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"Flying for Dummies," aka me....

Posted by darren

Okay, let's be upfront about this and then I shall add detail. I missed my flight to Arkansas Friday... while I was sitting at the gate.

No, I wasn't running late, and yes, I am an idiot.

Now that is out of the way, I would like to defend my good traveling name if that is at all possible. I'm a navy brat. One of the things you inevitably become good at is moving when you grow up in a military family.

Traveling is second nature to me, right up there with riding a bike and flying kites directly into the tallest, unclimbable trees. I've flown into Dallas so many times, they named a terminal wing after me. I've been to Germany, Japan, South Korea, Canada (although if you call me out on it, I shall deny it) and even a remote part of Alaska on a pontoon plane.

I'm a "pro."

I know the hoops you have to jump through to get to your gate, and I've got my own method of doing things so I don't have to deal with a full body cavity search.

For example, when I go through the gate, I have everything I own in my carry-on bag including wallet, watch, belt, keys, etc. The only thing on me is my clothes and my drivers license.

I know to always wear socks that don't have holes in them. You don't want to look like a hobo at the security gate.

Despite being the veteran flyer, I still made the cardinal sin in traveling: I trusted things would go on-schedule, and according to plan. Reality is hardly ever on time, and just because something says it will be at Gate 20 doesn't mean that will actually happen.

My gate was supposed to be hosting a flight before my flight into Texas, which went to LaGuardia. However, that New York flight got moved to a different gate, meaning the one boarding next would be my own.

I didn't get that memo.

So I waited, and waited, for those damn New Yorkers to get out of my gate so I could enjoy my short vacation to Little Rock, where I would watch my cousin's wedding and then drink with my old friends -- who I hadn't seen since I graduated college five years ago.

It was getting close to time for departure, and I still hadn't heard boarding information.

Granted the guy announcing flight information had a thiiiiiick Korean accent and I couldn't make out anything he said. Seriously, who gives someone who can't speak clear English a job like that at an airport? *sigh*

I went up to the gate and asked when my plane would arrive, to which I got a response that it already left... 10 minutes early....

Nevermind I was sitting at the gate for two hours prior.

Nevermind I was checked in, and had to be somewhere in the airport.

I listened to every announcement they made, and I never heard my name or "Dallas."

Moral of the story: check your gate information with your own eyes every 15-30 minutes. Otherwise you'll miss your flight, get standby, the standby flight will be full, and you will miss your vacation plans and be forced to drink in our nation's capitol.

Wait, that doesn't sound so bad after all. Where's the closest happy hour?