Hello Blog Readers!
Today, I'm going to tell you a story of travel. It will be peppered with heavy amounts of sarcasm, so if you can't take the joke, don't read today. You decide how much is true. (It's all true.)
It all began at dark 4am.
Wake up! Let's go to the airport! Check in. Security line. Body scan. (Should I suck in for a skinnier silhouette?) Coffee.... Iced, so my tongue doesn't get burned. Easy, non complicated boarding, take off and early arrival at the connecting airport. Then, the wait for the gate.
Turn the phone on, check the time. Our connecting flight is already boarding. (Dang that time change!) We are unloaded at B10. The race is on.
"Your connecting flight is now loading at gate B93."
I'm being pulled by my husband. We make use of 5 different moving sidewalks and two escalators down to the gate on the lowest level. Just in time to watch the doors close.
We scream, "WAIT! IT'S US! YOU NEED US!"
Then, I begin to plead. "Our seats, they're still available, just let us on this plane! Please! We're here! We have all the appropriate documents for boarding! We ran! I might throw up from running! We carried this box! We're here now! Your other plane is why we're late, we followed the rules......"
We're given standby tickets for the next flight. $7 meal vouchers. No apologies. No awards for running. No congratulations for NOT throwing up. Not even a tissue.
We walk away from the gate. Dejected. I'm crying. Travel up two escalators. Stand on 5 different moving sidewalks and up one escalator to the food area. We have 9 hours to get a meal. Have you ever eaten in an airport? $7 meal vouchers? Really?
We sleep. We ride moving sidewalks. We eat some more. We laugh at people's funny socks, funny hair, funny everything. I text, tweet and post stories of woe on Facebook. We spend an embarrassing amount of time looking for the chairs with the outlets, only to discover the outlets are UNDER the chairs. We feel accomplished. Our devices charge to 100%.
"Now boarding the next plane to your homeland."
We stand RIGHT NEXT to the gate agent. We are number 1 on the standby list (and in his heart). He keeps looking at us, nodding his assurance. We will get on. We will get on.
I was issued a ticket for the back of the plane, comfortably wedged between a window and a man I affectionately nick named, 'Stinky McNosepicker'.
Flight time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Stinky McNosepicker is a rebel. He doesn't power down any device as instructed. He tries the seat belt fake out. He looks at babies with disdain. (Dude, I want to live! It's a rule. Power down.)
He can't defeat level 43 of Candy Crush.
That's right my friends. IF our plane would have crashed, it would have likely been due to one stinky man's inability to master Candy Crush. Dude, our elbows touch. I can see your weak gaming skills. Do yourself a favor. Shower. Stop picking your nose. Follow the rules and smile at babies.
We fly 1 hour and 45 minutes through rain, lightening and thunder to arrive home to a dry homeland.
We deplane to discover our luggage made it on the earlier flight. I try to register my complaint with the gate agent only to be interrupted and told that, "There's really nothing I can do. The airline won't read any complaint. There's no use telling me."
My husband won't allow me to tattle on Stinky McNosepicker for not following the rules, so we board the shuttle to pick up our truck and drive home.
It's two days later, and my shin splints still hurt from the running. No airline or travel agency cares we were unconvinced. It's part of it.
I can laugh (a little) about it now, but at the time, it was NOT funny. I can't help but wonder..... would a tiny touch of common sense, kindness and grace helped my situation?
I have common sense, but I still ran to try and catch that plane.
I am kind often, but I still wanted to punch the gate agent that shut the door on us smack in the face.
I work on the grace thing. It's tough. I don't think I gave out any grace at that airport, but I'm sure it was extended to me from other stranded passengers.
Possibly someone nick named me, Crybaby McPouter.
I should ask the Googles.