My flight to Atlanta was uneventful. Now the goal was to get to JFK. The gate agent in Atlanta got on the PA and made the announcement….”Ladies and Gentlemen, We are waiting for the crew to give us the ok to board the plane to JFK. We will let you know when we can board as soon as we have the ok. At this point, we do not have a new estimated time of arrival. Thank you for your patience”
Don’t thank me for my patience…. Get me in the air. At this point, I have to make an 11:35 am flight and the Atlanta flight is scheduled to arrive at 10:54 am,
Now for those of you that aren’t flying regularly… that means that the wheels touch the ground in NY at 10:54 am. That doesn’t mean that you are even close to getting out of the plane.
So, I start to explain to the flight attendant that my connection is super tight, and she starts to walk away and says… “everyone’s is”. I stop her and ask if there is anyway that I can be the first off the plane. She continues to walk away in the most excellent display of customer service…. “You’ll be fine honey… they will make an announcement.” So, she is totally useless. The other flight attendant walks by later and I explain that I have a really tight connection and she immediately argues with me and says… “why do you think you have a tight connection… we are getting in early.” Early??? That is about the first bit of good news I have heard. She says that we are getting in at 10:45. Well, we finally touch down at 10:55 am and I go bolting up the aisle only to be stopped by a big dude who is blocking the way. I did manage however to clear about 5 rows of people before big dude stopped me.
So, I get off the plane, and I call my client who is already at the gate for the Bangkok flight and she tells me that they don’t think I have a boarding pass. I told her I did, and that I was in seat 18A, I ask what gate I need to go to, and find that it is terminal 4 gate B22. I am now in terminal 2. I asked the gate agent for directions and she says to leave the building and walk 2 terminals away. I don’t have time to argue, so I bolt for the door.
Halfway to terminal 3 I realize I am going to get lost. No real signs. It is not really made fir pedestrians. I hailed a cab who was just about to hit me anyway, and hopped in. By now, it is about 11:10 and the clock is running.
I told the cabbie to go to terminal 4 and he argues with me. I explain I have a flight that leaves in 20 minutes, and he finally gets with the program. When I got to terminal 4, I still had to go through security. I hit the line running. I asked the agent to put me to the head of the line since I was so close, and she just looked at me and made some kind of hand gesture and walked away. So, I decide to rely on the goodness of the human race and I start asking people if they will let me go ahead of them. Now, just about anywhere else in the country, people would be happy to help. This is New York though, and almost every time I asked if I could get in front of someone, they would look me right in the eye and ask “why.. what flight you on?”
So, here I am pushing my way through well over 100 people and the countdown is on. My client said that if I didn’t make it through security by 11:30 am they wouldn’t let me on the plane. It is 11:25 and I haven’t even hit the metal detector yet. I am done being polite… I just start saying excuse me and pushing my way through the line. I get to the gate around 11:27 and have to argue with them a bit as well. It seems that when United delayed the flight and switched me to Delta, Thai Airways somehow didn’t want to recognize my boarding pass. A little more strong arm, and I am finally on the plane. I see my client, and realize that I am actually going to go to Bangkok today.