I'm traveling today and all excited to be heading to San Diego for RWA conference. What's my most recent travel story? Well, a funny thing happened to me on the way to my TSA Pre-Check.
I have a passport. I did the online paperwork. I had an appointment with TSA, but not until the day before my flight. So last week while dropping off my husband, I zipped over to TSA (totally different terminal) and asked if I could walk in. There were four people ahead of me, after much deliberation and the agent trying to talk me out of coming early, she finally said it would be at least two hours. I was welcome to sit for those two hours, but she hoped I'd keep my appointment because it was a thirty day wait before I'd hear anything.
Really? I questioned more than once, my husband received his pre-check approval in two days. I'd at least like to try. And again she spends five minutes telling me there was no guarantee and how I should keep my appointment.
Frustrated, I left. I didn't have time to wait two hours ... I had an appointment to shop at Hobby Lobby. Hey...I'm serious. The closest Hobby Lobby to me is right at the airport and I'd promised myself I could buy three things. I ended up staying for two hours. Okay, I admit it. I love the possibilities of crafts. I pick and choose and definitely love to look.
I headed home only to find six lanes of traffic at a dead stop. The only lane open was the exit to the airport. All the voices in my head chanted... Fate. Providence. Give it one more try. So I zip once again to TSA. What could it hurt.
The two agents were chatting, ready to close up for the evening (a full forty-five minutes early). I walked straight in (the gal who'd tried to talk me out of it couldn't seem to recall our earlier, confusing conversation). Ten minutes later...done.
Checked traffic. Exited a different way. Avoided downed power lines that kept traffic tied-up for hours. I was happy. It freed me the afternoon before I was supposed to fly. I'm so glad I didn't wait. Next morning I woke up to find an email with my approval. Thirty days? Shoot, mine had taken thirteen hours according to the time stamp.
Moral of my story. . . Never give up! Never surrender! I mean never pass up a chance to shop at Hobby Lobby. California or bust!
I'm traveling today, too. Last year Angi and I shared a flight from Dallas to NYC and it was pretty uneventful. But on our return flight with American Airlines, there was a major screw up on their part. We were at the gate about ninety minutes before our 4:30 pm flight when they announced that the plane was full and that all carry-on bags would need to be checked. They also advised us to keep computers and prescription medications with us.
Picture Angi and I on the floor trying to repack our bags because...well, I'm a big druggie:) And we both had laptops. There were a slew of people in line waiting to board and Angi was a preferred passenger so she could have boarded without me, but she chose to wait. We got the bags repacked and waited for them to call the last section. People were still in line and moving very slowly. We waited in our seats and watched the gate. Names were announced on the overhead intercom and a few more people moved toward the gate so we got up and followed. We start chatting with other people who are standing there and they tell us that they are on STANDBY.
As we step around them and flash our boarding passes, the female ticket agent shoves four AA employees through the door and shuts it! Wait, wait, wait. That's our plane! We're waving our boarding passes and were told, "You weren't here so your seats were given to standby passengers." What?? We'd been sitting ten feet away for ninety minutes. "Well, we called all the names and you didn't come to the gate."
"My last name is Schliesman and I'm familiar with every mispronunciation. You didn't call my name."
"Sorry, but the plane is full. You're numbers twenty something on the stand-by list," the agent insisted with a dismissive wave.
I was really proud of Angi for not resorting to any sort of physical violence :) She called her hubby, who is a frequent flyer and he got on the phone with American and got us on another flight that departed thirty minutes later. It was priceless when Angi went to that counter and spoke to the woman who'd been so dismissive of us. The gate agent almost choked when she discovered we were, indeed, on the flight.
That would have been plenty of drama for me, but I had another flight to catch from Dallas to Wichita. Of course the gate was the last one on the concourse. I found a seat and sat for over an hour before they announced the flight was delayed. Then they announced our plane was in for repairs. Then the Captain came to the gate and announced that he had to go down to the hangar and bring the plane up to the gate. Of course, I'm scared to death to leave the gate because I have to get home and work the next day. I finally boarded the plane two hours later than scheduled. Imagine me, parched beyond belief because I couldn't buy a drink. Oh wait, I wasn't drinking an ounce of water or using the bathroom because I didn't want to get left behind...again. I'll get some water on the plane.
As soon as we're on the plane, the flight attendant announces that there are no beverages for anyone. We can wait another thirty minutes for a crew to bring drinks, or we go. We went. As we approach the Wichita airport, they announce that the walkway is broken and we will have to exit the plane down the stairs. Perfect. Down the stairs. Search for my bag and walk into the building an UP two flights of stairs. The airport was deserted, there wasn't a water fountain or vending machine in sight. I head to baggage claim which requires me to ascend two more flights of stairs and then wait at the luggage carousel. And wait. And wait. I was certain my bag had been lost but when I looked across the lobby to the baggage claim office, there was a dark colored suitcase sitting all by it's lonesome. Nice to know that anybody could have walked out with my suitcase! My daughter arrived to pick me up at 1 am and then finally home in time to meet my husband heading to work.
The only thing good about that day was our last perfect meal in NYC at a french bistro. Yummy cosmos. Hmmm...come to think bout it...maybe that's why I didn't tear into any of the ticket agents either.
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