I travel quite a bit for work, but air travel with the family is a different thing altogether. Two days, two completely different experiences this week…
Day 1 – travel to my parents’ for Thanksgiving dinner
- up early to be at airport 3 hours prior to flight
- no breakfast, everyone sleepy, but got out of the house with no arguments…this is a first for our family!
- check-in went well and customs line not too bad
- security check…going well until daughter gets selected for random baggage check, they find a pair of scissors and confiscate them (yes, we tell the kids every time to check for anything in the bag that will be taken but it doesn’t work, we’ve had scissors taken a few times, a pocket knife, and a kitchen fork)
- at the gate, time for muffins and coffee…good so far
- oh, now the plane is delayed…not because the plane is not available or mechanical issue but because there are new security processes in place and the pilot and flight crew must “de-plane” and go through Canadian customs and then back through US customs before they can fly back where they came from – I guess there is a threat that they passed through security on the way here and then opened the windows in the plane and picked up a few dangerous items on the way …?
- delay that was supposed to be 15 minutes is now another 30 minutes
- delay that was 45 minutes total is now another 20 minutes
- starting to lose my mind as I contemplate missing our connection – laid down on the chairs, ipod on – husband comes to check on me…
husband – are you okay?
me – I don’t want to talk
husband – is there anything I can do?
me – I’m irritated, leave me alone
husband – there’s nothing we can do about the plane, but I can get you a snack if it will make you feel better
me – I’m irritated at the situation, but if you keep talking, I will be irritated at you
husband – okay, enjoy your music…(running away)
- delay that was xx minutes (I lost count) is now another 20 minutes
- we finally board – 2 hours late – so this means 2 things…
1. we got up 7 hours ago to make sure we were ready, at the airport, and through customs in time for the flight
2. the time we had before our connecting flight that would have allowed a nice leisurely lunch in Atlanta’s airport is now gone as we spent all that time in ongoing 20 minutes delays (with no ability to leave the gate and eat)
- arrive in Atlanta – gate is furthest away from any food possible
- we did have time to grab some food and make it to the gate, but it was not the calm time planned to eat in an actual restaurant
- next flight is a short hop to Columbia, SC and this one is easy
- arrive on time
- walk out of the security area and are greeted by 11 family members – very nice!
- total travel time – 12.5 hours
Day 2 – travel back home
- up, packed, head to airport
- checked in, through security, at the gate – 20 minutes
- time for coffee and relaxing
- flight leaves on time and arrives on time
- back in Atlanta, changing gates, and wait for 30 minutes
- second flight leaves on time and arrives 10 minutes early
- through customs in 10 minutes
- luggage on carousel before we get to it
- out of the airport, get the car, and onto the highway
- traffic is light and we are home
- total travel time – 7 hours
Same flight path, same airline, crazy to see that one day is painful and the other is a breeze. Glad to be home…safe and sound, no fighting, and time to rest up before the week ahead.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Now, time to start planning for Christmas!