Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Fright Home...

Ok, so I drove with my brother to help him move into his new aparment in Illinois last Saturday and then on Sunday I was to fly (ok, I did end up flying) home on American Airlines.

I arrived at O'hare at 7:30 a.m. for my 8:50 a.m. flight and checked the departure board. One flight had been cancelled. Care to guess? I'll let you have three tries and the first 2 do not even count!!

Yep. I had in my hand my pre-printed, now useless, electronic boarding pass. This meant I now had to rub shoulders with the masses and wind my way slowly to the check-in counter. Thirty minutes later I was informed I was now booked on United Airlines 9:15 flight, but not really because what they were actually giving me was a coupon for the ticket for said flight. Now hustle back to terminal 1 to get in their Check-In line.

Aaaaand 20 minutes later I am being told that AA did not actually book me on the flight and I might not be leaving Chicago for a while. Seeing my 'Now-I-Know-Why-They-Blow-Up-Airports' look, the counter tech decided he might want to give it the 'Ole College Try' and see if he could effect a positive resolution.

Which he did! Thank you United!

So, as I wended my way through the security line (which was being outpaced by the proverbial snail) I decided to change my shoes for my flip-flops. I would like to say that I am almost 40 and this is the first year (at age 39) in which I have ever owned flip-flops. I have to admit I was missing out.

Then the 'Man' decided that he would split the security check line and sent my half to the far end of the terminal where they opened a new check point. Upon arriving at the front of the line (some 15 minutes before boarding was to commence for my flight) I had the following interaction with the security staff:

Security Flunky: ID and boarding pass.
(glancing from me to the documents and offering a brief frown)
Thank you. You have been selected for Special Inspection.

I realize that they do have to do this and had been through it once before on a flight to Swizterland, but I was in kind of a hurry and therefore was a bit slow on deciding how I should react. Should I:
a: jump up and down clapping and calling out 'Yea me!'
b: do the 'One-armed, athletic, fist pump' and calling out 'Boo-yah!'
c: shrug my shoulders and wait for further instructions.

I chose poorly. I shrugged my shoulders and stood there quietly.

SF: Did you hear me?
(now glaring at me)

Again there were myriads of choices available. I chose to be annoyingly polite.

me: (with my widest, brightest smile) Yes. I have been selected for Special Inspection.
SF: Follow me!
(now glaring and a bit red in the face)

Fortunately everyone else seemed to be a little harried and the full-body probe never occurred.

Here's how we were called for boarding:

Section 1 may now board. Section 2 may now board...Section 3...Section 4 may now board.


Every airline I have ever flown called us by row numbers after boarding 1st and business class passengers! My boarding pass had nothing on it about sections and after staring around at the empty Waiting Area, I had to assume it was the only boarding pass devoid of a section number.

I really wanted to go up to the uniformed flunky and demand to be shown what section it was in which I had been seated, but then I might have been selected for Special Inspection!


creative-type dad said...

The wife and I were "chosen" once for the special -
By the time we got to our seats, the overweight stinky man blocking our seats nearly ate us when he "had" to get up...

Bad memories

Hannah said...

I've never even heard of "special inspection". The snap of the rubber glove would haunt my dreams.

Chaos Control said...

I once tried to joke around with an airport security guard - try to bring a smile to his day. My efforts landed me in special inspection. The jerk.

Rebecca said...

Crazy. God, I HATE flying. I've never been chosen for the special inspection either. I hope I never do.

wayabetty said...

It must have been those flip flops Dennis!!

All I can say is "spread 'em Dennis!"