Sunday, July 26, 2009

How I almost didn't make it home from BlogHer

Blame it on the lack of sleep I got my last night at BlogHer, the (un)organizational system of United Airlines, the clock on my phone never changing to the right time zone or excessive use of Twitter; the result is the same. I missed my flight home from BlogHer.

I stayed up late the last night of BlogHer, having a pajama party with my new BFFs. If you choose to picture a bunch of scantily clad ladies having a pillow fight right about now, that’s up to you. I can’t control your thoughts, but get back to the story now. In calculating how much sleep I was going to get, I planned for the latest possible time that I could leave for the airport, and still comfortably make my flight in time. I have never been one of those people who are early to everything. Sometimes I even like cutting it close. It seems to me that getting somewhere early is a big waste of time.

I saved some money on my way to the airport by sharing a cab, and made it in plenty of time to check in. The lines were long, but I aptly determined that the curbside check in was shorter, probably because fewer people wanted to stand outside in the hot sun. So far, so good.

On my way to the security line, I was stopped because I was carrying three bags, including my newly acquired bag of swag, when the limit is two. First I try to talk my way through. “I’m going to buy a larger bag once I’m in there, and combine two of my carry-ons”. The security woman tells me my idea is a good one – thank you - but she can’t let me through with three bags. I do a once over assessment of my bag situation and find a way to shove my purse into my swag bag. Admiring my bag combination aptitude, the security woman says “Nice”.

While in the security line, I get a text from United Airlines that the departure of my flight is delayed. See? This is when it pays off to shoot for “on time”, instead of early. Imagine the sleep I would have missed out on, had I arrived early. Suckahs. Now I have the perfect amount of time to grab coffee and leisurely walk to my gate; while simultaneously texting my sister (whose flight departs a couple hours after mine) with airport updates, and of course tweet with all the other BlogHers on their way home.

When my flight is even further delayed, now scheduled to take off around the same time as my sister’s flight, I decide to go hang out with her after she arrives at the airport. We talk. We eat. We tweet. After a while, I head over to my gate in another terminal. While sitting at my gate, I tweet about my delayed flight and text my sister with blogger sightings.

Tweet, tweet. Text, text. Think about my BlogHer recap post/s. What would be better… the hamburger story or the pajama party story? La La La. This traveling without kids thing is a piece of cake. My sister texts me that she just boarded her plane. I haven’t yet. She can’t believe it.

Wait a minute.

I look up and suddenly realize that my flight is boarding over at gate 27, not gate 25 where I am sitting. Where my boarding pass SAYS the flight is supposed to depart from. I walk over to the correct gate to see if they are boarding yet. That’s weird. No one is over here. I go to the United Representative at the counter to ask when boarding will begin. It’s already boarded, she sweetly replies. Oh, I’m on that flight, I tell her, and I ask where I should go to get on. Let me just call them, she smiles. After a few uh huh’s, she hangs up. Sorry, they’ve already closed the doors. Ok. Umm. Can you tell them to open the doors so that I can get on? I can see the plane right there, I tell her. I’m sorry, we can’t open the doors now, she says. It’s too late. We did call your name several times. Clearly, they didn’t use my Twitter name, or I MAY HAVE HEARD THEM.

Panic. What the holy hell am I going to do now? I cannot believe I’ve actually missed the flight that I ended up being three and a half hours early to! You see? You see why I am not meant to be an early bird? Apparently I look pathetic enough, that the United Representative gives me a standby pass for another flight departing in 10 minutes, and tells me I better get over to the other terminal before they close the doors to that flight in exactly 6 minutes from now.

I decide I’m going to need one of those cart thingys, and fast. I shove my money in, pile my (three) two carry-ons on the cart and proceed to sprint across the terminal at record speed. All adrenalin baby. The people I was passing probably thought I was on the show “Amazing Race”. Completely out of breath halfway through, I wonder if I can go on. I’m no runner, and I question if I even have the stamina to keep up the pace I need to make it in time. Nearing the finish line, I ditch my cart in favor of the escalator. Throwing myself on the counter, I beg the next United Representative to PLEASE let me on this flight. She quickly hands me a boarding pass and tells me to get my ass on the plane NOW. She may not have said ass, but it felt like she did.

Collapsing into my seat, way in the back of the plane, I breathe a sigh of relief and text my sister to let her know that I actually got on a flight. It is at that moment, I realize that I am on THE SAME FLIGHT as my sister.

