Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to Miss Your Flight

For your edification I explain in detail, various methods by which you can miss your flight (or at least come close to missing your flight.)

Method 1: Have a five hour layover in Seattle. Neglect to change the time on your laptop from Alaska Standard time to Pacific Standard time, and then do nothing but watch Dexter DVDs for those five hours. Alaska is one hour later than the West Coast. Realize you don't know the gate from which your flight leaves and check the Flight Information board. Notice that your flight begins boarding in 10 minutes. From the concourse on the other of the airport. Scoop all your belongings into your bag. Dash down the escalator--pushing the geriatrics and children aside--catch the train to the other concourse and you should still have time to board your plane. The only long-lasting effect of this method is that you may have dreams of you and your friends being slaughtered due to witnessing copious amounts of Dexter. It'll pass.

Method 2: Have a 2 1/2 hour layover in Anchorage. Don't bother remembering your flight number. There's only one flight, two times a week, from Anchorage to Adak so what's the point in noting the flight number, right? It's not as if you're going to confuse your flight with another one! Go to the Observation Deck and relax. You have plenty of time to Facebook, text, enjoy the view.

Later, when your flight is still 50 minutes away from boarding, take a moment to acknowledge the announcement, "We are now boarding for flight 160." But since you don't know your flight number, don't get too excited. You have plenty of time before your flight boards. However, when the announcement says, "All passengers traveling to Adak on flight 160, need to be at gate C6", now would be the time to once again furiously shove your belongings into your bag and race down the stairs to the gate. Once you're on the plane shout to your co-workers sitting in First class, that they can stop calling your boss wondering if you are going to make flight. Deflect all questions regarding your whereabouts with vague answers of "family calls." Never say you were Facebook stalking. Never. If queries persist, use the "my dad had a stroke" card. Heads will nod in recognition and flight attendants will step on the feet of seated passengers (who somehow knew the plane would board early) to let you pass. You'll be like Moses parting the Red Sea. 

Method 3: This method is a bit more complicated. But if you're serious about missing your flight, then make this your "go to" plan.

First, procrastinate on getting your car winterized. We're not talking check tire pressure, spark plug connections and windshield wiper blades here. No, winterization in Fairbanks means change the differential fluid (whatever the heck that is), install an engine block heater, and oil pan heater, and something else I don't remember. All for the low cost of $500. So yes, ignore this task all summer and fall even though you've been in town since August 12th. Wait until the temperatures drop sufficiently into the teens and you have to leave your car at the airport for 5 days and wonder the entire time you're away if your car will start upon your return. Check.

Second, make arrangements with the Honda dealer for you to drop off your car before leaving on your next trip and pick it up in three days. 

Third, wait to make your trip after a night of solid snowfall causing driving to be slower than normal Then, when you're 10 blocks away from your house wonder if you closed the garage door. Drive back to your house to double-check. The last thing you want is for the door of a heated garage to be left open.

Fourth, proceed to the dealership and along the way call the local taxi company requesting a cab meet you there. Complete the necessary "early drop-off" activities and wait for you cab. Call the cab after waiting outside in 15 degree temps as it's snowing, reminding the dispatcher that you are at the service door and waiting. Send the cab! 10 minutes later you've missed the hour check-in deadline. But you checked-in online the previous evening so you should be okay. Call the cab company again which by now you're on a first name basis with the dispatcher and only have to identify yourself by saying, "It's Heather and I'm still waiting!"

Fifth, once your cab shows up and the driver asks if you've been waiting long, don't be polite. Tell him, yes and you're about to miss your flight! When the driver is extra cautious driving due to the recent snowfall, and slows down to 10 mph for a slight bend in the road, remind him that you're going MISS YOUR FLIGHT. And when the driver can't get the Visa card reader machine to work and asks you if it's debit or credit, resist the urge to chuck the card reader into oncoming traffic and shout, "You get nothing!" before poking him in the eyeballs.

Sixth, run into the terminal with three bags in tow and because it's such a small, quiet airport, scream the entire way, "I"m here! Can I get on the plane?" And again, because it is such a small airport the ladies behind the desk know precisely which flight you're yelling about. As they shake their heads no, hand over your credit card while they sort out which flight to put you on, and you sort out which beer you'll have at the bar. This method works best if your work is paying for everything.

These are but some of the ways you can use to come close to missing, or actually miss, your flight. All three work equally well. Give them a try and see which one is right for you.

God speed.