Nothing is more exhilarating than traveling for the holidays. For me, that meant a layover in Vegas – which, in my mind, meant that the slots were now part of my fundraising plan. But when we landed, the stewardess announced that all passengers flying to San Francisco should just stay seated. I turned to my neighbor, and asked, “Aren’t we supposed to leave at 3 pm?”
He responded, “No, we land in SF at 3.”
I guess my ten lbs of quarters would to have to wait. I decided to call Jody.
About 30 minutes in, new passengers started to flood in, and soon after, and man with a huge bag leaned over and said, “Maam, you’re in my seat.”
I moved the phone away from my mouth, like most impolite people who talk on phones in public places, and said, “What? No, I am in 19C.” As a dug through my purse for my ticket.
Then it hit me. I am on the wrong plane.
I hung up on Jody.
The only thing worse than realizing you are on the wrong plane, is realizing that they just announced that all rows could board, and suddenly, there are 100 people cramming their luggage down the aisle, struggling to jam them overhead.
“Excuse me” didn’t work. Everyone thought I was trying to take their precious carry-on space. So finally I resorted to yelling, “I’m on the wrong plane!” Which, actually, was a good idea for getting people to move, but a bad idea in terms of security.
A startled man yelled back, “How did they let you on, then?!”
I didn’t want to say, “Because I’m an idiot, and didn’t get off the last one!” So instead I went with, “I don’t know what happened! So weird, right?!” And then turned into that crazy person who climbs on the armrests, upstream, hitting everyone in the row with my purse filled with 10 lbs of quarters.
At the ticket counter I explained that JFK didn’t give me a boarding pass for my 3 pm flight, and she said, “Wait! This plane has a no-show. It’s about to leave, but here, let me get you on THIS flight!”
“Um, this plane I was just on?”
“Yes!” she exclaimed, as if she’d just saved my day. “But you have to run.”
Row 20C. Exactly one row behind where I was originally. If there’s such a thing as a walk of shame for flights, then that’s what I did. All the people I had just pushed out of my way, were now staring in contempt. One guy yelled, “Oh, you again.”