Travel Stress

Most of the time, I’ve been fortunate in airports and on airplanes.  Aside from a few individuals at security checkpoints who singled me out for bullying (pre-TSA.  The people in question were not the product of any screening or training) and a reservation bump which was corrected within a couple of hours, I’ve done okay.  I haven’t been subjected to the nightmare abuse or inconveniences we’ve heard about, maybe just because I haven’t traveled often.

Okay, on the way home from JFK in May of this year, the plane sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before takeoff.  That wasn’t as bad as some tarmac delays, but it was ludicrous.  We were told the caterer was running late.  Maybe the caterer was responsible for keeping the passenger cabin stocked with vital bottled water, but all I knew about were the $7 Sandwiches From Hell.  They were in plastic clamshells which may or may not have been recycled.

In the meantime, we were given permission to step back into the terminal, provided we took our carry-ons with us.  I stayed on the plane, reading the newspaper and a copy of New York magazine.  Always be prepared for delays when you board a plane.  That’s one of the reasons we have airport shops.  Besides, I’d already eaten an $8 Sandwich From Hell in the terminal, so I didn’t need food during the wait.  Yeah, the sandwiches were a little cheaper on the plane, but if you’re a good troubleshooter you won’t board an airplane without a full stomach or at least an emergency stash of baby carrots.

During the delay, the passenger two seats away from me left the plane with his wheeled mini-suitcase, saying he hadn’t eaten.  I hope he didn’t get a crappy, high sodium sandwich in the terminal, because he bought one of those after re-boarding the plane.  If that was the case, at least he was protected from repeatedly having to maneuver out of his window seat to use the restroom.  After two Sandwiches From Hell, you’re not likely to pee for a while.

But I digress.  When you’re “in control” of your blog, there’s no one to keep you on topic.

Where money was concerned, I’m especially grateful that the flight home from JFK wasn’t delayed any longer than it was.  The plan landed at SFO before midnight, and I was able to get one of the last — if not the last — BART train home.  Not the safest way to handle it, but everything turned out well and I saved a truckload of money skipping the taxicab.  I promise it won’t happen again.

Here’s a lightweight New York Times article about travel incidents.  Reading this piece — which has no real substance — gave me the idea for today’s blog post.  It shows, too, doesn’t it?



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