Friday, June 12, 2009

Adventures in Flying

I spent the latter part of the morning in the Springfield, Missouri airport doing some last minute visiting with conference friends who were also heading out before catching my late morning flight. As we were sitting in the terminal, we watched a bird flying around INSIDE the terminal. Alison tried to get a picture, but I'm not sure she ever succeeded in getting one that is recognizable. However, there were plenty of us there to witness it!

I discovered that one of my fellow librarians from the conference was actually my seat-mate on the first leg of my flight. The flight from Springfield to Memphis was uneventful; however, I did have a very tight connection. We landed about 12:30 in Memphis, and according to my boarding pass, my flight to Atlanta left at 12:50. I raced my way through one terminal and way down into the next to try to catch the flight before it left. I discovered that the departure time had been misprinted on my boarding pass at the Springfield airport, and that I actually had about 30 minutes until the plane departed. I decided that I had enough time to go back to Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue and grab a sandwich before boarding. By the time I got back to the gate, they were boarding so I ate the sandwich on the plane. Yes, it's as good as all the hype you get from the Food Network!

I witnessed something I'd never seen on a plane before on the flight from Memphis to Atlanta. A guy got the little phone/microphone from the flight attendant and asked everyone to direct their attention to the front of the cabin. This was highly irregular at that point in the flight so we assumed it was the pilot or co-pilot at first. Instead it was a guy who was proposing to his girlfriend of 5 years. He got down on his knees and asked her to marry him. We all applauded when she accepted. A plane is certainly not a very romantic setting, but perhaps they'd met on a Memphis to Atlanta flight or something. At the end of the flight, the flight attendant said that if anyone else wanted to propose that she was single and available. Most everyone laughed.

I had a much more comfortable connection in Atlanta. Our plane arrived all the way at the end of one terminal, and my next gate was two terminals away. I had plenty of time to get there. The Atlanta to Asheville leg was pretty uneventful. I was ready to go grab my bag and hit the road. As I waited for my bag to make its way onto the carousel, suddenly the attendant said, "That's it. That's all the bags." There were still about 6 of us awaiting luggage. We had to follow him to the check-in counters. The agent said that my bag was in Atlanta. She said that they would deliver it to my house. She verified my address and phone number and gave me claim information. I went on and took my carry-on and headed back across the mountain into Tennessee. I've been checking the bag status all night at the web site. I get a message that my bag has still not been located. That's kind of scary when I'd been told that it was in Atlanta. I just assumed that it would make it on the next flight to Asheville and that I'd get the bag later in the night or tomorrow. (I'd heard of people getting their luggage between 2 and 4 a.m. sometimes.) The web site, however, states that they don't make residential deliveries after 10 p.m. It also says that if the delivery service is UPS ground that no weekend deliveries are made. I certainly hope that my luggage makes it here before Monday or Tuesday! If I'd known all of this, I think I would have offered to stay in Asheville until the next flight arrived from Atlanta or had them send it to Tri-Cities or Knoxville if it could have made it to one of those in a timely fashion.

I guess I've been really lucky over the years. This is the first luggage incident that I've had. I've had lots of tight connections before, but this is the first delayed or lost bag I've ever had. I'm just thankful that I'm home now where I do have other clothes I can wear. I'm praying that my luggage will arrive tomorrow! I'd even drive back to Asheville to pick it up! (Of course, they are planning to deliver it. I just don't want to wait until next week because it interferes with other plans.)

UPDATE: I just checked after I posted this. My luggage is now in Asheville!

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