So here’s the deal. In order to get to New Orleans for my grandmother’s funeral, I get to fly there on a plane! YAY. I don’t get to fly much, so when I do it is always pretty exciting. Until I get to the airport and remember how unfun flying on a plane can be.
This trip is a bit of a nightmare, so I will just have to start chronicling all the things that have happened so far.
1:24- Right now, I am in the Charleston airport, staring at the gate and trying to will the plane here with sheer power of mind. My flight is delayed by about an hour, which means that my 45 minute layover is probably not gonna happen. Not that this stresses me out. It’s only the first layover I have ever had and potentially allows me 5 gloriously stimulating hours in the DC airport.
So here I am, sitting alone in the tiniest airport ever built.
1:56- I bought myself a sandwich at the only place that sells food in the entire building: a place called The All American Bagel Making Company of Bagels in America. Or something like that. I can’t even wrap my brain around how small this airport is, and I have been here countless times. Sometimes it feels like we’re all going to pile into the family van and drive to our destination. A woman named Kate keeps making announcements over the intercom like she’s the bus driver on our tour through hell. “Well, everyone, looks like there’s not gonna be enough room on flight 7020 in the overhead bins. If you don’t mind too much, somebody come up here and volunteer to have your baggage checked or we’re just gonna have to force it on the last 6 people to board the plane. No one wants that. So I’d much rather have someone volunteer. So…yeah. Thanks. Come see me.” Or: “Guess what, everyone? There is snow in Atlanta so there are going to be some delays. The weather is affecting all the flights today. Snow, ice… just icing up all the planes. Let’s just all move to Florida.”
Now I am sitting next to the wall outlet to keep my computer alive, and occasionally glancing up at the Departures board with what I am sure is a look of hope mingled with sadness, only to be disappointed when I see that the plane still won’t be here for another hour.
Stilllllll can’t connect to the internet.
Next to me is a German business man who is typing up some important looking report with charts and numbers. Every so often he will turn on his Bluetooth and speak German very urgently to someone, nodding to himself and scrolling through pages of data. He is also a very loud breather. He seems to be feeling pretty upset about the delay as well; he keeps dropping his computer on the seat between us and striding over to the departure board, then checking his watch and breathing loudly through his nose.
2:20- UPDATE: It has just been revealed to us that the flight from Dulles to Charleston had to stop in Richmond due to problems with the windshields. Great. The new arrival time is 4:16. Pushed back from 3:28, pushed back from 2:36. The German business man is arguing urgently with the ticket agent. This man is very urgent.
2:36- A woman came over a while ago to plug her iPhone into the wall. She reached around my suitcase to plug into the socket that is also sustaining my laptop. She put the phone on the ground, then mumbled something about “…just gonna leave that there for a bit…” and I said, brightly “Oh, I’ll make sure it stays hidden! “(huge charming smile). Except I just looked over and it is gone. Shit. I sure hope she’s the one that took it.
2:46- Hm. Our super cute pilot just came over to ask about the delay and got the same dumb news we did: windshield problems. “Really?? Great.” He then left, peeved. I feel ya, bro.
2:48- Still can’t connect. Maybe I will watch How I Met Your Mother, because I have the DVDs in my backpack. Flannery, you are a Godsend.
2:49- Super Cute Pilot is on the phone, pacing. Still peeved. Oh wow, he has one of those Superman curls. I did not think those existed in real life. Maybe it’s an accident that occurred by whipping his pilot hat off in a fit of anger. Yeah, that’s probably it. It hardly looks intentional. But it does look cute.
Kate: “Hey, I got a guy up here that lost a watch. Could you all lean over and look around your seats to see if it’s around you? This passenger is missing his watch. Thanks, guys.”
3:09- had a chat with the ticket agent. Poor guy has been here since 4:30 this morning, and has no doubt been having to deal with people’s crap all day. Apparently all the flights into Charleston this morning were cancelled due to fog. Fog. Anyway, I got my ticket printed for my 10:03 PM connection to New Orleans. So it’s looking like a good 4 or 5 hours in the Dulles airport. When I told my roommate about all this, she sent me a one word response: “Smithsonian!” Well…we’ll see about that.
4:07- Took a break from the computer screen to listen to music and read Glamour. The flight has been delayed til 5:20. Joy. German Business Man has figured out his connection and has been skyping people on his Thinkpad next to me. He also came over and asked “Do you mind if I use zat outlet?” No I do not mind at all, sir. Although we had a pretty difficult time getting his overseas adaptor to stay in the wall. It’s just too darn loose.
A man in a leather jacket has been pacing around for the past hour. Not in an annoying, impatient way, but a strolling, cruising, glancing around at people, creepy kind of way. He probably just can’t sit still for too long, and I am beginning to sympathize. Regardless, I am keeping an eye on him for a while…
4:33- There is now a small child walking around and banging a box of band-aids. And laughing. Honestly, child, where is your joy coming from? She has little rainbow leggings and little blue rain boots. And she is working that band-aid box. I am a little jealous of how much she seems to be enjoying the situation.
5:02- crap. Super Cute Pilot has been replaced by Bitter Mustachioed Pilot.
5:05- False alarm. I forgot planes have co-pilots.
8:11- I am finally in the Dulles airport. The good news is that I am definitely not late for my connection, which should be getting here on time. The bad news is that this wireless is being just as stubborn as Chas. Unless it’s just my computer.
My seat on the plane was both an aisle and a window seat, which was nice. It was the smallest plane I have ever been on. When we finally took off, it took approximately three minutes to get here. At least, that’s how it felt. Then it took several days and many miles of trudging with an anchoring backpack to get to my gate. I am approximately two hours early for my flight, so naturally no one is here. I ate dinner at Moe’s: a restaurant that is NOT the same as Moe’s Southwestern food, but is in fact a burger bar. I ordered a Swiss cheese burger with guacamole. And now I am regretting eating guacamole in an airport.
Hopefully this adventure will be over soon.