Saturday, July 31, 2010

airport adventure (lyn)

Up at 4:30.  It's still dark outside.  I pack something for the plane, figuring I may as well start the trip with a healthy breakfast.  Hard boiled eggs for Alexander.   And lox, with a smear of cream cheese and a 100-point bagel for me.  Grapes and blueberries for whoever wants them.

Last time I flew was in March when we went to Durham.  I remember following the airport-hype and getting to the airport hours early, then checking through in minutes.  I did not want to make the same mistake this time.  And besides, who'd be flying to Chicago in the summer, on a Saturday morning at daybreak? 

We're at LaGuardia by 5:30am, and it looks like the rest of Manhattan is also there.  Throngs of people all over the place.  Fortunately, I had printed out our boarding passes so we could skip check-in.  But getting through security was also a mess, or as my mother would say, a "real horror scene."  The line snakes around so many times that from the back of the line it is impossible to even see the security scanners.  It takes over 45 minutes to get to the head of the line, and the girl in front of us misses her flight.

We take off our shoes.  Put our carry on bags on the conveyer belt.  The phones go in another bin.  And then we both are asked to open our bags.  Alexander has to relinquish his shaving cream and I lose my new tube of toothpaste.  Then one of the joyless check-in people nicks the back of my foot with a big rolling cart. She totally lacks remorse.

With five minutes to spare, I grab a cup of coffee and Alexander gets some juice.

Finally, we're on the plane.  I had booked seats 16D and 16F assuming no one would then choose 16E.  I hadn't counted on a totally booked flight.  So we sit down, and the guy between us is on his phone, which prompts me to take out mine.  Except it's not in my purse.    I look again with the same result.  Nada.  It must still be in the security bin.

I call a flight attendant over and she lets me get off the plane.  The person at the gate tells me I have 5 minutes.  I feel like OJ Simpson in those old Hertz ads, as I run through the airport, back to the check in. 

I see another bored-looking smileless guard and ask him if he's found a phone.  "What color?"  "White," I say.  He hands me my phone.

I run back to the gate, board the plane.  An eventful day already.

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