The trials and tribulations of travel

I fly a decent amount. I mean, I’m no service engineer, but I probably take a trip through Hartford’s airport between one and two times a month. So I feel I have a decent understanding of the airport system and have got my timing down pretty well. Usually I get to the airport with enough time to enjoy a little breakfast pre boarding.

Such was not the case today.

My flight left at 6:40am it would fly through Detroit to Houston ultimately arriving in Texas at 11:45. I walked through the front gate of Bradley Airport in CT at 6:00 to see a wall of people.

“Oh no” I thought and probably said out loud.

So I booked it over to the Southwest Airlines boarding area and got in line… behind a Marching Band. There was actually a marching band in front of me. What horrible luck! Here I was stressing out as my watch approached T-30 minutes ’till departure while teenage boys loaded their percussion instruments and trombones onto the baggage scales.

At 6:23 I reached the front.

They took my bag, gave me my boarding pass, and said “Hurry.”

So I ran. And reached another wall of people at security. I snaked my way in front of a huge group of people, zipped through security and as I ran down toward my gate, my shoelaces loose and whipping around my feet, I glanced at my watch. 6:34.

I spun into the gate… to find it completely empty. The plane was there, but boarding was over.


So I zipped over to the Southwest counter. My heart pumping furiously (there are few things I hate more than being late).

“Help! I need to get to Houston! I missed my flight!”
“what’s your name?”
“Mike DiDonato.”
“okay…” pause “Quick! Get on that plane!”

The Southwest lady pointed to a door down the hall.

I ran down the hall, reached the door, and was ushered through by another Southwest agent who was talking via Walkie-talkie to southwest lady #1.

I raced to the plane door and found a full flight. There was a lone seat available in row 6. I snagged it and sat down.

“Hi guys, sorry to take the middle seat.”
“no problem. they told us the flight was full.”
“so… where is this plane going?”

A few hours later the plane was landing. It pulled up to the gate at 8:33 local time. I booked it out of the plane, and over to another service desk.

“I need to get to Houston!!”
“Mike DiDonato.”
“Take this. Get on that plane.”

And off I went running. I walked up to the gate and got on plane number two. It was 8:36.

I sat down.

“excuse me,” I asked the woman next to me, “Where is this plane going?”
“whoa! how long is the flight?”
“about an hour and forty minutes.”

And that’s how I got to Houston over an hour before my scheduled flight was expected to land. That’s right. By missing my flight, I got to my destination earlier.

It couldn’t have worked out better.

5 thoughts on “The trials and tribulations of travel

  • 2/20/2007 at 7:49 am

    blah blah blah…I didn’t even read all that crap up there mikeD. Something even more important just flew on my radar. I was catching up on news reading from the weekend and this article jumped out at me.

    Scroll to the bottom or read the article. YOU CAN BUY A BOOK!! A book by Brittney about folding paper for $6!!! Someone needs to own it and then attempt it. I say forget double dutch next time….lets do a paper folding picnic!

  • 2/20/2007 at 8:32 am

    How the heck are you getting on all these flights having already checked a bag?

  • 2/20/2007 at 2:05 pm

    This just reinforces my sans-travel lifestyle.

  • 2/20/2007 at 2:28 pm

    Be careful
    I think the karma tank might be on E from that one.
    Time to go save some puppies or orphans or something.
    But then again,
    it may very well be a curse in disguise.
    I mean, you now had to spend an extra hour in Texas.
    Think about that.

  • 2/23/2007 at 11:47 am

    One interesting thing that has happened since I started traveling so often:

    I no longer care if they lose my bag. Really, at most it’s a mild inconvenience. For this particular trip, my bag arrived about 5 hours after I did. I left the airport upon my arrival, did some work, and then zipped by later in the evening to pick it up.

    It worked well.


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