Life of Megan

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Airport Hijinks

I spent the last few days in SC with my family, celebrating my brother's graduation and having a grand old time. Today, it was time to return to the cold North. Never have I been so grateful I booked my flight with a connection through Atlanta.

At any rate, yesterday, I failed to consider what might happen as a result of the Nor'easter that shut down the mid-Mid Atlantic region. I just checked to make sure *my* plane had made it to Charlotte. I checked in online, printed my boarding passes, and checked my bag (thus saving $5). Then, at half-past hatey o'clock, my dad and I departed for CLT.

Things looked pretty bad when I arrived about 55 minutes before my flight. The baggage drop-off line, reserved for folks who have boarding passes and checked-luggage receipts, had a long line. After about five minutes, it became clear the line wasn't moving. After about 10 minutes, I figured out why: all the weather snafus had led to hundreds of people waiting in line since 5:00 am or earlier, trying to get rebooked and to make their 7:00 am flights. Most of them appeared to be missing those flights.

It took me 30 minutes to drop off my checked bag. Things were starting to look pretty dismal for catching my flight. My flight was to leave from the A concourse, but that line looked at least 40 minutes long. I walked to the B-concourse line. Also bad. C? Abysmal. I finally found myself in the D/E-concourse line. By this time, I knew I'd need to be lucky and to run to make the flight, so I started asking people in front of me what time their flight was set to depart. This, smiling, and someone who happened to be able to translate to a Russian group got me ahead of about 12 people.

Fortunately, I decided to bring only my purse for carry-on, so I sailed through security, picking up my shoes at 7:06 or so. This was a problem: my flight's departure time was ostensibly 7:15.

Still, I hadn't heard any final boarding calls, and my name hadn't been called, so I decided there was hope. I slid on my sneakers but didn't tie them. I grabbed my baggie of hand sanitizer and lotion. I threw my purse over my shoulder, and I ran.

Incidentally, even though the A-concourse line is fairly close to the D/E-concourse line on the check-in side of security, they are much farther apart on the other side. I didn't let that bother me. I just ran. I even ran down the people mover, which earned me a number of very dirty looks from various airport employees.

But it paid off. I arrived at the gate just as they were checking in the last of the stand-by passengers.

Forty-five minutes or an hour later, we actually took off. I'd be annoyed about the running (and subsequent asthma attack--I should have used my inhaler while waiting in line but didn't), but I know that they wouldn't have let me on if I had arrived much later than I did. And anyhow, I didn't hold anyone up.

We arrived in Atlanta about 20 minutes late, which meant that I got to hurry again just to make the connection to Syracuse. This time, though, I had enough breathing room to use the restroom.

In Syracuse, my luggage was second off the conveyor belt. I'd say it was a pretty good travel day for me.


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