Friday, September 21, 2012

Air Time

Well I should have had a clue from that ol buzzard flying over the bunkhouse yesterday... I'm a granny, I should have been able to read the signs:
Marymine, Lizzy and I left for Sac at 4AM to make our flights to Denver to watch college volleyball...   I say flights because when Marymine asked me if I wanted to go along she already had their tickets, and that flight was she booked me on another carrier. No problem, as both flights left close together.  
We got there in good time, parked close to the terminal, and went to check in, the girls to Southwest & I across the way to Frontier.
I haven't flown out of this airport since the total remodel was done, so everything was new to me. No problem, as there was an attendant lady to help me operate the check-in kiosk. She grabbed my itinerary and DL, shoved them in some ports... asked me my last name, and proceeded to hand me my boarding pass...while pointing me up the stairs.  
I didn't see the girls in the crush of people across the way, that's ok, I will meet up with them at the airport in Denver. 
OK I can do this, upstairs I went, followed the herd down a hallway, into a shuttle & across to the terminal... I'm not sure I'm supposed to be going this way, but what the heck! Get off the shuttle, stand in line for a while, showing anyone and everyone who wants to see my DL & boarding pass.  
Go thru the Security screening...I think they now have pictures of my back teeth and my new black & white polka dot wonder bra...on file. I put everything back on and in, that I had removed moments before... 
I calmly do a check of my boarding pass to confirm airline and gate...while wandering around trying to look like I've been here a million times. I need to do this for my self esteem as the traveler I should be... 
I'm early, but that's good. I can use the restroom, get a cup of coffee, and get back to the gate in time to read a couple hundred pages on my Kindle. 
I recheck my boarding pass against the monitor, check my gate number, and departure time. All good.
The gate attendants start calling for the people with special needs, extra special tickets, extra special special class tickets, elderly, crying babies, and cranky toddlers to board... I patiently wait to be called with the rest of the seasoned travelers... 
Giving the attendant my DL, boarding pass and a cheerful Good Morning, I prepare to board.  The attendant cheerfully checks my info and asks me my last name, I give it... she looks confused and says..."but you've already boarded, Nancy." 
"Aah Nope, I'm right here, and I'm not Nancy...see on my DL...I'm B...." 
We're both still smiling like she asks me to step aside and speak to the other attendant.  He takes one quick look at my boarding pass...turns to me and says... "I don't know how you got this far...but your ticket is for the same flight, day & time in October!" 
 Say what... I still smiling (I'm like that you know) proceed to ask if he might let me on this flight in a jump seat or the overhead bin or with the crew... or something... because I'm going to Denver to watch my granddaughter play college volleyball, and the rest of my crew will be waiting for me there.  
He really tries to find me a seat on another flight, any other flight...full...full...full... 
In the mean time I'm trying to call Marymine, no answer. Ok, text her...when she texts back it's to say, "she's so horrified & sorry, get another flight, or... we are boarding and have to shut off our phones!" 
"Aha ma'am, there is another flight to Denver with seats available leaving...tomorrow late afternoon. But, you must go back down to reservations and you can't stay in this Secure Area." 
Off I go to find my way back to the beginning of this adventure that has not included time in the air... 
Following the specific directions of a few Security men, I found myself outside in the passenger loading zone under the watchful eye of another Security man.  
While setting there sipping coffee, and looking across the way to where I can see Marymine's locked truck... I realize that I have no way back to the bunkhouse.  Shuttles don't go there, it's way too far to walk, or for a cab.  
Didn't my friend L just tell me a while back that she was thinking of starting a shuttle service to the airport from where we live in the back of beyond.  I call her..."L, I really loved your shuttle idea, and I sure want to be your first customer."  She's a sweetie, and after she checked on her dad, fed the horses, and ran her grandkids to school, she drove down and picked me up!  
I got back to the bunkhouse at 11:00, started a load of laundry, and kissed my pillow...