Sunday, March 19, 2006

I hate flying

Last week I had a short notice business trip to Chaska Minnesota. I flew out on Wednesday and back on Friday evening. It all started when I had to fly out of LAX instead of Orange County airport. Of course the timing was just right so I could compete with morning rush hour traffic to get to the airport on time. Did I mention I hate flying?

I then get to the airport, stand in line to get my boarding pass. I was smart enough to not check any baggage, so I skipped the baggage x-ray line. I ran into a co-worker in the line to get in the security line. That wait passed fairly quickly and we moved on to the real security line (don't ask). Once we were in the real security line for a while, so TSA guy came by checking boarding passes and leaves me in my line, but puts my co-worker in another (shorter) line. Did I mention I hate flying?

So my line slowly shuffles forward and the departure time for my flight approaches. Finally they come around and start pulling people from the line who were on my flight. My co-worker has long since cleared security and disappeared from sight. I now get my chance and manage to get through security with only one do-over. I had to remove my belt buckle and try again. Did I mention I hate flying?

So I stumble out of security, holding my pants up, trying to stick my laptop back in its bag, while dragging my suitcase and get hailed by a collection of co-workers (in total 9 of us were on this trip). Apparently our flight has been canceled and we are in a new line to get new boarding passes for a different flight. Did I mention I hate flying?

So after waiting for 45 minutes in the new boarding pass line, we get our new boarding passes and have an hour and a half to wait for the flight. Now Northwest, who we were flying, has this new "oversell the flight" policy. Part of their "get out of bankrupcy" plan no doubt. Unfortunately this means everyone is stuffed into the plane as much as possible. Did I mention I hate flying?

So we finally get on board and I am sitting in the middle of row, seat 20E, and there is no place to store our carry on luggage by the time we board. Apparently the DC10 overhead compartments are smaller than normal, so you get less bags in them and most of the people in our group had to then check their suitcases. Now the seat itself is exactly the same width as me. This means once I am sitting, I can no longer get into my pockets. So I have to sit with my arms crossed on my chest so I don't take any space from my seatting companions. Fortunately we had a strong tail wind, so I only had to sit this way for 2 and 1/2 hrs rather than the expected 3 and 1/2. Did I mention I hate flying?

Now because snacks are costing Northwest soo much money, you now have to buy your snacks (assuming you want them). I decided I would just buy the alcohol and try to make the flight slightly more tolerable. By this time I had the tray table out, so I had to fold it back into the arm rest, after putting my book somewhere, so I could semi-stand to get into my pocket which I couldn't access while sitting. I bought two drinks at once since I had no dillusions I would see the flight attendant again and the hassle of getting money was too painful to repeat. Did I mention I hate flying?

We finally get there and have only two more lines. The line for the baggage claim, since we had to check our carry on baggage and the rent-a-car line. At this point, it is now past supper time and all I have managed to accomplish all day is to fly to Minnesota from California. And I get to look forward to the same fun on Friday.

Now I really don't hate flying, I just hate having to drive to the airport, standing in a bazillion lines, cram myself into a airplane seat and pay $1 for a bag of peanuts and $5 for a drink. So next time I will pick a closer airport than LAX, one without long lines and fly first class. At that point I will only dislike flying.


Bloody P said...

You were in Chaska??

You should have emailed/commented me to let me know!

I would have let you buy me a drink for kicking my ass in that WWdN tourney! :)

Rick said...

I thought about it. ;-) Really I did. If there had been more notice, and I hadn't been in a large group, I would have set something up.

Next time(and there probably will be one), we will see what we can arrange.