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Published July 03, 2008

 

Time flies......When You Miss Your Plane

This is going to be extremely long post because there is simply so much to tell you....do enjoy my anguish. Due to this day of travel, I am taking time off from airplanes.

The day has come. It is time to leave Barcelona. My flight is schedule to depart at 11:10am so I wake up at 7:55am. The kicker is, it was finally cool. It was raining when I awoke so for the first time, I woke up without sweating....on the last day. I get out of the apartment by 8:25am. Because it is raining, it takes me 20 minutes to catch a cab. And since it is raining, the traffic is horrible. Fortunately, I had a crazy driver because as soon as we made it to the highway, we made great time. I got to the airport at about 9:10am. THE AMERICAN AIRLINE LINE IS HUGE! It takes 35 minutes to move 10 ft. in the line. I am annoyed by the line, but am not worried because we were the only flight checking in. They can't leave without the people on the flight...right?

I get up to the check-in desk with 25 minutes until departure. They are checking me in...oh...there is a problem. Apparently my name appears in the system twice (aka....my seat appears twice, they oversold the damn plane.)

As if this is not enough, I realize that in the excitement of leaving my apartment, I forgot to put in a tampon.....I begin worrying.

They send me to a different line against my will and I wait another 15 minutes.....10 minutes until departure.....the guy is looking into my flight. He tries to blame it on the person who made my reservation.
Me: "No...I checked two days ago and I was ticketed. I had an assigned seat number."
Him: "Is there anyway you would be willing to fly out tomorrow."
Me: (I lose my patience immediately) "NO...I AM NOT STAYING HERE ANOTHER NIGHT. YOU WILL GET ME OUT OF HERE. I DON'T CARE IF I'M SITTING ON THE PILOTS FUCKING LAP, YOU ARE GETTING ME ON THAT DAMN PLANE."

He didn't listen. The plane needs to leave on time...BECAUSE THAT IS MY FAULT THAT IT ISN'T, OBVIOUSLY....and he starts looking into other flights. The guy next to me gets moved to business class to Neward on a Continental flight. I ask for that. I don't get it. Apparently, your final destination being Oklahoma puts a damper on all hopes of being in business class. I have to fly in to major airports to get connections to OKC.

I am put on an Iberia flight to London Heathrow, with American Airline connections to Chicago O'Heare and then onto Oklahoma City. After hauling all my damn bags to another terminal to check in at Iberia, I think my problems are finished....I WAS WRONG AGAIN. The man checking me in has no idea what he is doing...just like his peers at American.

"What is your final destination?"
"Oklahoma City"
"What company?"
"American"
"But what is this...American Eagle? I am unfamiliar."
"Um.....its American Airlines."
"Ok.......................(He is unsure)"
"Just put American...it'll get there."

I am finally checked in. At 12:45pm...I am finally checked in. My flight leaves at 2:05pm, time to go find a bathroom. I find one. I discover that I am in need of a new pair of underwear and I just used my last tampon....because I have about 18 hours of traveling left, I know this will be bad. I don't get any though...I decide to wait til another airport. I go looking for underwear....they only have men's underwear. I buy a pair of purple Dolce and Gabana bikini briefs. Looking good. Awkward, because there is room for some additional equipment, but they will do.

I am starving at this point, I haven't eaten all day. I've been waiting in freaking lines all day. I find a sandwich place. I am convinced the man in front of me just grabbed a baguette and shoved it in his backpack. I wonder to myself why he is stealing that one, when there are 4 others on his plate along with 3 bags of chips and 3 drinks. People do the darndest things.

The thing about the Barcelona airport is...its kind of small. There are not nearly enough gates for the planes so regularly, you are bused to your plane. My original flight to JFK was actually supposed to be bused to the plane....there were probably 500 people boarding that flight. Have fun with the buses. Also....they don't like making it simple. They don't just have terminal A, B and C. They have areas M1-M5 within the terminals. I was in M4.... Gate 48b. This is another thing I don't understand. WHY DON'T YOU JUST MAKE IT 49. What's with the a and b crap?

I find the gate and sit down. In all my thoughts, I'm trying to convince myself this is all happening because I'm going to meet someone famous in London Heathrow. It'll be someone on my "Who I Want To Meet List" like Missy Higgins or Kate Moening or someone really cool. My flight is moved upstairs to gate 44. Of course,..make me move again. I get on board. ITS RUNNING LATE.

