Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Mad Rush
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Having gotten used to one-bag, walk-on service at Burbank airport, arriving at LAX only an hour before flight departure turned out to be a Bad Idea. My clothes bag was intended to be checked, rather than carry-on, and I had unfortunately forgotten to print a boarding pass before leaving the house, so it became apparent immediately that I'd have to miss my flight, but I joined the line anyway for about 10 minutes, getting nowhere. I asked a line attendant about the chances of making it and she just nodded and pointed me to a staffed line for making changes and getting alternative flights.

After standing in that line for about 15 minutes and moving approximately a meter - and phoning Shelley to find out that the only other flights would put me in Virginia after the start of the meeting (with little sleep) - desperation set in. I asked another line attendant whether the large bag might actually fit carry-on. She shrugged and said it might, and pointed to a free self-check-in terminal, and said it would not work with less than 30 minutes to the flight, which looked to be in about 31 minutes. So I scurried, pressed a bunch of buttons, and got boarding passes! Next: security.

Up an escalator to find the line extending out of the terminal and across a walkway over the road. Oh well, foiled again. Except I decided to be brave and ask the young man admitting from that line to the machines whether it would be possible make a flight departing in 30 minutes. He shrugged but seemed about to let me in the line when another airport worker called him over. I stood there waiting for him to return, feeling the glare of other passengers in the line on my back and not making eye contact with anyone.

When he returned I politely asked again about chances of making the flight, and he cut me into the head of the line, despite a few comments from others about how they had to make flights soon too. To all them I apologize for my lack of planning and have learned the lesson. So then it's out with the laptop, off with the shoes, try to mentally push bags through the scanner, only to finally get through, and have my bag intercepted because of the unusual panorama head gear inside. Explain that, watch them search the bag by hand and dust it, knock my toothpaste tube onto the floor behind the table, go around to get it, repack the bag, send me on my way.

And what gate now? Why, *of course* the *furthest* possible one from the security point! I kid you not.

So now it's kind of scurry-trot-fastwalk as much as the baggage permits, in boots not laced well, pulling one bag, heavy shoulder bag and substantial tripod banging hip and shoulder. Hearing my boarding seating area called just on arrival to the gate, I waited a minuted with sweat literally dripping off me onto the floor, then walked on the plane. Sat down, dripped some more perspiration off, heaved a sigh of relief, settled down, and began reading my scintillating book on best practices of email marketing.

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