Missin’ The Mojo.
I’m not sure what happened yesterday.
Usually, I’m an easy flyer.
Usually, the travel mojo is with me.
I may procrastinate when it comes to packing, but look. Normally everything gets done, I get to the airport in a timely fashion, breeze through security, pee, buy coffee, pee again, fill up my water bottle, board the plane, and we’re off.
At first, all was well. We stayed at our friends’ place the night before because they live close to the airport and our flight took off at 6:50 a.m. I woke up at 5:00 after a somewhat expectedly choppy night of sleep with a few frantic omg-did-we-oversleep? moments and a thunderstorm that decided to display its fury in paparazzi-like flashes of lightning and impressive booms of thunder. I hopped in the shower to rinse off — (I don’t travel well when I feel grimy) — got dressed, and Justin and I headed for the airport. We parked in one of the extended stay park-‘n-ride lots and the shuttle driver, who’d arrived around the same time we did, waited patiently while we gathered our bags and ran to the stop.
This is great! we thought. Everything is just going so smoothly.
Famous. Last. Words.
First, we stood in a check-in line for the wrong airline.
Who does that?
They both started with a “U,” but that really doesn’t count when it comes to them locating your reservation.
I blame our lack of coffee.
Then, I told them we had our boarding passes already. Being the tech-savvy traveler I am (not), I’d checked in the night before via email and had our passes pulled up electronically on my phone. We stood in line for security, got to the front, and Justin scanned his. Boom. Done. Then I took the phone, pressed the “click for next boarding pass” button, and it logged me out.
After several embarrassing moments of fiddling with the damn thing, I finally asked the TSA agent if I could just run back to our airline’s counter to get a new pass. I could. I did. I headed back to the front of security, where I was promptly informed that I was an idiot because Justin still needed a paper pass too, even though his had already been scanned. Doh. So then Justin ran back.
We finally made it through security. I was veering off towards Starbucks — entirely out of instinct, mind you, and of my mind’s own accord — when I asked Justin what time it was.
How did that happen??
So, yep. No coffee. No filling of our water bottles. No pre-flight emptying of the system or checking emails or charging phones.
We were those people. Those people who have to rush to the gate and endure the laughing of the gate attendants, the disappointed looks of the flight attendants, and the scorn of the rest of the passengers. It matters not that we still sat at the gate for another ten minutes after Justin and I boarded — in their eyes, the slightly delayed departure was entirely our fault.
When I look back on it, there were signs of flailing mojo early on. I realized that I’d forgotten to pack my pair of backup contacts en route to our friends’ place. Yesterday morning, I saw that the phone I’d had plugged into an outlet didn’t actually charge. Justin took the wrong exit for the airport, and I forgot to download the half-written magazine article I’d intended to finish during the flight to my laptop. But the potential significance of these seemingly mundane and unrelated events was overlooked in my assumption that the mojo would flow.
Despite everything I’ve confessed to you here, I actually sometimes kinda know what I’m doing when it comes to flying. And if you do as well, the rest of this post will hold little significance to you. So sit back, smirk, and enjoy the fact that yesterday morning, I was that girl. But don’t get too cocky — next time it could be you.
A Domestiphobe’s Tips For Not Being That Person On A Flight
- Arrive early. This is always the hardest for me, simply because I despise sitting at the airport. It’s especially difficult when it’s an early flight. Not because I’m not a morning person (I actually am), but because I justify showing up later because there won’t be hoards of people at the airport. Well. We didn’t have hoards, but we did have unforeseen technological complications.
- Bring empty water bottles. I carry a reusable BPA-free plastic water bottle with me pretty much wherever I go. It’s like a security blanket, really. And while you can’t take beverages through airport security, you can take empty bottles and then fill them in drinking fountains once you get through for a refreshing on-flight beverage you don’t have to wait for. Of course yesterday mine was more like a pretty pink paper weight because it’s still empty.
- Try, if you can help it, to oversee the emptying of bodily systems before boarding. You’ll save yourself — and everyone else — a lot of heartache.
- Don’t bring a gigantic carry-on bag. Just don’t. At least for continental flights, I try to stick with something that fits under the seat. Our morning’s ordeal would’ve been that much more embarrassing if we’d had to search for overhead space.
- Pack tissues, snacks, and a credit card. Most (if not all) airlines no longer take cash, so bring that credit card if you find yourself in need of a breakfast you didn’t have time to buy at the airport before you boarded. Or, in my case, a vodka and orange juice.