Up, up and wait for it….away!
Recently, I had been to the airport to pick up some friends who had gone home for Christmas. A few ensuing conversations reminded me of a time last year when I got in an airport one Friday morning at 11.06 am. At 11.20 am, (within fourteen action packed minutes), I was up, up and away…
It was exactly a year ago. I had just gotten done with the Welcome Day for newly admitted students at Babson College. At that time I was staying in Chicago and the next morning after the event, would be flying back home. Come Friday morning and I was a bit late but still got onto the road at about 9am. There was a short ride to the Logan Airport in Boston but it should not have been more than a twenty-minute ride. What happened from there on was the most impossible and unbelievable hour. Ever!
While just a couple of miles away from the airport, I had to take an exit to the airport. I got confused by the numerous exits and ended up taking the wrong one. Unknowingly I had taken the exit to one of the underwater tunnels and that is where the magic ride began. Once I realized I had made the wrong exit, I just thought I will get out at the other end and drive back. Even though I would be a few minutes late, I’d still be on time. Or so I thought!
While in the underwater tunnel, the GPS lost satellite reception and I did not know which exit to take now in order to return to the airport. I needed to take another exit quickly and without the GPS’ help, I took the wrong one again. This vicious cycle kept happening exit after exit, tunnel after tunnel. And what should have been taken care of in a few minutes kept going all the way till almost 11 am.
By this time I was irritated, frustrated, sure that I would miss the flight, crying hoarse, unsure of what I would do next etc. Finally I got to airport at 11.06 am, just 14 minutes shy of take off time. I was pretty sure I would not even get past security check by the time the flight took off. Nevertheless, I still decided to give it a shot because as they say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
And so, I tried my best to breeze through security check. As I approached the check-in lines, I begged and pleaded to be let through as quickly as possible. It helped my case that there was no rush but thanks to some lenient and understanding personnel, I managed to literally run through the security check in process.
As Murphy’s laws would confirm, Gate 36 had to be the furthest gate from the security check area and I had to run all the way in my formal shoes. It was 11.13 am when I got to the gate only to realize that it was locked. After one of the stewards kindly opened it and let me in, I ran into the flight and tried to become invisible to the other irate passengers. The air hostess had begun her safety instruction song when I was trying to locate my seat and secure my baggage.
As I struggled to keep my laptop bag onto the overhead storage space, l realized that my laptop was missing. Oops! I had forgotten to take it after the security check-in process. Double Oops! The plane was starting to move. security check area. Within a minute, I pleaded again for the umpteenth time in the day and ran all the way back to the security check. I grabbed my laptop (which was kept ready for me in case I came back) and ran back to the plane. This time, I could not just feel, but knew that the other passengers just wanted to kill me!
Within a few seconds and exactly at 11.20am, we were on our way and I was catching my breath after an intense quarter of an hour. I never thought it would ever be possible for me to be in an out of an airport in fourteen minutes, but it really ain’t over till the fat lady sings. I’m sure you would have encountered similar stories in your journeys as well. What’s been your pick of ‘em all?