Saturday, April 09, 2022

How being an airplane passenger is like a firefighter

Headed off to our twice postponed dive trip to the Maldives!
Flying Emirates from Miami thru Dubai to Maldives.
I've heard it said that being a firefighter is a life of boredom punctuated with moments of  terror.Airplane travel is a bit like that with hours of waitng and moments of panic. We're told to get to Miami airport 4 hours ahead of departure time. That means a lot of waiting. Waiting while sitting on the train to get to the airport, waiting in line at the check-in counter, waiting in line at the TSA security line. While you're in that line you're mentally reviewing everything in your carry-on and whether or not you'll need to take it out and put it in a separate bin to go thru the xray machines. You'll need one bin for the laptop, another bin for toiletries, and fanny pack, another bin for daypack, and sometimes a separate bin for  the iPad - you need to ask an agent about that. Oh yea, you also need to take off your shoes, what bin will they go in? Jim also has to take off his belt, I have to take off my watch. Basically those 2 days you spent carefully packing need to be UNpacked in as few seconds as possible because there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of people waiting behind you. 
You get it done, you stand barefoot, passport and boarding pass in hand, as you raise your arms over your head and get scanned. But still she needs to pat you down?!? Oh yea - I have a necklace on with metal, maybe that's it. 
By now my bins are holding up the line. I have to re-pack in as few seconds as possible. Is that my bin? I know that one is. Did I have 3? or 4? Do I still have my passport? How do I put my shoes back on at the same time as attaching the fanny pack around my waist and shoving the laptop back in the daypack. Where does the iPad go now? Do I still have my passport and boarding pass in my hand?
Don't forget to be neat and pile your bins on top of each other and place them at the end of the line. 
Then I hobble off with unstrapped shoes, daypack slung over one shoulder and my mind running at high speed going thru my checklist of everything I had before the TSA line and wondering if I still have it. 
Where's JIm? Having his own struggles, but we make it. Find our gate and sit and wait.
At least we knew that was the procedure, it's just how it goes. When we get to Dubai after 14 hours of sitting and waiting on the plane, our plan is to stay in the airport all night, so there should be no need for security. We disembark at one gate and simply find our next gate.
Wrong.
For some unknown reason, you have to go thru security after disembarking - period. We weren't prepared and we were sleep-deprived, back to panic mode: laptop out, iPad out, shoes off ... that's the drill. My plan is to get good at it, because I want to do more traveling!

The map that displays on the back of the seat in front of you, showing your start, end, and current location. I love this.


1 comment:

Kim & Don said...

Hope you're having a grand time in the Maldives! And I couldn't agree more about airport security lines. My least favorite thing about air travel. Well, except for the really long flights and layovers :)