Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Which Way Did It Go?

Today I flew across the country to the opposite coast. I haven't flown in a number of years so it was almost a new experience. I think the security screening needs a little work as well as the baggage handling.

I got my boarding pass before the crack of dawn and carried my luggage to the new fangled bag imaging screening center. They took my bag and put it in its own waiting line. It had it tags and TSA locks and was ready for the ordeal. I then marched off to find my screening area.

The human screening area had more cattle fence then the stockyard. Since it was so early I could see across the entire expanse of maze like corridors. I quickly did the maze and got my instructions as I approached the machines.

"Take off your shoes and coat and place them in a bin. Take everything out of your pockets and place them in bin. Laptops need to be removed from their bag and placed in a bin by themselves. PDA's, cell phones and other electronic devises can be placed in a bin together. Please place your carry on bag in its own bin."

As I took off my shoes and coat and was unloading my pockets an older lady behind me said to her husband, "It would be easier if we came to the airport naked and got dressed here!"

I now had five bins to keep track of and the walk of fame through the detector tunnel. I made it without a bell and quickly went over to the machine to start collecting my bins. I couldn't imagine what this would be like during the peak of the day. Just about everyone I saw had three to five bins. It is amazing more stuff doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

While I was loading back up, a woman's bag was stopped and opened because she had a half a tube of toothpaste. They couldn't let that get past them. The tube read six ounces and they can only allow four ounce tubes. The lady protested that it is over half empty but rules are rules.

Boarding the plane was as crazy as I remember it. They board from the front to the back so everyone can be in your way as they try to stow their bags, slowing the line down to a crawl. Actually, it was slower because I was passed by a toddler in a rush with a parent attempting hot pursuit. It isn't easy dodging through bumper to bumper people with multiple bags hanging off your body to catch your child.

Up and down the first flight went great. Oh, did I mention the newlyweds I was seated next to. I changed seats before we hit the air.

My second flight started much like the first but I was hoping it would be great as well. I was in a packed plane sitting on the aisle next to a mother and her five year old. Behind me was a mother and her infant. My hopes were fading fast. As soon as the plane moved the five year old had to use the bathroom and would have climbed over the seats to gt there.

Five bathroom trips for the child and no food I landed at my destination. I turned on my cell phone and immediately got a call. I was informed that my bag was in Texas. The lady in Texas assured me she would put it on the next flight to me. I quickly wrote down all the various confirmation and tracking numbers as well as phone number and name around the edge of my boarding pass. I was about to visit the tomb of lost luggage. I had better news then most, I knew where my bag was. How did it get there when I didn't go to Texas? I filled out all the paperwork and passed it to the clerk. She was buried in luggage. The lobby was full. The counter area was full. She offered to show me the back room. She was quite skeptical that I actually knew where mine was when so many didn't. She said she would have it sent to me at my hotel.

If you want to know how it all turns out, leave me a comment or two and I will tell you "The Rest Of The Story".

Special thanks to my loving wife and family who are going it alone while I am gone. I miss you all very much.

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Blogger Bushwack said...

Sounds like my trip to NC during the holidays, Add in a 5 hour layover in DFW and you nailed it.

8:00 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger TexasFred said...

I used to enjoy flying...

8:12 PM, February 27, 2007  

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