Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer Vacation: the very beginning

The day we left for our vacation was an exercise in anxiety I really didn't need.

Let's start with the night before... I received my email from USAirways saying I could go to their website and check in prior to arriving at the airport, so I tried to do that, only to find that our reserved seats were no longer reserved. For the first time in a few years Andrew was traveling with us, so I had reserved seats 6D, 6E, and 6F. I even had an email confirmation saying this! The tickets the website tried to give us the night before? 6E, 8F, and 9B. I tried calling the airline to straighten this out, explain that I had an 8 year old, and she needed to sit with one of us - but no go. The customer service person said the flight was full, there was nothing she could do - that my only option was to try to switch seats at the ticket counter.

Flashforward to the next morning. Things are going well- we had plenty of time to eat breakfast, finish last-minute packing, and get to the airport just before 6am for our 7:30am flight. Only to get to the ticket counter to have them tell us there was nothing they could do about the seat mishap and all I could do is ask the attendants at the gate to switch us around. I've been in that situation before and let me tell you, it isn't pretty. You would be surprised how many grown adults won't switch seats with you so you could be with your TWO YEAR OLD! That was the one and only time I've flown in business class - the attendant got so pissed off by all the responses she bumped someone from business to coach and gave Willow and me business class seats. Nice flight!

Sorry - tangent there.

So, we get up to the security area for Concourse B, only to find that the line extended past the SEPTA (regional train) entrance. This meant that there were *hundreds* of people in line before us. An official came by and told everyone after a certain point in line to go to Concourse A's security because there was no line there and we would get through quicker (but you would still have to walk back to Concourse B afterward). So, we rush over there and find that the line up at Concourse A is LONGER than at B! We couldn't go back now, so we stuck it out, and by the time we actually put our stuff on the conveyor belt for security, our flight had started to board. Andrew and Willow ran back to Concourse B to get to the gate and let them know that pregnant me was still following.

(and maybe I should add at this point that in this hour plus of standing in line there had been no bathroom breaks or drinks to be had?)

I get to the gate, dehydrated and crampy because I have to pee so bad, and try to explain to them about the seating situation. They say that the plane is nearly boarded, and I will have to see one of the stewards on the plane about switching seats. Someone must have been smiling at us at this point, because we had a moment of easy before things got difficult again. The lady who was to be seated an the window beside Willow didn't even hesitate to move two seats back to my assigned seat so I could sit by Willow. I thanked her profusely, Willow and I sat in our seats (and Andrew to his a few rows back), and we were off.

Or so I thought...

Coming up next - a little more flight drama and errant taxi drivers. And pictures of beautiful snowy mountain tops.


kingshearte said...

Ugh. I thought it sucked when my husband and I ended up separated by many rows on a long flight, but we're both grown-ups, and perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves. I'm sorry you had to deal with all that, but I'm glad it worked out for you in the end.

Mel R said...

I have flying anxiety and panic attacks (borderline phobia) and that happened to us once also, they separated all three of us and I simply COULD. NOT. DEAL. Let me tell you, go into a full blown hysterical crying panic attack on a plane and someone will switch with you. LOL Oy vey. Embarrassing to the max but, my kiddo got another seat. Of course, it also meant I got extra attention during the flight probably because they thought I could be a security risk or a terrorist. LOL