Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Minnesota 2015 - Checkpoint Shuffle

Arriving at the airport for the short hop to Hibbing, Minnesota I am informed that the plane will be delayed 22 minutes. I, after my previous airline misadventure on this trip , was willing to settle for the plane leaving sometime within the next 24 hours.

The security checkpoint, from a distance, looked daunting. As I was approaching the line a man, wearing the vivid yellow nylon vest of someone that would know about airport stuff, came up to the last few people in the winding line instructing them to follow him. I figure, what the hell, my flight is late, I am early and join the pack. He leads us down an escalator to an airport tram entrance. He informs us that he is taking us to the little known security checkpoint 10. After following him onto the tram and up an escalator I see the man at the head of the pack begin to pump his fist in the air. As we get to the top we discovered that the dozen or so of us have a checkpoint all to ourselves. Shoes off, pockets emptied, body scanned, patted down, shoes back on, now to find concourse B. 

Down an escalator, down a moving walkway, restroom pit stop, down another moving walkway, down an escalator following signs telling me I was heading towards concourse B. On a tram, up an escalator, at this point I was beginning to wonder if I am still in Minnesota. Perhaps I am the latest victim of some horrible concourse B hoax.

Eventually I do find my gate. The plane that was supposed to be late has been switched for one already at the airport so at the gate we are informed that the flight may take off on time after all, we are just waiting for the crew. I was still processing my arduous trip to the gate. Information overload, I was becoming dizzy. Text message, travel buddy leaving for the airport to pick me up. Text message from husband, "Are you at the airport yet?" Please let me on the plane so I can have an hours peace! First officer arrives, rest of crew MIA. Plane that was supposed to leave late, then on time, will now leave even later than before. At this point I've almost gone mad! Gate agent, bless her heart, is trying to keep us up to date. At this point she should get hazard pay. Plane now delayed a further 10 minutes. Plane late, plane on time, plane late again, plane later. My head is beginning to swim, my vision is beginning to blur. Flight attendant arrives, only one, it is a tiny plane. Now just waiting for the captain, the one who actually flies the plane. Still, we're were seeing progress. Good thing I had a good, substantial breakfast that morning. I found myself becoming spiritual, "The plane will leave when the plane will leave. It is in the hands of God." They ask, half joking, I hoped, if there was a volunteer willing to fly the plane. We were still waiting for the captain. As we are boarding the captain appears. I might get to Hibbing after all.

As I said as I got on a train 4 days earlier "What's life without a little adventure.?"

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