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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Fun Begins

If you really want to appreciate, no love traveling by RV, just hop a flight on an airplane.  It's been a long time since I've flown commercial with the huddled masses and I was reminded how much I don't miss it.

I had a 11 am flight to get back to our South Carolina "home" so I could make the first of two appointments at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital.   The best flight we could find without exhausting my entire bank account and my first born child was a flight with one stop.  Philly to Detroit (!?) to Columbia, SC.  With a nice, long layover in Detroit.

Fortunately my son Ryan dropped me off early (7 am) at the Philly airport.  I needed every minute of the extra time to check in.  The airline (Delta) had the most interesting system to check in that I've ever seen.  If you had pre printed a boarding pass, you were taken first over everybody else standing in line, including First Class passengers, at a ration of about 20 to 1.  Interesting.

Finally making it to the counter after becoming life long friends with all the people I stood in line with, phone numbers and email address exchanged, I got a pretty good tongue lashing from the counter lady over not using the touch screen computer thingy in front of the counter to check in, instead of trying to have her print out my boarding pass.  So much for the friendly skies.

Checked my bag in for that annoying $25 charge and then I headed for the security check point to ensure I was a safe person to fly.

After divesting myself of my wallet, keys, pocket change, coat, shoes and what was left of my dignity, I once again received a tongue lashing by a TSA lady for not removing my belt.  I briefly thought about answering her back that it would be nice to have signs of some kinds like they have at other airports listing items you need to remove (like belts) but thought the better of it, she looked like she was big enough and mean enough to fight and beat most of the professional wrestlers in the WWE.

On to the full body scanner.  I wondered how the TSA operators would react seeing me through my clothes.  They didn't say much, but I did see them reaching in a panic for some barf bags.

Stepping out of the scanner, another new experience.  A TSA guy had me remove my wrist watch and he inspected it closely before handing it back to me.  Thankfully, he didn't discover where I secretly hit the M-1 Abrams Battle Tank that I normally carry in the watch.

Finally retrieving my stuff I headed off to the terminal wing to the gate where my flight was to leave from which was all the way down to the farthest gate of the farthest wing.  Upon arriving at the gate, there was a notice that there was a gate change.  Which gate, you ask?  Why, of course the farthest gate of the farthest terminal wing in the other direction!

I should be thankful that there was no additional charge for the exercise program the airline afforded me, it helped me get my 10,000 steps in (and then some).

From there, things started to pick up.  The flight left on time, even if the seat was a little tight.  Why are most airline seats designed to hold Munchkins comfortably?  The layover was fine and on the second flight, low and behold there was one empty seat.  And it was next to me.  Ye haw, better than striking gold!

Until...

The flight attendant came and asked me if I'd mind if a person from the back took that seat.  Seems that person was sitting next to another passenger who was seriously airsick.  I said of course and shortly a lady plopped down next to me, looking pretty green herself.  It's no fun watching someone puking, especially when you're sardined in with them.  I hoped her stomach didn't revolt after watching all that and thankfully her color returned to normal.

The rest of the trip was uneventful.  My bag made it, my rental car was ready and I got home okay.  Even though the Journey was pretty lonely with Marti still being up in PA and NJ with the granddaughters, being able to control the TV and watch the History Channel to my heart's content sort of made up for it (she'll be home next Wednesday).

It was not all in vain, it was convenient to get me home on time to make the first of my two medical appointments with the VA.  But best of all, it reinforced in my mind our decision to travel by RV... and not airlines!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

23 comments:

  1. The last time I flew I went to Montana and had a pretty uneventful flight. Jim had to make the same trip for a doctor appt and a flight of 1 1/2 hours took 8 hours including coming back to Mesa and landing before taking off again. If I never fly again it will be much too soon.

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  3. Ruh Roh...you got the spammers after you :)
    I am not looking forward to my flight(s) next week either. To get to the east coast I have to fly around the world once :) And I thought I'd never have to fly again...**sigh**

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  4. You didn't mention my biggest gripe which is everyone coughing and hacking. I can just see all the germs flying around trying to attack me. Sometimes they succeed.

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  5. The only flight we want to take is to Hawaii...but then again that might be a cruise;o))

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  6. What a day. I think everyone hates flying for just the irritations you describe. Too bad they aren't hurting more for business, they might have to change their ways. If David's health continues, he may have to fly for medical appointments back to Florida. He's so looking forward to it.

    One question, if you are at "home" in SC that must mean a home that is not the journey which is with Marti? Or am I confused??

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    1. I'm "home" in SC in the Journey. We drove the car up and stayed with out kids. This time of year up there in PA and NJ, all the nearby campgrounds are closed. I had to rent a car at the SC airport because Marti has our car.

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  7. That's exactly why we prefer to travel by coach. I hope you drank lots of water and Vitamin C because those germs are deadly.

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  8. Sounds like a fun flight day.

    Imagine that poor lady who had to sit next to a guy barfing his guts up, and then, she gets moved to sit next to you!!! Now, she's got a story!!

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    1. Plus an even better reason to toss her cookies...

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  9. You have convinced me to keep my feet firmly planted on terra firma.

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  10. Just flew up from FL to NC on Wednesday to help my mom after surgery. Wait a minute - aren't I going the wrong way again? It's cold here! I flew when I worked and hoped I never had to again. But when Ma calls...you go! :-)

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  11. Hoping I never have to go through that again, especially with my new bionic hip...it's sure to set off some alarms. :(

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  12. At least your flight left on time. That in itself is a miracle.

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  13. Okay .. did you exaggerate just a little ... just a teeny bit maybe? I like flying sometimes. I like RVing most times. It's the combinations between the two that makes life interesting. However, all the time I like uneventful travel. Glad your flight was uneventful .. well, kind of.

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    1. Hey, I've told you a million times I never exaggerate! ;c)

      Actually the flight was the best part, just getting there was the issue.

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  14. Spammers out there spewing out their meaningless drivel ... a shame that more of them are beating the spam filters and getting through.

    Flying not much fun these days. We'll never be able to do without ... but we sure can try to reduce the number flights we have to take ;-)

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  15. Paul our feelings about flying as well. If we never had to take another flight (doubtful, unfortunately) I certainly wouldn't miss it. When you figure in all of the "pre" flight time and layovers it seems that you could drive to your destination as quickly.

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  16. Glad you survived the trip. Hope your appointments go well.

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  17. I hate flying commercial!

    With my metal parts I always get to stand in the box and then get the hand search. My lovely Bride just goes through without me, we decided its best she doesn't talk to me our she might get the same treatment.

    Paul, Mascelli Air, joke there FAA, was sitting at Wilmington, just a few hour flight in our plane. Next time in a pinch drop me a line, I'm always up for a flight.

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  18. If I ever have to fly again I hope it's with those angel wings I know I have waiting for me on the other side HAHAHA!!

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  19. It is so nice to travel the country, with your own house always with you. Just can't beat it!

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  20. I was talking to my daughter Cretia in Chapin, SC tonight. While discussing where to camp when we visit she told me her friend Heather's parents were staying at a campground 2 miles from her house and liked it. She also started telling me about the reason they were still there was because her dad was waiting on the VA. After sharing a few details it was confirmed that indeed it was you.

    My daughter works at a church where Marti volunteers.

    Such a small world!

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