I fly once a month. These trips are not for business or pleasure, but instead family related as I fly up to Reno to pick up Easton after his week(ish) long visit with his bio-dad and his family. It’s a short flight of about an hour, and because I only bring a backpack with me it’s fairly easy to handle. Sometimes it’s not particularly fun as flying up and back is not only a little pricey, but can also waste a whole day if the flights aren’t close together, but it’s one of those I’m a parent, I love my child and I’ll do what I have to do situations.
Because I’m a frequent flier, I have three self-imposed rules:
- Book flights that are at least an hour and a half apart so there’s wiggle room.
- Never travel in shoes that are difficult to remove while going through security.
- Save the boarding pass so it’s ready to go on the airline’s app.
These are rules I never break, and that have enhanced my flying experience greatly. Knowing that I won’t be running behind and having things ready to go help me to feel prepared to be stuck in a metal tube flying through the sky. But the last time I flew, for some reason, 2 of my 3 simple and essential rules failed me.
I got a notification that my flight had been delayed by nearly an hour at around noon. This was fine because a) my flight had previously been at 3:30 and would now be at 4:30, and b) if we made it to the airport at the time that our airline gave us I would still have an hour or so between flights. I was fine.
Flash forward to 3:40. I’m at the airport. I park my car in the passenger pick-up garage mindlessly and walk into the airport. I do this every month. It’s no big deal. I’ve downloaded The Girl on the Train in Audible and I’m ready to go.
There’s nobody at the security area so I should just breeze through, right? Well not today, Satan. Today of all days there is an issue with who-knows-what, and my bag and I both have to be formally pat down. It’s not the first time I’ve had to get a pat-down, but that doesn’t make it any less weird to have a lady press her hand firmly on the center of my chest or slide her fingers along my legs. But it’s over quickly, it doesn’t delay me too much on time, and I get through it alive.
We board the plane much later than the expected time. At this point I’m reaching a new stress level as we’re still sitting at the gate as it approaches 5:00, and my flight home from Reno is supposed to leave at 6:50. Finally, everyone is seated on the plane. I count the seconds in my head. And then over the intercom they announce that there are one too many on the plane and they need to individually check us off on the list. Of course.
We finally take off around 5:20. I try not to focus on the time and listen to my book. It’s a really good book, by the way. We eventually do reach Reno at 6:30, and I’m off the airplane by 6:45 attempting to sprint my pregnant self through the airport. I make it down the stairs and get Easton then take off for security. My boarding passes are of course already loaded onto my phone. But for some reason when I hit security, my phone shuts down despite having a moderate charge. The TSA agent glares at me and I know my only option is to sprint across the airport to the Southwest desk and print our tickets.
After printing my tickets and nearly sobbing to the Southwest agent, we finally make it back to security. Our flight was delayed, fortunately, so we have enough time to hurry through the airport. But then as I’m digging through my bag I can’t find my ID. Instead of placing it back in my wallet, I’ve haphazardly tossed it somewhere in my gigantic and overflowing bag. After what feels like an eternity I find it and we get through.
We do end up having an alright flight back with little frustration, but I spend the flight feeling exhausted and crampy (8 month preggo probs). In take off the pilot warned that it was likely to be a turbulent flight so I was expecting the worst, but that part was the least bad of it all.
Thankfully we made it home with few issues after that, though because I did have to pay more for parking than I wanted because of how much longer I was stuck in the airport (what is up with charging $3/hour McCarran Airport?). All in all, it’s up there on one of the most stressful flying experiences of my lifetime. But lucky for me, I get out of it for the next few months (8 month preggo wins).