Last Friday, I planned to fly to Rochester, Minnesota. My flight was scheduled to leave JFK at 3:50 pm and arrive in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport at 6:30 pm; I was then scheduled on a 7:05 pm flight from MSP to Rochester, landing at 7:44 pm. Who thinks my traveling went smoothly? Show of hands? Anyone?
My traveling problems started the moment I stepped onto the E. It was crowded, and the only place to stand where I could still hold onto a pole left my bag perilously close to someone’s large, dirty, bare foot. My bag managed to make the trip without ever coming into contact with said foot, and I transferred to the Air Train to Terminal 3, where I found the World’s Longest Security Line. (The capitalization is necessary; it’s a proper noun. The line was so long, in fact, that one of the Delta agents led a bunch of us, Pied-Piper-style, around the terminal on the outside, across lanes of traffic and up hills, until we reached another security line.
Of course, at the end of the day, it didn’t matter whether or not I made it quickly through the security line: my flight was 40 minutes delayed. Forty minutes. Just long enough for me to miss my connecting flight. Awesome. I suspected when I scheduled those flights that I would miss connection, but I didn’t have many options. I picked the earliest flight out of New York that wouldn’t cause me to miss a full day of work, and I hoped for the best.
Hoping isn’t generally the soundest plan. I spoke with the gate agent, and she got me on the 10:00 pm flight to Rochester from MSP. I was disappointed I would get in so late, but I was pleased that I would at least get there. Besides, I imagined my flight would inevitably become further delayed. Surprisingly, that didn’t happen: the flight left at 7:36 pm, and we made up the time in the air. I made it to MSP in time to take the 7:05 flight! I rushed through the airport (my gates were an unfortunate distance apart) and got the gate agent to put me back on the flight. Success!
… until he announced, just moments later, that the plane coming in to take us to Rochester wasn’t anticipated to arrive until at least 9:15 pm. He couldn’t give us an estimated departure, but he said no early than 10:00 pm. I was wondering if I would be better off on the 10:00 pm flight, but a new plan, which I had considered while on the ground in JFK, seemed even better.
While I spoke with the (very helpful) Delta agents on the phone canceling my flight to and from Rochester, Marc was renting me a car. I picked up a shiny silver rental car at the airport and drove from Minneapolis to Rochester, arriving at 8:30 pm – long before my flight had even taken off.
I was so glad to spend a great weekend with my folks, and I was relieved that I was able to get there. Domestic weekend air travel is never anything short of an adventure.