Every time I travel, I have bazaar stories to tell. The questions aren’t “How was your flight, any turbulance, smooth landing?” But “How did your connections go?” You see, I can’t get to my daughter’s from here, without making a connection. Changing planes in Philadelphia this year, and also in Washington, D.C. were experiences I hope to never repeat.
Remember when they warned us not to travel on the day before Thanksgiving, because many flight would be delayed or cancelled because of winter storms? Well, they weren’t kidding, but I had a ticket to fly on that day, so I had to go. My flight out of Columbus was only about an hour late, which was fine, because my friend Dan and I just went and got a sandwich. But when I got to Philadelphia, I was hit with the news that I would have a 3-1/2 hour wait for a delayed flight to Syracuse. That was distressing enough, but since I was alone, the inconvenience was magnified and multiplied byond my comfort level. The sky cap who delivered me to the gate summarily plunked me down in a seat and informed me that this is where I was to wait. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten my phone. Suddenly, I was without connection to information or to help. I asked the sky cap if I could borrow her phone, long enough to call my daughter. She said she would have to take me to Customer Service to use the phone. Oh for Heaven’s sake. Someone in the gate area took pitty on me and offered to let me borrow her phone. As I sank into my chair with gratitude for that small favor, I knew I was in for 3 hours of bordum and discomfort. After I called my daughter and returned the phone to the kind lady, I was faced with no one to talk to and nothing to read. When I tried to listen to my book, the attendant at the gate would pick up his microphone to make an announcement, and by the time I could yank out my ear pods, I had missed what he had said. Thanksfully, my guide Dog Dora, was a champion traveler. She hated flying, trembled all the way, but lieing on the floor in the gate area seemed to be a relief for her. She never asked to go out, although disregarding the hassle that would have been, at least it would have been something to do. I was also annoyed that the sky cap, knowing that I had 3-1/2 hours to sit alone, never offered to escort me to the restroom or to a counter to buy some food or a cup of tea. I would have asked, but I hadn’t known what was in store for me. She just said, “Wait here.” I finally arrived at Kara’s at 1:00 in the morning.
On 2 of the 4 flights on this trip, a man sitting next to me asked to be moved, because he did not want to be so close to a dog. And I must admit, it was close. The seats are jammed so close together these days that you have to stand on your head to get the dog shoved under the seat in front of you, and then you have no room for your own feet. So you have to take off your feet and put them in the overhead. Ha ha On the way home from this thanksgiving trip, I made connections in D.C. which was one of the most frightening transfers I’ve ever experienced. Sitting at my assigned gate, I was suddenly told that there was a gate change, and I was to follow this woman, who practically ran through the airport, through crowds of people all shouting to each other over the din of airline workers making announcements over the P.A.. Out the door we went into a din of motors of huge vehicles with backup beepers that terify me, because I can’t tell where they are, engines of planes, and busses and vans,. I was urged to go up a ramp into a strange vehicle without being told what it was. Afgter a short ride, we had to walk about a half mile bacck through another part of the airport to wait at another gate. I couldn’t hear the woman in front of me, so I was never sure Dora was following the right person, but she did a stellar job.
Stay tuned for my Christmas travel adventures.