Saturday, June 30, 2007

Redeye Out of LAX

If you haven't flown a redeye flight in a while like me, let me recommend that you leave yourself plenty of extra time. And here's why. Every international flight is taking off about that time. Flights to China, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, you name it.

Not only that, but the TSA in it's infinite wisdom manage to forget the weekend before the 4th of July to staff enough agents. So there was only one agent checking IDs. Two weeks prior, Northwest Airlines only had one agent working all the ticket counters, so I gave myself extra time for that, not knowing the sea of people I was about to meet at the bottom of the stairs before going up for the security check.

There was no one allowing First Class and Elite members through the "special" line, and after having a group of 18 Asians cut in front of me, I had it. So when the line finally opened for First Class, I got yelled at by the agent. I told her that no one was working that line. She checked my ID and ticket and allowed me to stand in that line.

Then we heard that the TSA only had two checkpoints open. Again, what were they thinking? So when an agent came up and told the TSA agent to allow NWA passengers up because our flight was close to boarding, she finally started letting people up, but that's when pandemonium broke loose. The lady let a rope down and now everyone was pushing their way forward.

Honestly, I don't mean this in any comical way, but I seriously can understand how people must have felt trying to get out of Saigon or towards lifeboats if a ship were sinking. I knew there were other flights if I missed this one, but the masses of people pushing on me was scary.

Finally I was allowed up, and at the top of the escalator, they asked if we were part of a group whose flight left before mine. I just said yes so that I could get through one of the security checkpoints.

As it turns out, I made it to my gate with 5 minutes to spare before they started boarding my flight. If I hadn't done what I did, I would have missed my flight. I even tolerated the two women behind me in First Class who talked and drank wine all night long.

And for my Dad, I told you that you are not supposed to joke around at airports anymore. See...

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