarding pass - window seat and all! Hooray! And bonus - its Row 5!
8:15 am: Boarding time. Ok, first things first - all the important people get to board first. Gold members, silver members, special members, members with stars, blah blah blah. And then first class. And then Zone 1, Zone 2, and lastly me - Zone 3. Hell, I guess I'm one step away from Kennel Class. But at least I have a Window Seat.
As I go to board another lady give me grief about having three bags. I sharply fire back that one is a medically assisted device that doesn't count against my carry-on total. Seeing the fire in my eyes, she backs off. Grrr.
8:30 am: I finally get to board onto the plane! As I approach my seat, I see that my overhead compartment is already full. And so are the next twenty compartments. I end up putting my stuff over seat 23, I guess it will be a while before I get off the plane since I'd be like a salmon trying to swim upstream to get to my carry-ons. Oh well. Screw it. I'll take what I need and go back to my seat.
8:40 am: Back to my seat. I greet my seat counterpart. She is an older, red haired lady with a white complexion - not sure if this is the ghost or Mrs. Muir. She is very serious and straight-forward. I say hello, she says hello back. I try to make small conversation with her but she's not interested. She's reading work-stuff. Oh bore. No fun chat buddy, I get fuddy-duddy.
|William Shatner plays the |
perfect terrorized passenger
in the 1963 Twilight Zone
episode: Nightmare at 20,000 ft
Like I said this was hardly an exciting entry. But it was fun writing it.
The original entry can be found at www.thekingsview.blogspot.com