I can write a whole series about the episodes of our airport dramas. Ever since we started traveling 7 years ago, we’ve been delayed, had our flights canceled, our luggage lost, interrogated, searched and that’s just the run of the mill stuff. One time we couldn’t get out of Thailand because of civil unrest when protesters took over the whole airport.
When I used to only have a temporary visa, every time I flew back into the States, I would get pulled into an office in the back for questioning…how many times do I have to explain that I am an actuary?! I came to dread coming home even though I loved traveling. These interrogations stopped after I got my green card and global entry. Our trips to and from the airport become seamless and drama free. We got it down to a science where everything was perfectly timed to maximize efficiency and minimize drama. Imagine our surprise when we landed in Dallas from Hong Kong, Fausto got randomly selected and pulled over for additional screening at customs. The drama was back! They asked him how many times he was out of the country this year.
Did we get on a list for traveling too much?
I was through customs and security first (gotta love global entry). The big board said that our flight was at gate C7 boarding at 4:55 pm. Glancing down at the clock on my phone, I saw that it was 4:40 pm. If you have ever been to the airport in Dallas, you would completely understand what they mean when they say “everything’s bigger in Texas.’ Gate C was on the other side of the airport from where we were. I decided to take the air train and get there first in case Fausto was late and I can somehow get the gate agents to hold the plane. Wishful thinking on my part. Fausto had finally managed to make it through customs relatively unscathed. They only demanded his first-born child, just kidding, I think.
At this point, we were separated; he was still near security and I was almost at terminal C. As I was on my way, I got a bunch of texts from Fausto demanding to know why I am heading to gate C. Apparently on his app, it said boarding is at gate A25. That happen sometimes when they do a last minute gate change. After a quick chat, Fausto double checked the board and confirmed that it was C7. Confident, I got off the air train and walked to gate C7 and saw that they had started boarding already, but it was to Boston! Confused, I walked up and asked the gate agent and she said flight to La Guardia is actually gate A35! That was NOT the gate mentioned on the board or on the app, but that’s neither here nor there.
I started running back towards terminal A, convinced that we were going to miss our flight. It was 5:07 pm when we both finally got there. We saw the flight information on the gate board but no one else was there. That should have been our first clue, but our jetlagged brain was not functioning. Panic set in as we ran around, looking for someone, anyone to help us. Finally we found a gate agent who was able to check on the computer and confirmed that A35 is the right gate, but we were not boarding for ANOTHER hour. Apparently, it was only 4:07 pm and both the clocks on our phones were not updated to local time. This was probably the most drama we’ve had at an airport in awhile, but probably won’t be our last. Traveling so much, we have just accepted that all the airport drama comes with the territory. We had a good laugh about it, after we sat down and caught our breath.