Monday, June 25, 2012

Traveling South Saga (part 1)

For some reason, I have the worst luck with air travel. This fact is one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get out of Iowa. Upon my commencement (which I actually spent watching on tv), all I could think was NO MORE PLANES just to go home! Yippee! As far as I’m concerned, there needn’t be a major fiscal investment to see my family. And who needs the headache of post-9/11 airport security? Ughhhhh. But in the 3 and a-half years since I last flew somewhere, I must have conveniently forgotten about my air travel luck.

Enter Friday morning. My alarm buzzes at 4:00 am, and I snooze til 4:30. After extracting myself from the bed, I get in gear so I don’t miss my 6:30 am flight. All I have to do is brush my teeth, put on my clothes, pack a snack and call a cab. As soon as I get in the cab headed toward the FDR, I start to get excited. I’m going on a trip! Yay! I start tweeting:

I arrive at the airport a little after 5am and head straight for the self check in monitor. I swipe my credit card. “Sorry, we are unable to check you in. Please see an agent.” Hmmm. I look over at the snaking line and decided to try another approach. I type in my confirmation number. I receive the same message. I try to check in on my cell phone. Same message. I bite the bullet, and lug my bags over to the end of the line. After a 45-minute wait, at which point I am praying that I don’t miss my flight because there is still security to go through – the agent looks at my flight reservation.

“Oh you were on that 6:30 flight to Charlotte? It was cancelled,” she said, as if I should have known.


“Yes.” As she started banging away on the keys of her keyboard, I fought hard to swallow my tears, with some hope that she could put me on the next flight out. She typed furiously and then paused and sighed. Then typed furiously some more, then shook her head while scrunching up her nose. More furious typing, then a short staccato, “Mm… Well, it looks like the next flight I can get you on confirmed is tomorrow night at 9:30 pm.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” I felt robbed.

“No. It’s the only thing open, on any of the airlines.”

“But what about today? When’s the next flight today?”

“Oh, well I can put you on it standby, since you are already here. It leaves at 9:10.” She handed me both my standby and confirmedfortomorrow boarding passes. I made my way to the security line. 

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