Missed Connection

I just missed my connection. It was there. I saw it. I ran across two terminals (heels in hand for better speed) because the agent had told me as I exited from my San Franicsco flight, “You’ve got plenty of time — at least 12 minutes. You can’t miss it.”

I arrived, breathless (note to self: start going to gym), just as they closed the door.
(heavy pant) “The flight to Greensboro? Can, can I still get on?” (heavy pant)
“Nope. The door’s closed.”
(less heavy pant, heart rate is dropping to, oh, 150 beats per minute) “I see that. Can’t you open it? I see the plane.”
“Nope. The door’s closed. Once the door is closed, no one else can get on.”
I smiled. No reason to be nasty. “But, the plane is still there. I see it. See? Look. There it is. Seat 6D is just waiting for me. Please don’t disappoint 6D.”
She didn’t appreciate my humor. “You’re rebooked on the 6:48 flight. Gate B22.”

The exact same gate I had arrived at from San Francisco. The exact same gate, two terminals away, that takes 8 minutes to reach running at a decent sprint (laptop and purse in tow). Tears welled in my eyes. I didn’t want to be on the 6:48 flight. I wanted to be on the flight that I was staring at, that still had 4 minutes till departure time.

It pulled away from the gate. A tear rolled down my cheek. No dinner with mom and dad tonight. No last minute Christmas shopping. No Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the way home from the airport. Okay, well we could still have the dougnuts; they’re open all night.

My plane had left, what were my options? Surely there was a flight before 6:48. That was 6 hours away. I mean, I know NC is remote, but come on. I checked the boards. Yes, there was another flight. At 4:15. I walked, took a bus, went up stairs, wandered past McDonald’s and arrived at Terminal F, gate F9. The gate agent didn’t look happy to be there.

“Hi! I’ve just missed my flight. Is there any possibility I could fly standby on the 4:15 flight?”
He took my boarding pass and tapped, tapped, tapped into the computer. “Nope.”
“Nope? It’s fully booked? Oh….”
“Nope, you’re not flying standby because I’ve booked you a seat.”

Yippee! Yay for me! As I put my boarding pass in my purse, I found a Red Carpet Club pass I hadn’t used. O’Hare, you’re not looking so bad after all. Merry Christmas.

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