airport adventures

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Let’s start with my first mistake. I assumed a domestic flight only required an hour of navigation time at our airport. My flight left at 7am, I woke up at 4:50am, I arrived to MSP at 5:50am. Being the tech-savvy girl I am, I’ve already checked in on my Delta app. All that’s left to do is drop my luggage at Baggage Drop and get thru security. Seems easy enough. I roll up to Baggage Drop (first bag checked free thanks to my Gold Delta Skymiles American Express), and I hoist my bag on the scale. Now, I’ve got a terrible judgment of weight. Just like I’m horrible at guessing height, age, and just about everything else that has to do with numbers. When I lifted that bag on the scale it felt like 75 pounds to me. Mentally, I was deciding which ten garments I would throw on as layers and walk like an abominable snowman thru the terminal. The Delta rep looks up and says, “Great! 44 pounds.” I was way off.

I continue on my way towards security and wait in the 60 person line. When there’s three people between me and the TSA rep, I go to launch my Delta app with my digital boarding pass. The app opens up, prompts me to reenter my email/Delta pin/last name – all of which I know six ways from Sunday and no matter how many times I try, the son-of-a will not log me in. I bow out of the security line like an incompetent traveler and I silently curse the App gods. I hard reset my phone, redownload the Delta app, then attempt to re-login. No dice. At this point, seeing as I’ll have to get back in at the end of the security line, I don’t have time to putz with being tech savvy. I’m doing this the old-fashioned way and speed walk to the Delta kiosk to get a paper copy. Pass obtained, back in line, get to the front, TSA let’s me thru, wait in line with my untied shoes and bag of liquids ready to go thru the laser beam scanner. I’m confident the rest of the day will go smoothly.

Wishful thinking. In front of the line is a heavyset middle-age woman with the largest piece of carry on luggage apparently having her first TSA experience. There’s an agent sifting through her stuff (before any laser beams have searched her bag or her person) and the rest of us watch while we give her the silent “WTF lady” look. The TSA agent takes out a full size bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and an extra large bottle of air spray (First Time Lady gets points for sharing my love of Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship hair care – but that’s all I’ll give her). TSA takes out a jar of peanut butter… which apparently now is deemed a liquid and must be taken out of checked luggage. TSA takes out a large bottle of cream, a Costco size toothpaste, and a half liter of mouthwash. She looks at the lady and says, “You do know you cannot have more than 6oz of liquid with you on a carry-on…?” And all of the liquid gets trashed. 1. What a waste. 2. If I were the TSA lady I would have said something more along the lines of, “Are you kidding me right now? We’re trying to streamline this process, if you don’t know what the process is – bring a guardian next time. You’re outta here!” and promptly kick her to the curb.

After that debacle, I get thru security in 4.5 seconds. As I’m redressing, I’m mentally mapping the MSP airport for where my gate is. I’m a tad crunched for time and just need someone to point me in the right direction so I can get in Emily Hightailing Mode. I ask a sweet young TSA girl with darker hair than mine where I could find Terminal F. She pointed one direction and off I went. Multitasking as I walk the way she directed. Trying to login to the Delta app, send an email, update the girls via iMessage and find a restroom at the same time. Trusting she knows the way around her workplace.

I get to the end of the corridor and there’s no Terminal F to be found. I slightly panic at this point as my flight has been boarding for about 10 minutes and I’m cutting it close. I turn around and look at signs. I see terminal A, B, C, D and E. no F. How much more clear could I be to the TSA bambino? Maybe I should have said – F as in Frank. F as in football. F as in… get me the F*#% on the plane already!!!

I turn in the direction I came and start a slow jog. There are many levels of running so we’ll call this a Level 2 of 10. I’m not quite at Home Alone running speed (thank God). But I’m definitely dodging and weaving thru strollers and groups of traveling Asian students taking pictures of God knows what.

Terminal F! There you are you little shit! Right where I got thru security. I find my door at F13 and all my plane neighbors are milling about – maybe 15 people left. The beauty of this is I normally prefer to be the last one on. Now that I’m checking my bag (for free), I don’t have to worry about fighting for space and laying a smack down on anyone to stow my would-be checked bag that I’m too cheap to check for $25 (tongue twister?). I take a deep breath, chuckle to myself, and contemplate sidling up to the bar next to my gate and ordering a double scotch with no chaser. Then I realized I don’t remember what kind of scotch I like. And at my luck (and extremely small bladder) I’ll be squished next to a heifer and desperate to use the restroom 5x on my three hour flight.

I’m the last to board my plane, and it turns out I snagged an Exit Row seat. I always choose window seats for the view but this one just so happened to be the very first row when you enter the plane. As you can see in the picture, there’s plenty of room for activities! It’s like God was all, ‘sorry for the shitshow morning, Em! I didn’t have my java yet.’ I hoped for a second there’d be a jumbo mug of mimosa and eggs Benedict delivered to me shortly thereafter. (No such thing in Coach).

It’s ironic this was my seat, as the flight attendant confirmed with us we were comfortable helping others in the event of an emergency. I replied in the affirmative, and then glanced at the audience seated behind me. There are a lot of 200 and 250 pounders on this flight. I highly doubt I could lift one of them, but who knows. I suppose I could try to yell loudly and direct traffic. Or grab a few of the little ones and baby monkey them to safety.

Negative emergency thoughts aside. The floor in front of us has room for two adults to Indian wrestle. But my seatmate passed out 3 minutes into the flight. My next idea was to lead the commoner (I.e. Coach) cabin in a nice 90-minute sunrise yinyasa flow yoga session. I am wearing a full yoga outfit after all…

An hour into the flight, the cabin door is blowing some seriously cold air my way. I bundle up and hunker down for the long haul. Rarely am I cold so I feel blessed, once again.

I arrived in Seattle, the first of the girls to touchdown at 8am. I’m on a mission to find a bar and order a Bloody Mary. Stat.

Woosah.

Let the games begin!
xo

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