Friday, May 1, 2009

Tales of my Own Stupidity

Before this morning, I had missed two flights in my life.

The first one was totally my fault. I was in Nicaragua and misread the departure time of my connecting flight as the departure from Managua (this after I’d checked my luggage mind you). When I returned to the airport two hours late for my flight, I learned of my mistake. I made it home 24 hours and fair chunk of change later without my bags in the same clothes I’d worn for 48 hours. I ultimately got my bags back a month and a half later. Not one of my best maneuvers ever, clearly.

The second, I was flying to DC for my cousins wedding. I left my house two hours before the flight, but hit traffic, and delays getting the shuttle from the parking lot found me in line to check in and check my bag 42 minutes before the flight. The two people in front of me were on the same flight, they checked in- then the flight attendant lady said- nope you missed the “40 minute window.” But, but… I stammered, no luck. She rerouted me to a later non-direct flight, I made it through security before they even began boarding my original flight. I tried to sweet talk my way onto that flight, but nope. Defeated, I accepted my fate.

Then there is the flight I tried to get on 24 hours early, but THAT story’s already been told.

So, this morning… I found myself once again heading to DC on a direct flight. (I believe this might be the first time since that last ill-fated journey.) I was ready to leave my house two hours before my flight. My car was loaded, I’d eaten first breakfast, left my dog crying on the stairwell when I realized, I’d forgotten my sweater. I ran upstairs to the chair said sweater had rested on yesterday, but my ever efficient cleaning lady had moved it. Oops, I ran around the house for 10 minutes looking for the stupid sweater, never found, pulled down a replacement. OK, 10 minutes late, but I should still be fine. Checked, bad traffic on the freeway I was headed towards, I took a detour- Bad Idea. Worse traffic there. Oh well, I was still OK. More traffic on the freeway, now I’m beginning to panic. Arrive at the parking garage, 45 minutes before my flight, need to wait for shuttle. Woops, I try to get on line on my phone and check in, but nope- you can’t check in from the internet within 1 hour of your flight. This is looking bad. OK, I don’t have to check my luggage, I’m fine, right? Shuttle guy finally pulls up several minutes later. I arrive at the electronic check-in thingy with 29 minutes to go to departure time. No dice, I can’t check- in. URGG.. Long day at the airport ensues. Cancel plans with my family for tonight, flight rescheduled. I prepare to become passive and just go with it, while internally screaming at myself.

Morals to the story-
1- check-in to your flight from home before you leave it so you don’t have to deal with arbitrary time cut offs
2- If you can’t find your sweater, chose a different one immediately, or just buy one at the airport, anything
3- Or better yet, put stupid sweater away where you know where it is before it is mysteriously moved by said cleaning lady.
4- Maybe for a 9am flight from LAX leaving your house at 7am is really just too late. Maybe


Katie said...

I traveled A LOT for work for almost two years, and I learned A LOT about the airport. The key here is the TIME and DAY you were leaving. Trying to get anywhere in LA at 7am is rough... trying to get anywhere in LA at 7am on a Friday is borderline torture.

The checking-in-for-the-flight routine is genius because even if you're running late, they know you're on your way.

Alas... all information you'll only be able to use next time.

Lisa said...

Yes Katie it is so true. Getting anywhere in LA at 7am on a Friday- stupid. Other stuff my fault. However, I will never not check in to the flight from home again. I totally could have made this flight, if they would have let me. Alas