Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time and Travel

If you ever want to see the walking dead, well they are living and perhaps a little more animated, but not very lively, try an airport terminal at 4 am. You know it is early when valet parking is not open and there are no sky caps to be found. But zombies are slowly moving in as if they are drawn by some light calling them from the darkness.

So this is what it looks like. OK, I can now check this off whatever list of life it is on, not that I was dieing to experience it. I join the droves pulled in by the light. I am an early morning  person, but even for me this is pushing it.

To make matters worse, the time changed this morning. Fall back and spring forward or is it fall forward. Just what I need to be time challenged at 2 in the morning. I set the clock next to my bed an hour back and the alarm for 2am. I set the alarm on my cell phone for 2am also (hoping, once again it is smarter than I am and at the bewitching hour it will change on its own.) Then I feared I would stay awake all night wondering if I have set the clocks correctly and, if so, would the alarms go off. But I have and they do.

But hey what is time anyway. When I reach the Charlotte airport, however, it is a whole 'nuther ball game. Travelers are making mad dashes down the concourses. Even little old ladies were moving at a quick pace, one in particular. I happened to sitting near the counter when she made her way through crowd. Good thing she didn't have cane. As she approached the counter, she looked at the board, then looked at the airline person, "Oh my, I thought my flight was leaving from this gate, but the sign says Toledo, and now I have missed it." "Where is your flight to?" "Las Vegas." "No mam. This is the right gate. With the time change, for some reason all our signs have the wrong time and flight information on them."

 Just then two middle age ladies with straw hats and bags came flying up behind her, out of breath. The look on their faces told the story. "Oh no," one said almost in tears. The older lady turned to them, "Honey if you're going to Vegas you haven't missed your flight." and with that she just shuffled off. The ladies at the counter explained the confusion.

Then an announcement was made to everyone in the airport, apologizing for the problem, asking for everyone's patience, and saying they hoped it would be fixed quickly. Suddenly, as if everyone was now operating under the yellow caution flag, the frantic pace of the travelers slowed. Everyone had been running from gate to gate, looking for flights that were not posted at times that did not exist. 

Everyone, but me. I had checked the TV monitor and saw my flight was at B14, went to the gate, and never thought to look at the board above the counter. (My 2am wake-up was catching up with me.) My flight could have been moved 12 gates down and 2 concourses over and I would have been the last to know. Wait a minute, if this is Vegas, where's my flight?

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