June 6, 2008

Airport adventures

I flew down to San Diego two weeks ago. As I was carrying tools down in my luggage, it was going to be tough to come in under the 50 pound limit. I did some packing and weighing a couple days early and found out that some of the tools would need to stay home. When I weighed the bags at the airport, both came in at 48 pounds. whew.

When I got on the plane, someone was sitting in my seat. As I approached him in the crowded aisle, I did the pointing at him, pointing at me, pointing at the seat number motion. When I reached him and explained he was in my seat, rather than looking at his own ticket, he asked what seat numbers the couple next to him had. Not sure how that clarifies his seat assignment. He finally checks his ticket and realizes he was a row off. I should have kept quiet.

When I sat down I realized that the man next to me was rather large. He needed to flag down the flight attendant to get a lap belt extender. There was no question of fighting over who gets the armrest as he was a good six to ten inches into my seat. I'm no waif myself, so I spent the flight down twisted sideways, and started the week stiff and sore before ever lifting a hammer.

Our landing was in a pretty severe side wind. The plane was being pushed around, and the pilot had it angled into the wind until the last second. Probably the most scary landing I have experienced. I recalled a video a friend had forwarded to me. The landing felt a little like these:

I had sent home some things with the wife, so my luggage was hopefully lighter for the flight home. They came in at 48 and 44 pounds. Then she asked for my ID. "Did you know this is expired" she asked. Nope. It had expired two days earlier and I hadn't realized it. As a birthday present she flagged my ticket with a red mark that must mean 'trouble-maker'. When I got to security, the gentleman checking tickets kind of chuckled and asked what I did wrong. There was no chuckling at the metal detector and scanning area.

I was placed in a plexiglass box while my bags came through the scanner. Though there was no top to the box, someone had thoughtfully drilled some air holes in the door. Some ladies ahead of me were kind of laughing, so I scratched on the glass like a dog trying to get out. At least they had a sense of humor.

After patting me down and swabbing my bags for explosive residue, I was sent on my way. It was all very professional, and my fault for not renewing my license before I headed out of town. Back at the gate I had looked into changing my seat assignment as I was in a center seat toward the back of the plane. The other available seats were also center seats, but much closer to the front. I decided not to do any switching this time and it turned out for the best. The two guys I was sandwiched between were pleasant, as was the flight home.

The trip to the DMV this morning wasn't too painful either. Things are turning around.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also flew into the LA area on the 23rd and it was the worst (read scariest) landing that I can remember, and that's pretty bad since I flew for 10 years. I feel for you and anyone that had to experience that. Not enough minis in my bag for that one.
Welcome home, you were missed.