Saturday, September 12, 2009

How I almost missed my flight…or, Why I Dislike Philly: Reason #684

I’m HOOOOOOOOME.  I can’t possibly express how awesome it is to be here.  But let’s recap how I got here because quite the story it is.  Last time we met, I explained that I would be leaving at no later than 3:45am to catch my 6am flight out of Philly.  It’s about a 45 minute drive to the airport, so this would put me at the airport at 4:30, giving me plenty of time to park, catch a shuttle, get through security (it was 9/11, after all), and head to my gate with time to spare.

Let it be known that nothing ever goes as planned.  Read on to find out why.

I actually left early since I was ready, so I packed my car and headed out in the pouring rain to drive to the airport.  I don’t believe the state of Pennsylvania believes in street lights, so it was a dark, rainy drive.  Luckily I had to concentrate super hard on driving (especially through the mist of the semi-trucks…does anyone else hate that??), otherwise I might have fallen asleep.  However, there is little-to-no traffic at four in the morning, so I get to the airport at 4:20, ahead of schedule.  Good to go, you think?  Ohhh how wrong you are.

I pulled up the economy parking lot, where there is a line of cars waiting to get tickets to get in.  I would assume that all these people had 6am flights like me because, honestly, who else is at the airport at 4:30 in the morning?  I notice that no cars are pulling into the economy lot, and we’re just waiting in a line to get in.  Two maintenance trucks show up.  Ten minutes go by, and we haven’t moved at all.  This looks suspicious…and then another truck shows up!  I realize that I should probably go look for other parking, but it’s 4:45, I have no clue where other parking is, it’s pouring rain, and I don’t want to spend $30/day to park in the parking garage.  Finally 4:55 rolls around and I realize I should find a Plan B.  But I have no clue what that is.

Since the Rocket Scientist is a very forgiving boyfriend, I call him and ask what to do.  He says there’s another entrance to economy parking, but he doesn’t know where it is.  I ask him to give me the number for the parking authority (I don’t think I was being very nice…remember, I hadn’t slept yet!), so I called them.  A lady answered the phone and provided directions to the other entrance…but I had no clue where I was and I definitely had no idea where she was trying to send me!  I drive around and end up back at the entrance where I was first, so I pulled in and asked the maintenance guy how to get there.  He points me in the right direction and off I go.  All is good until I come to an unmarked-Y in the road, and I don’t know where to go.  As luck would have it, I picked the wrong one and end up heading towards the employee parking lot.  I turned around and drove in the other direction until I finally found the other entrance to economy parking.  I pull into the first spot I see and join about ten other people huddled under an awning waiting for the shuttle bus.

Three shuttle buses pass us, and I begin to wonder if we’re even going to get picked up.  Luckily the next one stops and we all get on, but then the bus proceeds to stop at every.  single.  bus stop.  All which have NO ONE under them.  Gahh.  Finally we get to the departures section of the airport and I get dropped off at my spot.  I RUN (with two bags and flip flops…so not so much of a “run”) to security.  The guy in front of me has no idea how to get through security…they have him go back through about three times.  Finally it’s my turn, and I get through quite easily, but my bag does not.  The security guy looks at me and says, “Is this your black bag?”  “Why yes, it is.”  “Mind if we look through it?”  “No, not at all.”  Dirty look ensued.

Let’s note that I am a 115 pound white female.  My bag is a black duffel bag that says, “United States Army” on it, compliments of my brother from when he was at West Point.  I understand that it’s 9/11, but I am the least threatening person alive.  Let it be known that my bag did not contain explosive material, as noted by the little swippy test that they do at the airport.

I finally get through security at 5:35, and as I’m walking to the gate, I hear, “Final boarding call for United Flight 337 to Chicago.  All ticketed passengers should be on board.”  Um, THAT’S MY FLIGHT.  I start to run, again.  I must have been quite a sight to see.  Luckily I made it with time to spare…water was leaking through the window in cockpit, so we were delayed while maintenance fixed it.

Let me tell you, I would have absolutely lost it if I missed my flight because I couldn’t get into the parking lot.  Add that to the list of reasons as to why I don’t like Philly.

Off for a hot date with my friends…stay tuned for my best 20 miler yet!!


  1. What a nightmare! Flights are always finicky and I have the WORST luck ever with catching flights. No matter what, without fail, any flight I get in is delayed or cancelled, typically the returning flight, but if I'm really lucky, it's both ways. I once sat in Newark airport for 7 hours. No lie.

    I hate that spray that comes off semis! Hope you have fun at home and let's do a run/twist date soon! I'm always around.

  2. oh gosh! what a nightmare. glad you made it to your flight just in time.

    hope you enjoy home!

  3. Wow that sounds intense! At least you made it!

  4. irritating! I would have completely lost it on the parking lot! I'm glad you caught the flight!

    Have yourself a great weekend to make the trip worth all that craziness!

  5. oh man, I hate to fly specifically for reasons such as that!!! such a pain in the ass...glad you made it home safely. Enjoy your time off!

  6. Mmm... Philly International - gotta love the chaos in there. Although rarely have I had issues flying out of there. I've had worse problems out of O'Hare though.

  7. Aww, airport drama is the WORST! Glad you made it. Enjoy you tri[!

  8. How annoying! Did you ever find out why they weren't letting people in to the ecconomy parking on that side?

  9. Glad you finally made it! I hate airports!!

  10. I am glad you finally made it. I have heard horror stories of Philly airport - my parents now refuse to fly out of there. Hope the rest of your trip is better!

  11. omg I'm so glad you made it. Don't you hate it when you have everything planned to a T and then crap out of your control messes it up completely? So annoying...