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A travel FAIL

After a long run of relatively trouble free travel, though you couldn’t ever tell from my blood pressure, I finally whiffed one this morning. I forgot/underestimated the amount of people traveling at 5 am. The security line was monumental, although it really only took me 30 minutes ot traverse. The whole thing put me up against the wire.

First, SJC is undergoing pretty serious construction. No, really, the first first was the rental car bus waiting for a long time before getting underway … at each stop. Don’t they run an additional bus or two during peak hours? Actually, the real first first was the car rental agency not having the usual person with a remote check-in. I had to hit the counter, which caused me to miss the bus arriving just then. And on it went. (Truly the first FAIL was my thinking I could get here the usual “about an hour ahead of the flight.”)

Traffic getting to the terminals was extra busy. When I got my feet on the ground, I hit the speed and ran for my boarding pass. First bad sign, I missed the window for the flight already and had to take a stand-by on the next flight. But if I can get to the gate in time …

So I boogie, trying not to bang people along the way, round the curve … and, WOW, the security line is long … and longer … and curves down to the baggage pick-up carousel … and around the room … and right up to me. Hmm, maybe I really am not going to make this flight?

But things did move at some pace, there was still 10 minutes to the flight and a chance to get on board when I got my “line 5” direction and headed down that path … right behind the clueless traveler. “Oh, I have to get my own bins.” Bad sign. Shoes take a long time to remove. Needs another bin. Heads to the metal detector, whoops!, didn’t bring the boarding pass, it’s still in the handbag. By the time I got through and was waiting for my stuff, I wasn’t surprised when the joking-and-joshing with fellow TSAers x-ray reader had to pass my backpack through again. Why not, what’s another minute at this point? Um … everything?

As it happened, I got to the gate at about two minutes to the launch hour, but the doors were closed, and here I sit. At least the wireless is free now at SJC, thanks folks.

“Security was extra bad today,” says the guy next to me who just missed his flight to Seattle. He seems to know what he’s talking about.

I admit that I’m pretty pretty bummed out, if you couldn’t tell.  I was trying to save some travel dollars by not doing another hotel overnight, figuring I could get a same-day flight without any problem. Then the OSL trip, scheduled to start before Noon, removed much cushion for travel error. Even with my original flight, I still had to make good time to the Portland MAX light rail, figure it all out, and get on no later than the 8:10 train. With a 7:40 landing, but no checked luggage. It was doable, but a tight schedule that required no mess ups. Currently it is up in the air if we should move the schedule to accommodate me, much depends on if I actually get on this flight. Jack says he’ll be at the terminal to pick me up, so I just have to let them know if I make the flight or not.

Oh, good, that’s a nice sign. The clueless traveler who was in front of me in the security line has just sat across from me in the next aisle. Nothing like a little salt to make the wound feel fresh.