I promised to tell a little bit of my journey home to Dallas, and so I will, although now it might just sound like whining. But really, how hard is it for air travel to be at least halfway decent?
I was destined to leave on the 9:18 flight from San Luis Airport. Normally, checking in my luggage has been the biggest hurdle when I travel. There have been a few times where we didn’t get our bag in before the “1 hr. time limit”, causing us to miss our flight. On our way back from Christmas, they discovered that we had a wine bottle in our luggage and forced me buy bubble wrap, causing me to have to re-pack my already stuffed suitcase to accomodate 3 thick inches of wasted air space. Just imagine 50 people watching you re-pack your suitcase at the Southwest counter…you get the idea.
This time, Continental decided they were going to fine me $125 bucks for being 9 pounds over the weight limit. Mind you, 50 lbs. seems like a pretty stringent requirement, especially when they are already charging $15 bucks to check the stupid thing. So I had to fit all I could in my carry-on purse and leave behind all of my shower stuff 😦 Luckily, my Matrix shampoo was Buy2 get 2 free, so I knew I had spares back in Texas. But still. I had to leave behind $50 worth of shampoo, and it did not make me happy.
Our plan after checking in my bag was for all of us to go out to breakfast in between. However, putting my suitcase on liposuction took a while. So we decided to sit at the airport’s only coffee shop and have breakfast there instead.
We did not anticipate that the college student working on Sunday mornings would be entirely incompetent. Sure, she tried to move fast, but 45 minutes later our bagels were still not ready. It was epic, watching her, like Dateline doing a special on overpaid coffee shop workers. She banged plates, broke microwaves, and still could not manage to toast a bagel.
And then, at 8:30, they started the first call for passengers aboard my flight. I thought to myself, “Boarding isn’t supposed to START until 8:50. What are they doing?” So I ignored the loudspeaker, attempting to squeeze out every single remaining minute with my family.
And then I heard MY NAME called over the loudspeaker. Apparently, I was the only passenger not on the plane.
So I had to take one bite of my newly arrived bagel, and run to security (which only had 2 people in line, luckily. This is about the ONLY thing that is advantageous about a small airport). It was here that they proceeded to throw away half of my purse. Apparently, CHAPSTICK is a gel. I felt indignant, all of these things were in my purse the last 3 times I flew, why should now be any different?
In tears over being “ripped away” from my family and getting half of my possessions thrown away, I ran out and got on the plane. It was tiny. Like one seat on each side, 5 rows deep tiny. And I was smooshed in between 6 army guys returning to base.
Luckily, they didn’t try to talk to me much. It might have had to do with the fact that I was crying (tears make men jump from bridges). Or maybe it had to do with the fact that I looked about to throw up due to all the turbulence (small planes don’t fly above the clouds). The stewardess served everyone their drink, all except for me. It was too bad, Diet Coke would have helped with all the turbulence. It also would have helped me stop crying. I mean, who can cry when they are burping carbonation?
Once I got in to LAX, I waited for 2 hours in California Pizza Kitchen, attempting to eat the only thing that I could find that was semi-Lenten friendly. Unfortunately, tuna sandwiches do not cure the nausea I was still experiencing from my flight. Then I re-purchased a few of the things that the friendly SLO airport had cleansed from my purse. Who knew chapstick costs $4 dollars at the airport? I swear, security is in cohort with Hudson News to make more money.
It was on my way to my gate that I decided to check the monitors once more. My flight was flashing.
“2 hour delay” it said.
So I resigned myself to wait for a few more hours and looked around for a seat. Unfortunately, there were none to be found. I walked around and around until I finally found a seat about 10 gates away.
Low and behold, about 30 minutes later, I heard them call my flight over the loudspeaker. Apparently, the 2 hour delay was a computer glitch!!! They were boarding…NOW. I began to panic.
And that’s when I realized that although all airports do, in fact, hate me, God, still loves me. The gate # for my flight had been changed to the exact gate I had randomly decided to sit at. All I had to do was stand up and rush onto the plane.
So, here are few things I learned:
1. Tuna burps are a great help with motion sickness.
2. Do not expect to know where or when your flight is leaving. The time they say is never the actual time. Just run around looking for an empty plane. Keep an open mind and do not worry about where you are headed.
3. Do not wear clothes through security. They might try to take them away. Instead, just save yourself the trouble and wait to buy a sweatshirt with the city name written on it.