Sunday, January 08, 2006

I'm not very good at airports.

6:30 am

After only a mere two hours of sleep punctuated by a hacking cough, Chloe drops me off at the airport, lugs my huge bag out of the car, gives me a hug goodbye, and scurries back to her car to drive back to her nice warm bed. I have 7 hours of journeying ahead of me before I can fall into my own bed.

6:31 am

I walk through the airport doors to discover the longest line to known to mankind. The line is meandering down the hallway, and only a lucky few people are actually even within the ropes. I check out the self-serve area, only to discover an equally long line-up for checking in. Since I don't have a confirmation number or a credit card, I have to stand in the main line-up.


I am on the verge of entering the roped-off area (not even close to the front of the line) when a WestJet employee informs us that the line we are standing in is for international flights only. Fuck. My nose is beginning to run and my ear is plugged up from my ear infection.


After searching through my bags, I discover a confirmation number, and print out my boarding pass. I begin standing in line #2.


I am nowhere near the end of the baggage check line. I look at my boarding pass. "Boarding time: 7:00am." I snort snot back into my throat. This can't be happening to me.


I cut to the front of the line to check in my bag. I'm starting to freak out. Actually, I'm starting to cry. "What is security like? Can I jump the line in security somehow?" I ask the girl at the desk. "There's no line-up right now," she assures me, "you'll be fine, it will take no time at all." I walk away, to leave my baggage with her, when she calls me back, "Your bag is oversized, you need to take it down there," she says, pointing to the furthest kiosk from where I am standing, not to mention the furthest point from security.

7:04 am

I run with my bag to the end. Nobody pays attention to me, and wonders why I'm cutting in front of line. I begin to wail. A kind older gentleman takes my bag away from me. I'm ready for action. Except, in my hand, I'm holding nothing. Where the hell is my boarding pass?


I run down to the other kiosk again, cutting in front of people, tripping over bags, pushing over kids, and crying. I NEED to catch my flight. The woman looks at me snottily, "You forgot this," she says, handing it over.


Despite the assurances of the airline agent, there is the second longest line-up known to humanity at security. I push my way to front of the line. "I need to get through security right now, my plane is boarding right now," I blubber. "Actually," says the woman, "you need to have a Westjet agent with you for that." I start hysterically sobbing again. She looked afraid. "Uh, I'll let you through. Go to that line-up there."

7:11 am

In front of me are a couple with two young daughters, ages about 1 and 3. They have to empty the entire contents of their diaper bags through the x-ray. Finally, it's time for them to walk through the metal detector. The little girls start bawling, and are afraid to walk through alone.

7:17 am

I'm really glad that I stood in the "fast" security line. My day is going awesome. I'm crying more than the little girls.

7:19 am

I have made it through security, and am running to my gate. It's close, I can see the last few people getting on the plane in sight. Okay. I'm ready to go. Boarding pass? In my hand. Luggage? Heavy on my back. Photo identification? ID? Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

7:20 am

I run back towards security. I don't see my ID on the floor anywhere. Some guys see me running, and stop me, "That guy up there picked up your ID," they tell me, pointing at a guy who is way down, way past my gate. Seriously, karma, why do you have to be like this? I know I got into trouble over the break, but this is just inappropriate.

7:21 am

I touch the arm of the guy who has my ID. "Uh, you have ID? Where ID?" I mumble incoherently. He turns around to face me. He is the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life. And to top it off, he has serious beard potential. And then, he says to me in a British accent (yes, a British accent!), "Oh, yes, I found this. It certainly looks like you."

Now, in some other dimension, I won't be late for my plane. I will have just lost my ID, only to have had it picked up by the most smokin' man alive. This is the stuff porns are made of. And if not, at least a half decent romantic comedy. Hell, I'll settle for a romantic comedy starring Freddie Prinze Junior at this point. Anyways, he'll give me my ID, and then I'll buy him a coffee and thanks, and we'll talk and laugh, and I'll be witty and remarkable and come across as a jet-setter.

In reality, I have snot all over my face, I'm bawling, my nose is chapped, and I haven't showered in two days. I search my mind for something intelligent to say. "Uh, head. Not attached to body. My body." Yes, I'm brilliant. I begin running back in the other direction to get to my plane.


I get on the plane, 6 minutes before it's set to take off. My seat is between a gorgeous German guy about my age, who politely helps me put my jacket in the overhead bins, and a 10-year-old girl who seems really smart and won't make for bad company. They both begin talking to me, and the German and I exchange knowing smiles over the funny things the little girl says. I'm relieved that the trauma of my morning is over.


The plane takes off. "So, what were you doing in Canada?" I inquire of the German. "Oh, I was visiting my in-laws. My wife is taking the 2 pm flight home." Well, there goes that. At least there is still the 10-year-old. And if all else fails, I have only slept for two hours, and I can always just pass out.

7:40 am

It has taken me 10 minutes to discover I'm sitting beside the most annoying 10-year-old in history. For the remainder of our flight, she talks non-stop, mainly about how much she got for Christmas, along with about how awesome Hilary Duff is. Even when I pretend to sleep, she continues to talk, and pokes my arm so that I "wake up."

Did I deserve all this? Probably.

But just for once, I'd like to be able to fly someplace without crying.

1 comment:

  1. so you DID write about your airport trauma in the end. don't worry, it's all over now.