Monday, August 17, 2009

Please tell me I’m not alone!

The subtitle for this blog post ought to read: Dumb Things I Gotta Confess. (grin)

My blog last month was all about the excitement of getting ready to leave for the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference. In fact, I’d even said the following in my post:

“However, the plane leaves tomorrow morning and--prepared or not--I’ll be on it.”

Well...umm...I wasn’t.

That’s right--I missed my plane!

Okay, I’m so not a frequent flyer. But punctual is a different story. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check my baggage and wait for my flight. Even had time for a leisurely breakfast in a concourse restaurant with my carry-on bag by my side and a good book in my hands. For someone who flies once a year, I felt like a seasoned traveler.

Breakfast over, with still more than an hour before my flight, I freshened up and took my time heading to the short line at the security checkpoint.

Well, who knew that once you walked past the first dividers at the checkpoint, that tiny little line actually went on and on and on, weaving in and out and up and down and back and forth on a never-ending path to the ACTUAL checkpoint?!?

No worries. Still an hour to go before my flight.

I couldn’t understand why the woman with the two little boys who stood a path-length row behind me seemed so harried. The boys kept telling her their plane didn’t leave for another thirty minutes.

I didn’t see why the elderly couple a half-row back looked so anxious.

I had no clue why the woman up ahead with the two carry-ons, oversized handbag, and three plastic convenience store carrier bags had cornered an attendant and seemed to be negotiating frantically (and unsuccessfully) with him.

Then I saw how swiftly the line was moving--not!--and everything became magically clear.

No problem. Still fifteen minutes to go before my flight left.

I made it through the checkpoint without a problem and hurried my pace just a bit to get to my gate with three minutes to spare!

Well, who knew they actually closed the doors of the plane before the scheduled takeoff time?!?

I’d been on plenty of flights before where we’d had to sit around for last-minute passengers to board. Guess this wasn’t one of them.

So, my flight plans were rescheduled, putting me on a plane that would leave three hours later.

No big deal. We all know wait time is like a gift to a writer and reader. The good thing about this experience was I had time to sit and finish my book!

The bad thing was...I felt like the world’s biggest idiot.

Please tell me I’m not the only person who has ever done something silly like this!

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille


Anonymous said...

I really hate flying so I don't have to worry about that. I have friends though who fly and they say it takes forever to get checked in now to fly. They usually get there at least 2 hours before flight time.

Linda Henderson

Estella said...

Flew from Oregon to Michigan a couple of summers ago. Our airport recommended we be in the security line at least two hours before departure time.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Linda,

Thanks for stopping by!

I actually did allow the two hours, but didn't realize that meant the LINE for the checkpoint!! LOL

Next time, I'll know better.


Barbara White Daille said...


Your airport sounds as bad as mine.

As I said above, lesson learned. (The hard way, unfortunately. LOL)


magolla said...

I've never missed my flight, but that doesn't mean I don't worry about it every single time.

It's worse when you hit the red-eye flights, BUT if the line splits follow the dudes in business suits--they know how to stream-line the process.

Melanie Atkins said...

Our airport is pretty small and there is never much of a line. That's the good thing about living in a place that's on the beaten track but isn't a hub of any kind.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I almost missed our flight to Costa Rice (due to airline problems, not ours). We got to the gate and they told us it was too late but we argued with them as the plane was still at the gate. We made them push the gate back to the plane door and open the door. There were two people sitting in our seats! (We had exit row seats). They were not happy when we showed up and claimed the seats. LOL

I ALMOST missed a connecting flight because I thought I had 90 minutes between flights BUT I forgot that I'd gone from CST to EST and I really only had 30 minutes. I was sitting at a table sipping coffee when I glanced at a clock and realized my mistake. Hoofed it to the gate in time, but not by much! LOL

So, no. You're not alone We ALL do these things. With the security checks, I never know how much time to budget.

Basically, where I used to love to fly, I just hate it now.

