Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Why I Shouldn’t Travel Alone

with 9 comments

As my plane approached Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Wednesday night the stewardess came on over the intercom and announced that since our plane was almost an hour late she would read off a list of connecting flights and the gates from which they would be departing. Seizing the chance to be a savvy traveler, I grabbed the magazine in the seat pocket in front of me and flipped quickly to the O’Hare map.

When the stewardess said “Omaha, Gate B-3” the guy next to me said, whistling, “Whew! You’ll have to rush since we are arriving in the C-terminal.”

“No worries,” I said. “I bet all the flights are delayed.”

When I emerged from the plane at Gate C-5 I made a beeline for the nearest set of monitors and, to my horror, I processed the following:

“Omaha . . . Flight . . . Gate . . . 3 . . . NOW BOARDING”

With this I turned and sprinted down the C terminal, running along the moving walkways. Plunging down the escalator to the walkway between the terminals, I wove between strolling travelers with breathless apologies for them as I skirted by.

At this point I had two alternating thoughts: here I am, running through an international airport, driven by romance; and I really need to go to the bathroom.

As I emerged into the B Terminal I hung a right and jogged the length of the terminal arriving at Gate B-3 to an empty gate area and a sign reading “Boston.” Breathless and confused, I first found the nearest restroom and then emerged to find the nearest set of departure monitors which, upon a more studied inspection, were still announcing:

“Omaha . . . Flight . . . Gate C-3 . . . NOW BOARDING”

Which, of course, was 40 feet from where I had started my sprint through the airport at Gate C-5. Damn.

I was not totally to blame (due to the announcement error by the stewardess) but I still felt pretty silly. Just goes to show that double-checking your own snap judgments is often a good idea.

I ended up catching a flight to Lincoln instead with the only consequences being a laugh at myself and my baggage finding me a day late.






Written by furthermusings

January 31, 2005 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Pictures

9 Responses

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  1. Cool pictures. How did you have time to take pictures in the midst of such hurried panic?


    January 31, 2005 at 6:32 pm

  2. When I flew back thru I had a 3&1/2 hour layover. After eating with Aunt JoAnn I still had an hour to kill so I had some fun taking pictures. I set the camera on the moving walkway handrail, set the timer, and left the shutter open for a couple seconds. I kept riding back and forth to try different shutter speeds. I like the effect!


    January 31, 2005 at 9:34 pm

  3. wow, that’s a great picture!

    I never thought I would hear my brother say that anything he did was “driven by romance.”


    February 1, 2005 at 1:34 pm

  4. As I was reading, I thought you might have been embellishing a bit (Andy embellish?) since you had time to take pictures (way cool, btw). I’m glad Elizabeth asked the same question. Interesting that B3 said Boston on your return trip, too.


    February 1, 2005 at 4:14 pm

  5. I really like that first photo, too, Andy. So, it looks like you set your camera down, then walked in front a bit to catch the shot. Is that right? I would’ve smiled if I had seen such a thing in progress. Well, smiled or just stolen your camera. ; )


    February 1, 2005 at 4:27 pm

  6. Embellishing . . . well the only changed detail was that the sign said “Milwalkee” instead of Boston but that is the same gate. I was amused I came off the plane on the way back at B2 so I snapped the photo.

    RT, that’s exactly what I did. I kept waiting for security guards to seize me and accuse me of plotting terrorist activities.


    February 1, 2005 at 4:49 pm

  7. I love that first picture with a deep, deep affection.

    Wait, you were in Lincoln last week? I’m sorry I missed it. 😉


    February 1, 2005 at 6:48 pm

  8. Nearly every flight I have ever taken has involved a Chicago-Omaha connection. And nearly every time, something has gone wrong. I’m glad someone else out there has experienced the O’Hare-Omaha curse.

    Extremely cool pic!


    February 5, 2005 at 12:19 pm

  9. I was in O’Hare the other week on my way back from visiting grad schools, and now that I look at that picture again, I recognize it as the futuristic underground walkway between terminals B and C. I had about an hour to kill there, and as I’d already finished all my books, I spent part of it contemplatively riding the moving sidewalks in that walkway… very cool ambiance.


    March 8, 2005 at 11:27 am

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