Part II - Taking Off Is Hard To Do
Part I, of this saga, ended as I arrived at Terminal 8, with 48 minutes to check my luggage, clear security and make it to the gate. Checking my bag and clearing security went smoothly. My flight was on time, leaving from Gate 46.
Terminal 8 is designed with gates along two parallel legs. In keeping with how the day was going, Gate 46 was at the end of the far leg. Okay, I still had time. All I had to do was cross the first building, escalator down, cross another expanse, escalator up and find Gate 46. I arrived as the first passengers were boarding.
Look on the bright side. Being early, may be prudent and my first choice, but sitting at the gate, waiting to board, is boring. Circumstances had eliminated that "in limbo" state. Timing was perfect. Let's get on the plane and Go!
This was a full flight and it was taking a lot of time to get everyone aboard. Just when it looked like we were ready to leave, a commotion broke out, in the back of the plane. The flight attendants and a few passengers were scurrying up and down the aisle. Voices got louder and a group of guys were asked to step out to the boarding ramp, where one of the attendants and the Captain could speak with them. The decibel level increased and it was soon obvious that they were being thrown off the flight.
They were gone, yet we still didn't takeoff. The attendants were now checking the overhead compartments, to retrieve their luggage. Finally, doors closed and we began to taxi away from the gate. As our flight left the ground, I looked at my watch - 33 minutes behind schedule.
During the flight, the attendant filled me in on what had transpired. Four friends were flying to Las Vegas to surprise a friend, on his birthday. They were among the last passengers to board and each had carry-on luggage. At this point, the overhead bins were pretty full and they were asked to check their bags. They refused, rather adamantly. Trying to diffuse a potential problem, the flight attendants said if they could find room for their bags, they could keep them aboard. A couple of bags were placed in the first class cabin, although they were told the bags needed to be in the cabin where they were seated.
Then they started moving luggage around the bins, trying to make room for their own. At least one passenger told them to leave his luggage alone and an argument ensued. The attendant tried to intervene but the argument escalated and the language became abusive. At this point, the attendant and Captain tried to speak to them. After more arguing, they were told to leave the plane. Airport security was called and they were arrested as they disembarked.
The rest of the flight was uneventful.
Truth be told, I had had enough excitement. After the events of the day, realizing that I had forgotten to take the charger for my blackberry, seemed anti-climatic. I was just glad to land and check into the hotel. Hopefully, the Convention will be exciting, but less dramatic.
BTW, the hotel supplied me with a spare charger. Seems not only do a lot of guests forget to bring their chargers, another group forgets to take them home.
Copyright © 2009 Marilyn Katz, WestportCTProperties.com, All Rights Reserved, Travails of Travel - Part II
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