I was catching up on my reading yesterday when I came across this wonderful post from The Hook. He offered some travel suggestions to Becca. I got to thinking and decided that maybe I should go the other route. How about a story about one of my personal Travel Woes?
I’m sure it won’t compare to Becca‘s though. I’ve never had to spend the night in, or near, an airport to catch a flight. And it happened at DFW International Airport at that. That’s got to be the worst! That place is huge! I believe there are five terminals…the majority you can’t get to unless you take a TRAIN! A train…that travels outside of the airport. The last terminal you can only get to by either a canoe or a hot air balloon, I can’t remember which. (I think this is where Southwest Airline’s Gates are, but don’t tell them I said that.)
No, my story takes place during a trip between Northwest Arkansas and Miami, Florida. There were a few first on this trip, and even a second…but we’ll get to that later.
I was watching them install the parts I had quoted and programmed, on a webcam. They were for the University of Miami. The boss walked in and watched for a few seconds, then pointed to the screen saying “you wanna see them in person?” Confused, I managed a nervous “sure…” They had a brake metal coping job they wanted us to do and I was going to work through all the drawings with them. I was around 21 or 22 years old and from a small town, so I hadn’t done anything like this before.
I didn’t have a debit card at this point, so they gave me a check and had me open an account at a local bank. I received a card that day. I would need it for the car rental, hotel and all other expenses along the way. I was also driving a less than reliable car, so the boss had me take his to the airport, which was about an hour and a half from where I live.
I got to the airport just fine, got through security just fine…only to have to wait for the plane to come in. Our plane was coming from Chicago, but it had to turn around half way to go back for repairs. Yes! My favorite type of delay! I had some time to kill so I headed on over to the nearest drinking hole and ordered an eight dollar Screwdriver. I especially remember this drink, and the next one, because I forgot the receipts. This was also about 9:00 am.
The boss called to check on me and warned me to be ready for the connecting flight when I got there. I was headed to Miami, by way of Atlanta. Atalanta is another craptacular airport, if you ask me. I was told that it had a smoking room (you know, like a fish tank for smokers), but I wasn’t going to have to worry about that.
After our plane finally landed we found out that we were going to have to board outside. I had never done that before. This was a very small plane, where I got to sit in the very back…with the bathroom on one side, and a first time flyer on the other. I never fake slept so much in my life. We got on our way and the pilot told us that we were running late, but he was going to do all he could to make up some time in the air. He didn’t make up enough though.
We landed in Atlanta, got off outside the airport, waited to pick up our luggage from the side of the plane, and then proceeded to run to my connecting flight. I didn’t make it…and was put on stand-by. This was the first time that I had ever missed a connecting flight. I was far enough away from the smokers aquarium that I couldn’t chance going for it, so I waited for my next flight to come in. Luckily I was able to get on the very next one.
The trip was okay. I ended up getting sick during it, like cold sick…not puke bag sick. I didn’t get to see the beach…other than flying over it. The company I visited was nice though, they treated me well.
It was time to come home. I returned the rental car alright, got tp the airport alright, got through security alright…only to see that my plane was delayed once again, and once again while in the air we were assured that the time would be made up. It wasn’t. I missed my connecting flight…in Atlanta, for only the second time in my life. Once again I was far enough away from the smokers pit to not be able to chance it. Once again I only had to wait on stand-by for one flight. Once again I turned to the Screwdriver.
I don’t remember anything after this. The boss doesn’t like smoking, but I’m sure I put down a whole pack in that hour and a half drive home, after dealing with this trip.
Do you have any “travel woes” stories?