We had all stood around like cattle waiting to board. The counter person for the major airline began calling for pre-boards and elite members. Those in first class were seated and served their cocktails. I was not one of them. I was still standing in the hallway waiting for them to call the rows located mid-plane. I watched as herds of people fidgeted and fussed. All but the alpha-passenger.
Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the person who will try to board early. They will approach the ticket kiosk and show the attendant their ticket only to be sent back out into the throng. She will then call for all passengers with small children or requiring assistance. Alpha passenger will once again run up to the kiosk boarding pass in hand Seat # 267 B and say “can I board now?” The agent will once again politely take the ticket read the number and say “no, sir. We have not called your row. Please move back and we will call your row.” This gets repeated another forty-two thousand times until finally Alpha’s row will be called. He has given up and is at the coffee kiosk buying an extra large diet Coke and a Snicker’s bar. His radar equipped ears will hear the number for his row called and then it will send the message to his brain which then takes a moment to process. He will sprint through the awaiting throng of boarding passengers like O.J. Simpson boarding the next plane out of prison. He will fly to the agent scanning the boarding passes and thrust his in her face. Then he will bound down the jet way to the awaiting vessel of viruses where he will once again wait to board. He will finally make his way to his seat managing to either spill Diet Coke or bonk most of the seated passengers with his oversized carry-on. He will finally hoist said bag into the overhead compartment. He will turn it to the left, set it on its side, squeeze it down and shove it around until he manages to stuff the valise into the compartment. He will have done so at the detriment of the laptop and make-up bags which had already been stowed. He will then take his seat in the center seat and refuse to budge to accommodate the other passengers in his area. He is the Alpha-passenger.
The plane hurtles down the tarmac, the wheels lift and we are air born. We are in Boeing 737. Our flight attendants have demonstrated the seat belts, the oxygen mask and have informed us that our seats will act as flotation devices. They have given us our in-flight movie and told us they will be handing out snacks and drinks as soon as the captain removes the fasten your seat belt sign. We are on our way, just another day in the friendly skies.
We fly over desert, mountains and fertile fields until we reach our destination at the big busy airport. The captain announces our arrival time and prepares for landing. The flight attendants have made their final round and are secured in their seats. I hear the wheels descend and the captain power down. I am sitting in the middle seat and can see the run way through the window. Our wheels touch the ground the nose comes down. I have that feeling of relief; but it is only temporary. I look through the window and see something that takes a minute to register. Another plane can be seen through the window. Something isn’t right. We should be slowing down. We should be coming to a taxi. I hear the engines roar and feel the plane accelerate. The nose lifts back up and the next thing I know it feels like we are on an amusement park ride. The nose of the plane is pointed skyward and we start to climb hard and fast. I look out the window and the ground is rapidly moving away from us. You can hear items shifting in the over head compartment. I no longer need Botox or a facelift, the “G” force of the thrust has tightened and tucked the loose skin and pinned it to the seat. Then we start to level out. Behind me I hear a woman screaming “oh DEAR LAWD! SWEET BABY JEBUS! What in the HELL just happened?” The woman to my right is making the sign of the cross. I ask her if she is catholic and she says she is now.
We circle the airport a couple of times while the captain cleans out is panties. kshhhskbshh Ladies and gentlemen, I’m terribly sorry for the little ride we just took. It appears we were landing where someone else had just landed. It is perfectly okay and these things happen all the time. We will be landing in just a few minutes and then I’m going to go beat the shit out of air traffic control. Thanks again for hanging in there. Kshhhskbshhh
The plane circled one last time as my fellow passengers peered out the windows trying to help the captain look out for errant planes landing on his run way. Our wheels touched the flaps came down and then the captain stood on the breaks. Everything that had been tossed in the uphill climb had now been dislodged and thrown the other direction. We finally came to a complete stop. They rolled out the jet bridge and opened the doors. Everybody in the plane stood up at once and tried to rush the door.
Alpha-passenger was going to beat them all to the door. He jumped up from his seat and over the man in the aisle seat. He threw open the overhead compartment. The oversized carry-on had dislodged itself and the release of the latch caused it to jettison out of the compartment and right into Alpha-passengers nose. It was after and only after Alpha’s luggage assaulted him did the flight attendant come on the speaker and give the warning to be cautious as some items may have been dislodged in the landing.
I retrieved my items walked off the plane and into the terminal. I asked for directions to my connecting flight to Itty Bitty City. The agent instructed me to walk 47 miles to terminal “B” ascend to the upper level and catch the shuttle, no not the space shuttle, to terminal “A”. I did as I was instructed and hiked the forty-seven miles ascended to the upper level, and even found the shuttle to terminal “A”. What I did not find was my departure gate. I checked my boarding pass and it had no gate listed. I checked the monitor as instructed and did not see my departing flight number. I made my way to the information booth and inquired where and which gate my departing flight could be found. The agent looked then called a faceless voice and spoke at length. He got out a map and I knew I was in trouble when he said “hm, I didn’t know we had a Terminal X.” He drew instructions on the map and sent me on my way. I exited out a door and was loaded on a waiting bus. That bus drove for about 40 minutes from one side of Big City Airport to the other. I disembarked the bus and was hurried into another terminal where I was instructed to wait for my flight to be called. I looked around and saw that all 5 of the chairs in the waiting area were occupied. I decided to sit on the window sill. I had just gotten my bags, book and big butt balanced on the ledge when a woman shouted that flight 666 would be departing out of gate 1. There was only one gate. She also stated they would be pre-boarding all Elite and Platinum members first along with first class. No one stood up to board. She then called all rows. I stood with all my earthly belongings and walked down a jet way to a set of steps. I stepped out of the jet way and onto the tarmac. I then entered another bus. The bus driver then drove all three of us another 30 minutes to another part of the airport where it was very sparse and barren. There waiting was a tee tiny airplane. We boarded the small plane and the co-pilot/flight attendant told us to buckle our seat belts. It’s a good thing we did because the little plane vibrated, shook, bounced and jumped for the flight to Little Bitty City. The crew announced our arrival and imminent landing. Now having just almost hit another airliner and having survived the ride in a sardine can hurtling through the sky dusting crops and delivering mail I thought what else could go wrong. We circled Little Bitty City Municipal Airport and Bowling Lounge while they shooed the cows off the runway. Then the pilot announced we had been cleared for landing. We came in fast and hard bounced once, twice and on the third time the pilot stood on the brakes and skidded sideways to a stop right in front of the terminal and lane 3 of the bowling alley just as the mayor/police chief/school janitor/dog catcher rolled a 7 – 10 split.
All in all it was an uneventful flight.