Barbara White Daille said...


I'm a worrier, also, so it was very odd that I was THAT relaxed about this flight. Should have known better! LOL

Thanks for the tip, too. It'll come in handy...if I EVER decide to fly again.... (grin)


Barbara White Daille said...


The hub cities can sometimes have humongous numbers of travellers.

There's definitely a lot to be said for living off the beaten track.


Barbara White Daille said...


You've had your share of airport excitement!

I wonder if I would have had any luck if I'd argued with them last month? Probably not, but it might have been fun to try.

As for the clocks, yes, that would have thrown me, too! Since I'm from the East coast and now live in the West, I still have to backtrack to NY time to figure out what time it is everywhere else. LOL


Edie Ramer said...

That's awful! I've had a connecting flight where the connections missed, and I had to take the next flight. That is not fun. Next year a friend and I are driving to Tennessee for the conference. It will be 8 hours, but at least we won't have to worry about catching a plane.

Lynn said...

Barbara, I haven't been on a plane in a while but I'm always anxious about making the plane. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Liz L. said...

I am a frequent flyer, and I never mess with times. I get there early, get through security, then go eat or curl up with a good book.

At least you're not as bad as my sisters (senior citizens)who visited me the first part of July. They got to the airport two hours early, went to the bar for a quick drink and missed the stupid flight. They said they never heard the guy paging them. My husband had AA information on their beds when they finally got here!!LOL

Amy Atwell said...

My favorite airport gaff story was before 2001--back before they checked your ticket ten times before you got to the gate. I lived in Chicago and worked for a big national company. A number of coworkers (me included) were scheduled to fly to an important national meeting in Dallas. Naturally, we all gathered at O'Hare, the big Chicago airport to await our flight.

That's when we realized we weren't all on the same flight. In fact, two of our group realized they'd been booked by the travel office of our company to fly out of Midway, the other Chicago airport!

Holy smokes, you should have seen them run from the terminal trying to flag down a cab!

So, at least you were in the right airport on the right day prepared to get on the right flight...

Barbara White Daille said...

Edie - it wasn't a lot of fun, except for the getting to finish my book part. LOL

I hear you on driving. It beats having to spend four or more hours in the airport (two-plus hours each way). I wish more of the conferences were in driving distance for me.


Barbara White Daille said...

Lynn - thanks for sharing.

It's nice to know I'm not alone, either. ;-)


Barbara White Daille said...

Liz L - I did arrive early and do everything you mentioned--except getting on the right side of the security checkpoint. LOL

I'm ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing) at your husband's response!!! And am wonderng if your sisters are still speaking to him! ;0)


Barbara White Daille said...

Amy - OMGosh, what a mixup.

I'd really have been a lot less relaxed about the entire situation if that had happened to me!

And yes, I have to be thankful that I had *most* of the details under control. LOL


Mary Marvella said...

Well, there was the time I left my driver's license at the security area where I had to deposit shoes, jewelry, change and all the crap in my pockets. There wasn't time to make my fight by the time I ran back through the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

On the way to DC this summer, I rushed to my flight gate, only to learn I had misunderstood the ticket guy by 2 letters. I barely made my flight!

Barbara White Daille said...

Mary - glad you made the flight to DC.

You've definitely got me beat on the other story. I would FLIP if I found out I'd left my driver's license behind!

Once, I mislaid my pocketbook at the mall--but that's a story for another blog post. (If I can ever get up the nerve to share it. LOL)


penney said...

I don't like flying I went from California to London a few times the last time I went from London to LA California with my 2 girls then 3 months old and 15 months old they did pretty good but wore me out it was a 14 1/2 hour flight as we had some thunder storms to go through that was scary. Great blog today, thanks

Barbara White Daille said...


OMGosh, that must have been such a terrible flight, especially with two little girls.

Since I'm such an INfrequent flyer, every little bit of turbulence has me nervous. You deserve a medal for going through that!

Hope all your future flights are smooth ones.