A First Class Surprise

I just returned from a very fun three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico with two friends from high school. Yes, you heard that right, high school. Luther High School South in Chicago, Illinois to be exact. And once we took a minute to think about that, we realized we have been friends for 50 years.

But this post is about coming home. I love to travel and on this trip I had a wonderful time visiting a place I had never been before and seeing it with good friends was an extra treat. However all good things come to an end and one must face the trip home. I never sleep well the night before I leave so I woke up tired and on top of that this day is always made more difficult when you have to depend on the airline industry.

We live in three different cities, so of course we were flying out at different times on different airlines. And, since we had one rental car, we all had to leave for Albuquerque, from Santa Fe, at the same time. By 8:45am we were on the road. By 10:30am we had returned the car and were on the shuttle to the terminal.

At noon, I waved goodbye to Audrey who was flying to Chicago.wave

An hour later, I waved goodbye to Lynn, whose home was Golden, Colorado.

As I walked to my gate I checked my phone.  A message from Delta informed me I was going out at 3:35pm instead of my original 3pm departure. Ho, hum. More sitting, more waiting. I had to make a connection in Minneapolis to get to Green Bay but this extra 35 minutes wasn’t going to affect me much. Around 2:30pm another message from Delta command came in, my flight had now been changed to 4pm. Since my knees are not made for running, I was officially nervous so I headed for the agent at the Delta desk. He tapped a bunch of keys on the computer, told me I would be departing from D4 in Minneapolis and then said the approximate 37 minutes from concourse B to D was doable. He hoped I could make it since he didn’t see any hotel rooms left in Minneapolis. What?

I certainly wasn’t the only person who had to make a connection so on the loud-speaker he informed the masses that once we were ready to board we should do it quickly. And on the other end if you weren’t making a connection could you remain in your seat and let those that did, get out first. The first part sort of happened, the last part didn’t. And to make it even more crazy we flew into G18 not B at 7:26pm. I had 27 minutes to make my 7:53pm takeoff.

G18  to D4 in 27 min

G18 to D4 in 27 min

In the terminal I said to the agent, “D4!” He pointed in the direction of that long hall near the bottom of the map. I hustled. By the time I got to C and turned left I was whipped. A few steps down on this hall I saw my salvation, the tram. It was arriving in 36 seconds and would take me to Concourse D.

On I got, off I got, and up to gate D4 with 15 minutes to spare. The only person in view was the agent at the gate. My boarding pass scanned, down the ramp I went, into the plane and down the aisle to seat 12F …where another woman was sitting.

I can only imagine the look on my face as I thought. “Oh crap, they gave my seat away or this woman is lost or who knows…but I am so damn tired I don’t want to deal with this.” Then the woman said, ” Are you 12F?”  “Yes,” I replied as I fumbled for my boarding pass. But before I could continue she said, “No you’re not, you’re in First Class.” And she held out her ticket to me.ticket

I think I mumbled something about being tired, it being a long day and what a surprise this was. She smiled and said, “Have a cocktail.” I thanked her and turned back to the front of the plane………to the other side of the curtain.

I took her advice and had a glass of wine (no charge in first class), stretched out my legs and flew home.

The last miracle, my luggage made it too.

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3 thoughts on “A First Class Surprise

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