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Hurry up and wait

June 23, 2010

Welcome to Terminal A!

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While I don’t fly often each time I have I get the same feeling, “hurry up and wait”. I know this may sound weird, but I always feel like everyone is in a rush to get to the airport early (it was just after 11am when I passed security for my 1:05pm flight) because you never know how long it will take to get through security. I realize that I’m lucky that the wait isn’t crazy long here like it is at other airports and I should probably shut my face, but I hope you see where I’m going with this. Never mind how truly awkward going through security is (I really need to remember to wear socks with my sandals next time…uber sexy but better than walking barefooted on the floor…) as you rush to get all the stuff out of your bag (liquids, laptop and camera) and into the provided buckets only to have the guy impatiently waiting behind you tapping his foot and wishing that you could move along faster. Frustrated, you tell him he can go in front of you, just to get him off your back.

As your stuff gets scanned and you walk through the giant metal detector (please underwire bra, don’t make the detector beep!) everyone crosses their fingers and hopes that their bag on the conveyor belt isn’t randomly selected to be hand checked. As you stand there in your shoeless feet (or like me with your feet on the bare ground..yuck!) waiting for the items to come out of the scanner, the bag that belongs to the (impatient) guy in front of you is *ding ding* the lucky one to get selected to have his bag hand checked. Now you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Your stuff finally comes through and you rush to put everything back in your bag and move on out of the way of the other impatient people behind you.

Then, after you make it through security you have to rush to your gate just to wait even longer for the plane to arrive, for the people to disembark, for first/business class to board the plane (anyone else wonder why they go on first only to SIT THERE AS YOU PASS THEM TO GET TO YOUR SEAT? Even more awkward!), and then make a mad dash for a seat as the different sections board and then proceed to shove their too-large-for-carry-on-luggage in the overhead compartment.

You sit on the tarmac, waiting for the plane to be cleared for take-off, praying that it isn’t too long because it’s darn hot in those planes when they aren’t moving, no matter how high you have the air blowing on your face, as your squished between two people you don’t know. Eventually the plane takes off and you wait more, but at least you’re going somewhere! Finally the plane makes it’s descent into the airport of your destination (or at least circle around the airport because there aren’t any places for the plane to go on the ground…). If you’re lucky you can go down to baggage claim and wait for your bag to hopefully show up around the conveyor belt. If you’re not lucky you wait again at another gate for your connecting flight – only to start the process all over again. Sweet!

While this is my experience today in the Jax airport, I’m sure those of you who have ever been on an airplane have a similar story. What do you think about flying? Do you also think there is a “hurry up and wait” feel to flying?

While I’m waiting I have this book that I found in one of the bookstores at the airport and an Odwalla blueberry smoothie for lunch (or at least a snack since I’m not really all that hungry). Did you know that the bookstores in the airport have a “read and return” thing going on? You can buy it, read it, return it and get a 50% refund on the book. How cool is that?!

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See you in Atlanta!

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(Not bad for a DSLR self portrait!)

ETA: This post was written yesterday but I couldn’t connect to the wireless network at the Jax airport. Needless to say our flight was delayed and I had just enough time to get off the plane, use the bathroom and grab some lunch before re-boarding the plane and heading to NY. About 30 minutes Iater Sara and Sharon arrived but our trip to Connecticut is going to be saved for another post 🙂

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