So I had to travel to Nebraska for a business trip this week. As usual, the trip has been an adventure so far. It all began early Monday morning. I mean early! I set my alarm clock for 3 a.m., but was so tired that I didn’t actually get moving until 3:15 a.m. So I was fifteen minutes behind schedule.
I showered, dressed, grabbed a to go cup of coffee and was out the door by 4! I drove to the airport in the dark, praying that no deer or other other animals would be out on the country roads that morning. Fortunately, I did not see any (I don’t know if they were there, I just didn’t see any).
I arrived at the long term parking lot in Albany, NY at 5:15 a.m. and waited outside for the shuttle. Luckily it was cool, but not so cold that I was shivering. I got on the shuttle with my large suitcase, and we waited as a lady ran to the shuttle. She was also running late, but her plane was due to take off at 6, and it was already 5:30 by the time we got to the airport terminal. I don’t think she made her flight.
I checked in at the counter, where the ticket agent weighed my bag. It came in at a whopping 48.5 pounds. I made the limit by 1.5 pounds! I had to pay $ 25 for the bag, and I handed the agent my debit card. She swiped it and then placed it back on top of the granite counter. I went to reach for it and it slid right off of the counter and down in back of her computer!
Great. Now what do I do? Luckily another agent came over and between the two of them, they were able to move the computer. But couldn’t get the card. I could see it against the back of the counter and with my coaching, the agent was able to retrieve it for me! The roller-coaster of emotions I was feeling was a bit much to handle at 5:40 a.m., but I got through it and walked off to the security check point.
Since it was Monday morning, the airport was crowded, but the line for security moved at a steady pace. I was prepared, as I’d been through this airport ritual a few times in the last couple of years, so I knew the drill. I had my license and the boarding pass ready. I had taken off my jacket and grabbed the bins to place all of the contents of my pockets in the bin and then took off my shoes. I placed my purse in another bin and was good to go. But as I walked into the full body scan and raised my arms over my head, the beep went off.
I was instructed to step aside, where a female security guard used the wand on me. “There is something on your waist,” she said. I realized that I had worn a belt and forgot to take it off. So I took off the belt and handed it to her. She then took her gloved hands, and with some kind of pad, swiped the inside of my pants where my belt was. As she did this, she explained that she had to swab the entire waist band.
“Lift up your shirt so that I can see your waist,” she said to me. As I did this, to my horror and complete embarrassment in front of everyone, my pants started to fall.
“You’re losing your pants!” she said.
“Yeah, that’s why I was wearing the belt!”
I have been losing weight recently and my pants were getting lose, so that’s why I chose to wear the belt that morning. After recovering from the debit card ordeal and then the dropping of the pants, I thought I was ready to move on. Not so fast, though.
“We have to inspect your purse,” another guard said to me. “Step over here while we do that.”
Over to the side I went, as they took everything out of my purse. What did I have in my purse? Well, there was a Kindle, two cell phones, two phone chargers, Weight Watchers snacks, my ticket, my wallet, my vitamins, my prescriptions, pens, a note pad, and several other items. All of these were haphazardly placed back in the purse. So much for my organized travel bag!
After all of that, I was finally released to go to the gate. Instead, I walked directly over to Starbucks for a large coffee. By the time I got to the gate, they were already boarding and I walked right up and onto the ramp to the plane. Phew!
We landed in Minneapolis, and according to my itinerary, my next flight was due to leave at 9:10 a.m. By the time we de-boarded the plane, it was 8:50 a.m., and I thought “wonderful. I have twenty minutes before my next plane is leaving! They must be boarding already. I hope my 48.5 pound suitcase makes the transfer!”
I stepped into the airport and looked at the board to find the gate that I needed to be for the flight to Omaha. But it stated gate 14B, and that was the gate that I just stepped out of. So I was a little confused. I looked over at the desk, and sure enough, the sign stated Omaha. So I realized that I would be getting on the same plane that I just got out of! Why did they even make me get off of the plane?
I didn’t see any agents at the gate, and thought it was strange that no one was boarding the plane yet. I waited another five minutes, getting nervous now, and thinking that something was just not right. Then I looked at my phone and realized what had happened. I’d flown into the Central time zone! So I actually had one hour and ten minutes before the next flight.
I had breakfast and then met up with a coworker who had flown from Baltimore, and then we both boarded the plane I had stepped off of a little while ago. It was a short flight (only 45 minutes). We landed on time in Omaha, where the outside temperature was already 80 degrees at 10:00 in the morning.
We met up with another coworker who had flown from Atlanta, and the three of us walked to the car rental desk. I was exhausted from the trip already!
It has been an adventure here, to say the least. I am already thinking about the flight home, where my boss told us that we will probably get out early and can fly stand by. Oh, that should be fun!