Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are we going yet?

Overheard somewhere in the course of the day:
"We have the right to bear arms. The French have the right to strike."

10:20. boarding starts for the flight from Paris to Minneapolis. Getting through security was slow, but not horribly so. An ordinarily crowded pre-holiday weekend. No delay has been posted. So far the strike of several airport security companies has not been too bad.
10:55. five minutes late for departure, they announce a delay of 15 minutes for the 30-odd people still lacking.
11:15. aw, we'll give them 20 minutes more.
11:50. Passengers Smith, Jones, and Wesson are to notify the crew immediately if they are on the plane. If not, they will be considered to have missed the connection, and their baggage will be chucked off.
11:55. waiting for clearance from the controllers
12:20. a "security issue" is announced, and we're warned we will be deplaning soon. So don't get into those carryons!
13:00. everybody off! Take everything with you. Every last thing.
We're taken to a holding area on the way to the passport check leading into France, where about 300 of us stand around for an hour before they start running us through a new security check. There's nowhere to sit. There's no bathroom. It's forbidden to use cell phones but many people do anyway. A generous fellow passenger lets me send an email to the folks, though I don't quite know what to say. I could just make my connection still. Or I might be spending the night in Minneapolis. Or something in between.
Slowly, very slowly they run us through a new check. Very thorough, shoes off and everything (I've never seen that in Europe, only the States), every last electronic item out of bags and into the tray.
14:40. The last passengers make it back to their seats.
15:22. Taxiing. Off we go at last.
15:22 to 0:30 the next day. No security problems arise on our flight. Nothing exciting at all. A job well done? Or a waste of time?
On arrival they have a whole table set up with new boarding passes for those who have missed connections, very easy to find yours, very efficient. Mine says I'll be leaving for St Louis in just under two hours. Time for a phone call, a glass of wine, and a bit of blogging.


Helen said...

Loved reading this, sorry for the delay/frustration. I have a son in Minneapolis and a sister in St. Louis .. nice to know you were heading their way. Happy Holidays.

The Bug said...

I really hate air travel - which is why I'm glad we live within driving distance of our families (7.5 hour drive). I just get so bored & usually too cold or too hot & I can't have all my THINGS. Yes, I'm spoiled :)

Of course, I realize you don't have a lot of choice about how you travel, unless you want to come by boat. So I'll shut up now :)