Thursday, December 13, 2007

July 01, 2007 - Flying Rant

OK, I can't be a Pollyanna *all* the time. Especially after the flight we just survived. I suppose it could be said that I brought it on myself - I booked our return to the USA, and saved a whopping $400 by taking 3 (that's THREE) flights instead of the normal two (I have not yet been able to get a non-stop flight from Costa Rica to the San Francisco Bay Area). NEVER AGAIN!!!

Our first leg got us to North Carolina a few minutes early - looks good so far, right? Then we hit immigration/customs control. OMG!!! There were three international flights that got in at the same time, and there were only 4 (FOUR!) customs agents to handle the US Citizen line =:( . It seemed that everywhere we looked, people were asking "How are we going to make our connection?" and "My plane leaves in 10 minutes, will they wait for me?" We had about an hour of standing in line, wondering the same thing, fondly remembering our Phoenix immigration "line" of a couple of people.

We got through, got our passports stamped (mine is blurry - sure hope that doesn't hurt too much later), got our baggage, turned it back in to get re-checked, and found out our gate (the gate where our plane is scheduled to leave in 5 minutes). Then we made a mad dash to the checkpoint. Well, there is only one (ONE!) checkpoint open, and it is NOT the one direct to our terminal. Everyone in line is angry and afraid of missing their connection. We are surprisingly calm - must be that leftover Costa Rican Pura Vida vibe, or maybe we're just too sick (did I mention we both got the flu the day before?)

After the checkpoint, Rick runs ahead to the gate to see what can be done, and I pull our carry-ons. And I get a lift! yay! BUT! The flight is closed. There is a family of 10 also trying to get on, and the guy at the gate is passing the buck. The plane is still at the gate, but he says "they" won't let us board. Then a guy comes from the jetway, and we say "Let us on!" and the jetway guy says "that's his decision, not mine" (pointing to our original guy). Well, we all look at our guy, and he relents - he opens the door! We get on! We leave! (did our luggage make it?)

Remember, this is only our second :( leg; we still have *another* connection to make. And this leg is now late (hmmm could it be because of those people they let on late?). Well, it makes up some time, but then there is trouble at the gate - we end up walking off the plane with only 15 minutes to make our final connection. Finally! some luck! Our next flight is at the very next gate! :D And, it is also a bit late.

By the time we get our luggage (guess what? It *did* make it!), we are 45 minutes late, and by the time I get the rental car, pick up Rick, and drive home, it is nearly 4:00 a.m. For some reason, when I was scheduling the flight, getting in at 1:30 a.m. sounded bad, but do-able. ugh.

That was our Thursday. Friday was a haze. It is now Sunday, and we're starting to feel human again.

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