Iberia flight 4188 leaves about 30 minutes late. I don't give it much thought, but my connection in London is at 4:45pm.....we don't end up getting away until 1:35pm (London Time.....2:30 Barcelona time) and the flight is 2 hours long. We land in London at around 3:45pm local time. I am checking my watch thinking to myself "oh shit." I get off the plane and run to the bus that takes me to the next terminal. I hop on at 4:05. The bus does not pull away until 4:10. This entire time I am incredibly antsy. (At this point, I am also completely unaware that there is about an hour long line at security which I have to go through.) I talk to my dad telling him I've landed but I'm worried I'm going to miss my connection. I complain about the slow bus. When I get off the phone, now realizing more than ever that it actually might happen, a lady approaches me.

She overheard me talking to my father about a possibility of missing my flight. Her official title is Flight Connection Advisor. She radios ahead to security and informs me that she is going to escort me through the line and directly to the gate. Since I am not ticketed, I have to first go to the ticket booth after security. She gets me there in record time. I arrive at the ticket desk at about 4:18pm. She gives me her card in case I need anything else.

"She needs on flight 91 to Chicago."
"That flight has just been closed."

WHAT!?!?!? I begin panicking.

"Yes, unfortunately its been closed. The man behind you has the same problem."
Me: "Are there any other flights to the US?"
"There are two...one to Newark (go figure) and one to Boston.....but it looks like if you don't get on the Chicago flight, you aren't getting out today."
(At this point, I begin crying. Today sucks. Airlines suck, although these people are really nice...the last ones weren't so they put me in a sour mood.)
Through my tears, I explain to them what had happened to me in Barcelona. A man put down his phone and said put her on it.

"Put me on what?"
"They just gave us clearance to put you on the Chicago flight."
I begin thanking them. I will not stop. I am so happy. The tears are still flowing but now out of happiness.

They escort me to the gate, ( I guess I'm just that important.) "She's the last one!" They put me on...but not before telling me my bags will not be on the plane. I don't care. Screw the bags. They can stay...have a good time without me, I'm going home.

Needless to say, I did not see any of the people on my list. I simply had no time.

Although I am relieved to be on the plane, I'm still in a bit of a foul mood because I am having trouble actually accepting that all this shit has happened to me. Luckily for me, the lady sitting next to me is about to make me smile. About 10 minutes into the flight, the 72 year old woman sitting next to me orders Vodka on the Rocks....GRANDMA LIKES TO PARTY. I laugh to myself and begin watching my movies.

I land in Chicago 9 hours later at 7:25pm local time. Because I have no bags, I breeze through customs. It was actually a nice little change of pace. I go looking for a bathroom and find a tampon. Yes...I have gone all this time without a new one. I am guessing I will get TSS soon. But whatev.

Thinking that all my troubles are away. I sit at my gate waiting for my flight to OKC. I'm on the home-stretch. Almost there. Just one 2 hour flight left in my way.

The flight is delayed. Just 20 minutes, no biggie. But I think, ok....figures. Its finally time to board. I step into the line...get to the man taking my ticket. He scans it. BEEEEEEP. I look down and see a little red light....oh, thats funny, I thought I had been through enough shit today. Excuse me for thinking.

"It appears that your seat has been duplicated, you are going to need to go get another ticket."

Seriously. Is this a joke? I must be dreaming because really, all this in one day. Is God personally playing a joke on me? "Ha ha..Gotta ya back Maddie!"

Please don't tell me this flight is booked......"Well, it is, but I think we should be able to get you on." THEY DO. I get on the plane.

Have anyone ever waved to you or said hi to you, but it wasn't until you passed them that you realized so you didn't bother waving or saying anything back. I mean, you could have had a long day missing flights and such, you never know what the circumstances may be.

Well the 19-year-old stewardess (wearing a bracelet made of string from Puerto Rico that she probably got on Spring Break) who had the worst Texas accent ever (it just sounded fake) says hello to me. I don't realize til I pass. And this is where it gets good...... I hear her over my shoulder talking to the pilot.

"Don't you just love it when you say hello to people and they don't say anything back. I mean, I just don't understand how people can be so rude to do that."

I leave her alone, although all I want to do is bitch her out and tell her of the day I've had...but really, its been 23 hours since I've woken up, so I'm too tired to deal with her immature shit. By the look on my face, obviously its been a rough day, I don't know why she just didn't leave me alone. The Russian man sitting next to me gave her enough shit because he wasn't ticketed next to his son, so he took the liberty of issuing himself a new seat. I almost felt sorry for her, but I didn't have enough energy.

Once boarded, it takes another 30 minutes to get off the ground. We land in Oklahoma City around midnight. I walk through like I'm the living dead. I see my daddy and we go straight to the lost baggage.

"yea...my bags are in London."

She doesn't believe me but then she checks and oh wait..I'm right about something. They are to be delivered the next day at around 8:30pm. We get in the car and head home.

It's about an hour and a half drive to my hometown. We arrive home at 2:00ish am.....

But not before my dad got a speeding ticket.

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