Lines Composed At Gate B34

I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for a flight home to RDU. The flight is delayed, of course. I thought that, while I had the time and since I don’t have a book with me, I’d get some blogging done.

I don’t have internet access and I’m too cheap to purchase access. It’s highway robbery what they charge you to access the hot spots at most airports. $7.99 for a 24-hour pass? I think not. Even T-Mobile, my cellular provider, wants to charge me $4.99 for a four hour block. Uh, no. I would purchase an internet access plan from them if the data transfer limits weren’t so paltry and the access packages so unreasonably expensive. $39.00 to $59.00 dollars per month with download limits? I don’t think so. Not when I pay $39.00 dollars for unlimited bandwidth at home.

Anyway, I’m heading home to be with my family. My father has been in the hospital all week and he’s having triple bypass surgery in the morning. I am blessed enough to have a good friend who works for Delta. She was able to get me a buddy pass I could use to fly home at the last minute without paying an arm and a leg. I can also fly home when I want, rather than scheduling a flight back to home to Atlanta ahead of time. The drawback is that I have to fly standby and I’m dead last in priority. The good news is that there are myriad delays at the airport today and the desk attendant feels certain there will be handfuls of people that do not make their connecting flights. I feel sure that I’ll either make this flight or the flight that leaves later this evening. Keep your fingers crossed.

Once again, I find myself chasing gates. When I checked in at the front desk, my seat request form listed gate B05 as the departure gate. Continuing my string of good luck with departure gates, the gate was at the far end of the terminal, requiring me to walk as far as possible. Delta, not feeling that was a sufficient walk for me, switched departure gates on me as I was making my way through security. The new departure gate was B33. As you may have guessed, B33 is located as far as possible from B05 without actually switching terminals. I had to walk so far, in fact, that Delta was able to switch the departure gate on me once more while I was in transit. Thankfully, B34 happened to be the new gate. All I had to do was cross the aisle.

In addition to blogging, I’m whiling away the hours by listening to an elderly Vietnamese woman literally scream into her phone. The good news is that I have company in listening to this woman. She has the most piercing voice you have ever heard and literally everyone at this end of the terminal is listening to her. I’m pretty sure I just saw blood streaming from the ear of the man sitting next to her. You could chop down trees with this woman’s voice.

My departure time continues to be pushed back. Not good news, especially since my whole plan involves other people being delayed whilst I leave on time. The further back my departure time is moved, the more likely that those late arrivals will make it after all. I hate to wish ill on other travelers, especially given how much I hate air travel, but I’m hoping to get out of here tonight. If I don’t, I will have to come back early tomorrow and repeat the process of walking the length of the terminal searching for my flight, all without a guaranteed seat. I probably should’ve purchased a full-price ticket.

Hell, if my plane gets delayed another hour, I probably should’ve just driven. What with the traffic to the airport, the 5k walk from the parking lot, the prison-rape that is airport security and the inevitable delays, the six-and-a-half-drive probably saves me my dignity, a few hundred bucks and a half-an-hour. Is it wrong of me to hope our miserable economy claims a few airlines as victims? Maybe our government will step in and restructure the industry so that flying isn’t the broken down, spirit-crushing experience it happens to be. I mean, look how they’ve fixed banking?

Okay. Nevermind. But I am waiting on a revitalized passenger rail service. It can’t possibly be a more predictable failure than the airline industry. Right?