Airplane Adventures

I’m writing this in the Dallas airport, which does not have wifi, so I will post this when I get home. I’m connecting to a flight home to San Jose coming from my weekend in Kansas City with Brad. I think the KC airport is one of my favorite that I’ve been in since all the changes brought about by 9/11. The secured gate area is separated from the unsecured area by only a window. Security was on par with everywhere else I’ve been, but it’s just so small that you don’t have a lot of other travelers to contend with. That meant Brad and I could talk pretty much up until my flight started boarding, which was only a few minutes after I had checked my bag. It looked like there was a possibility of volunteering my seat and taking a later flight- I’m all about that, because travel vouchers are a fabulous thing- but that ended up not working out, so I left Brad to board my flight. But it turned out not to be my flight.
The KC airport had two flights to Dallas leaving a half hour apart, two gates apart. I went to the jetway, got my boarding pass scanned, and headed for the plane. They had to call me back and tell me that I was attempting to board the wrong flight. Ooops. So I went to the right gate and waited.
I consider myself to be a pretty good traveler. I’m very go-with-the-flow. So when my flight didn’t board on time because the plane arrived late, it didn’t faze me. I’m not sure I gave it more than even a passing notice.
To my surprise, when they were calling standby passengers for the flight, they called my name. I grew up flying standby, so I’m pretty familiar with that drill, but I had a confirmed ticket for the flight. Turned out they wanted to ask me if I’d change my seat for a seat in another row so a young standby passenger could sit with her mother. They were trading my window seat for another window seat, so it was a total non-issue for me. They called my boarding group and I headed onto the plane. The woman seated on the aisle was already aboard, and our conversation was as follows”
Me: Hi, I’m in F. Excuse me.
Her: Do you like the window seat?
Me: Yes, I do. It allows a tiny bit of extra room.
Her: I do too.
I thought to myself, “That’s nice. You should have booked earlier.” Is that really any way to ask someone to trade seats with you? The couple seated behind us was also trying to do some seat swapping so they could sit together. My rowmate, (henceforth referred to as “Aisle”, agreed to switch until she realized they had a center seat to trade, not a window. Finally the guy just took his assigned seat between Aisle and myself. Right around this time, the flight attendant was a bit annoyed, asking for everyone to take their seats. Aisle’s response was “We’re trying! Maybe if you’d board on time we wouldn’t have this problem.”
Well then.
The flight took off, and I was very sad to see KC disappearing beneath the plane, but there will be other visits. I settled into the flight with my “approved electronic device” (ipod) once I was allowed to turn it on. The flight was a bit bumpy due to weather issues, but mild turbulence doesn’t bother me at all. The captain came on and said to prepare for approach, which meant turning off electronic devices, so off went the music and I slid the ‘pod into my purse. I leaned back and closed my eyes, waiting for the descent and landing.
The captain came back on the speaker. That’s not generally a good sign. Turned out a cold front had come into Dallas and we could no longer approach from the north, we had to come in from the south, and planes were backed up so we got to circle for 35 minutes, with no electronic devices. That part was pretty boring, though I did sneak out my camera and take a couple of pictures of the clouds.
We finally landed, about 35 minutes late, which meant several people on the plane would be scrambling to make their connections. The guy next to me made it out of our row, and I pulled my laptop and purse out from under the seat in front of me. I should note that we were in row 9, with about 20 rows’ worth of people behind us. Once I ot my stuff, I tried to hurry a little bit because people were waiting. Then I realized that Aisle was standing in the middle of the aisle, collecting her 4 (??) carryons, and getting herself situated. Seriously, she had a purse, a big rolling laptop bag, a neck pillow, a regular pillow, and a coat. People were looking pretty irrateted behind us, and I was too a bit. She was being incredibly inconsiderate. She finally got moving and I slipped quickly into the aisle behind her. She stopped again on the jetway, but at least there people could move past her. As I walked to the trams that take you to the different gates, people who had deplaned after me were running. I hope they made their flights. My layover in Dallas is about two hours, so I had time to make a call, take a picture, grab a bite to eat, and write this. My flight to San Jose should be boarding soon, and as sad as I was to be leaving Brad and Company behind (his wife and kids really are as fabulous as he says), I’m glad to be going home to my cat and my own bed.