Traveling by plane post 9-11 just isn’t what it used to be. Ain’t THAT an understatement!
I tried to get to the Continental counter 1 hour before my flight. Tried. Keyword. This story may have a few more keywords to come…
San Diego is making improvements. Continental is hidden waaaayyyyyy at the end. After all the shuttles wedging their way in and out, cars slowing down to pick people up or drop others off, and this is my excuse for being 15 minutes late on my desired 1-hour before thing (that and every single light on the way there was RED).
Our airport is usually chill and relaxed, but thanks to all the improvements, it was BONKERS! As I make my way to the Continental counter, I notice everybody and their brother decided to take an early flight out of town. Sweet. I take my spot last in line behind hundreds of others. Silently begging an attendant to yell out for those on MY flight to move forward. A quick scan of the room tells me this place is full of frustrated travelers and lacks employees. Staff patiently standing by waiting to assist ME in getting ME comfortably sitting in MY seat are nowhere to be seen…
Finally, 5 minutes later it happens “Everybody on the 6:15 flight stay in THIS line, everybody else, come here!” Yes. Sweet mother of grace, my good karma is still in check. Only thing is I’m not the only one with good karma – evidently the majority of people ahead of me are on the 6:15 flight. Bummer.
After finally checking in, giving my suitcase away I’m instructed to head to the far end of the airport for security. At the entrance to security I’m told if I’m not on the 6:15 flight I’ll have to wait aside. I show my ticket he let’s me make my way to the end of the lovely line. Once there I realize I’m light. Lighter than I should be. Odd. I look down at my hands and realize they’re empty. Odd. Shouldn’t I have something in my hands? Shouldn’t I? What did I have in my hands? Oh crap! I left my laptop on the friggin floor at the Continental check-in, of course the LAST counter furthest away from me!
I run back yelling “Excuse me! Excuse me! Coming through!” praying and hoping my laptop will still be there as I’m scanning every single person looking for my slim little black skin carrying my beloved laptop… “I FORGOT MY LAPTOOOOOP!” I yell at the ladies behind the counter. And of course it was necessary for them to explain to me the importance of tagging my bags. Nope. I have no name on my laptop bag. Why would I? I NEVER leave it behind anywhere! Never!
Back at security “Yes sir, I’m on the 6:15, here’s my ticket!” And now the long ass line. Again a wonderful staffer yells at us “If you’re on the 6:15 come here and stay here!” What is it with everybody on the 6:15 flight? Collectively arriving at the last minute? By then it’s 6 am. I’m far behind the line. But being surrounded by hoards of 6:15’ers I reassure everybody around me it’ll be ok, there’s too many of us, the plane will wait.
And I know this because?
And what is up with people and their luggage on the plane? It’s only $25 people. Take your shit and check it in! This guy in front of me is alone, he’s got 2 suitcases and a “carry-on”. TWO suitcases. And he looks angry, but then again we all do. Being yelled at over and over will do that. Finally I make it to the slick counter and the plastic crates. I start taking my boots off (they’re sweet boots, if I’m going to Montreal I am so wearing my sweet sweet boots!” and in follows my belt, my purse, and all the other metal stuff I’m wearing. What can I say I love to accessorize!
I notice the angry dude has a crate full of stuff. Big shampoo bottles. Old bottles, not new ones. Cans of some drink I’ve never seen in my life. OK, so he’s got like close to a gallon of liquids. Being the calm cool collected person that I am I look at the security guy with eyes popping out and ask if they’ve changed their liquid limits? “Nope, we’re just scanning this stuff to make sure it is what he says it is, but it’s NOT getting on the plane!” Now the angry dude who’s on my plane who’s carrying enough liquids to hydrate a camel has noticed me.
To be continued!