To further solidify my belief that not just some things, but everything, happens for a reason… I ended up having a great conversation with a very nice gentleman sitting next to me. We were discussing my work in the Finance industry, and the uncertainty of my job after some recent big changes. It turns out that his brother is the HR Director at another financial firm in San Francisco. The silver lining – it’s always there.


Marinka said...

How very blonde!
so fun to hang out with you. The pillow fight was awesome.

Christy said...

Too freaking funny! I can so picture it all. Let me guess? You were back in coach again while your sister was up in first class?!

I LOVE LOVE LOVED meeting you at BlogHer too! You are just so fun and I can't wait to see you again - hopefully SOON!

Kat said...

You had quite an adventure at the airport but you're absolutely right, I think you were meant to be on that flight. So glad you had fun at blogher too :)

Saved by Grace said...

God gave you the overwhelming urge for coffee at just exactly the right moment to make you miss that first flight. Hallelujah!

Hope that contact works for you and you will truly find your purpose in a career that rocks your world!

love you!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, woman.

But what I really need to know: How did the flappy vagina hold up?

Mary Freaking Poppins said...


Devoted Mom To Benjamin said...

I'm laughing out loud. You are such a good writer. I love all the detail. Great story. Please post soon with ALL the details of the trip!!

Childsplayx2 said...

LOL. I love it when people admit how much of a loser they can be to the entire internet. :)

And I vote for the pajama party recap post.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I DEMAND a recap of the Flappy incident. I missed it either because I accidentally lost track of you and wasn't there, or because I was too drunk to listen properly. So spill it, sister.

Issas Crazy World said...

I have read this twice and I am still laughing my ass off. The same flight as Kir? That is just too funny.

And i was gonna say, if they'd called out Flappy, they so would have gotten your attention. LOL. Had an absolute blast with you and miss you already and it's been a day. Must come out there soon.

Maura said...

@Andrea's Sweet Life: You missed it because you were a loser and you had an "early flight" that you "had to get to bed for" that night. Ha! :-P

Kari - I think having the airlines page us using our Twitter names is brilliant. Possibly even better? Tweeting us so that we'd actually SEE it!

I would not have traded the pajama party for anything at BlogHer. Not even all that sweet, sweet swag. #flappyloveshersomefreestuff

butwhymommy said...

That is just so hilarious. I can totally picture you calmly sitting one moment and then running frantically the next.

I miss you Flappy.

Kirsten said...

I suppose it's a good thing it happened to you and not me. I would have totally freaked out.

BTW, the warm nuts in first class were so yummy. As was the hot chocolate chip cookie I had right before landing. Mmmmmmmm.

Aliceson said...

Wow! Something similar happened to me a few years ago on my way home from a wedding on the east coast. I was waiting patiently at the gate (clearly written on my boarding pass) and realized that I was at the wrong gate. Thankfully (or not) my flight was extremely delayed and I made it. Traveling is so stressful!

Zip n Tizzy said...

Oh my gosh!
I could completely imagine the same thing happening to me.
Glad you got home in style. Sounds like you guys had a blast!

Issas Crazy World said...

@Kirsten - warm nuts huh? *snicker*

Amazing Greis said...

Wow, so like Andrea, I totally missed the Flappy party on Saturday night. Dood, so sad about that. I would have totally joined in had I known. LOL

So glad to have met you. Chicago was a blast and I'm already looking forward to NYC next August. I'm definitely allotting a few extra days in the city after the conference, because it's NY and why hurry home. LOL

Jill said...

I didn't know that you and Kirsten were sisters... how fun!! I totally dig her, and have a small connection with her as I now live in India (for a 3 year tour). I'll be back - you're a funny chick! :)

Headless Mom said...

Because of the cab ride (and not the L,) I was super early for my flight. A couple of times I had minor panic attacks because who really gets to the airport 2 1/2 hours early? It was great to meet you and actually get a chance to talk without the craziness all around.

bernthis said...

A) I love you AND your sister and I am looking up flights to Northern CA for hopefully end of August.

B) like I said, United BLOWS!

viridian said...

No I wasn't at blogher. BUT, something similar happened to me. I was reading The Quiet American by Graham Greene, sitting my gate area at Newark. I didn't even notice my flight was boarding and leaving. Now that is a good writer.

septembermom said...

That was an adventure! This is one funny post. Glad that you had fun at blogher.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Lucky break! I totally missed boarding a flight because I was at a charging station at terminal and didn't hear the announcements. Doh!


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