Have You Met Kate?
Finally we pull up to departures. I thought this was never going to happen. I do my best to gracefully untangle myself from the shuttle, grab my luggage handle and make for the entrance. Keep the mood light, I remind myself. We’re late, but we’re not that late….yet.
Accustom to frequently traveling solo, I already checked in online, prepaid for checked baggage, and planned for a simple bag drop. If only…
Adjusting my Longchamp handbag – love that you can collapse them and tuck them away - I hand the rep our pre-printed boarding passes. With one eye on my cell phone’s clock, we make all the niceties.
Lukas debates about checking two.
“No,” I begin. “We are each alloted one and they’re already paid for. Just take the smaller one as a carry-on.” I explain.
“I don’t want to deal with a carry on. I’ll just check it.” Lukas insists.
It’s only an hour and a half flight, but whatever – let’s get a move on. “It’s up to you. Just know that it’s another $25 for the bag.” I explain.
Lukas takes a moment.
Really? Couldn’t he have debated about this on the lengthy shuttle ride. But, that’s okay. Keep it light. We’re almost there.
“It’s alright, I’ll just take it.” Lukas finally decides.
Tags on luggage and boarding passes in hand, we make for security. “Wait…” Lukas does a long pause. “My toiletrees….my shaving kit…. my manicure kit. I stashed everything in the smaller bag on the way out the door.” He rushes. “I knew I should have checked it.”
Of course you did. Smile…smile…okay muster up a tight smile. “Security’s never going to let it fly. It’s going to have to be checked.” I evenly state.
“Ugg, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it ’till now.” Lukas sighs.
Me neither, I think flatly. Turning in my kitten heels I gag when I see the line. Where did all of these people come from?
“Kate, should we just head up to the front?” Lukas says casually.
Yeah, if you want to be eaten up alive. “No, it’s fine. I’m sure it’ll move along quickly.” Who am I kidding?
Reaching the front of the line, with our impenetrable luck, we get a trainee. Of course we do. Great, fine – I’ll just quickly give her a rundown of what’s gone on. More like quickly confuse her.
“License and boarding pass.” She requests. Oh, god…I already explained this. $25 later and crossing my fingers that the bag actually makes it on the plane with us, we leg it over to security.
Step, shift, wait….step, shift, wait… We ease our way through the snaked line at security. Bordering close enough to my turn, I grab for the bins. With knowing efficient moves I divvy up my belongings and get them ready to be scanned. Lukas on the other hand is eyeing other travelers looking for clues.
“Oh, here. Just grab one of those,” I say, pointing to a stack of bins. “And don’t forget to add your shoes.”
Done, great – Lukas then walks away from it and forms a new queue at the metal detector. Not missing a beat, I push the convoy of bins onto the conveyor belt with one swoop. I hope he didn’t pack anything questionable…
Flicking my glossy hair to one side and summoning my most demure smile, I wait my turn to be man handled. Tick…tick…tick….I’m going to die if we miss this flight. After getting to know TSA a bit more intimately then I’d like, we dash to grab our things.
Breath and smile…breath and smile…. I’m not accustom to flying with someone else, let alone someone who doesn’t travel by air often. I’m off with a start. Lukas is off with a stroll. “Luke, let’s check to see how far off the gate is and if the flight’s leaving on time!” I advise as Lukas eyes the meager breakfast offerings. “Ok.”
Sighing, I’m glad we checked. “Looks like they’re boarding. Let’s grab our seats.” I suggest in my most urgent upbeat tone.
17C is…. scan, scan… there. Doing the 2 second mini size up I decide our seat mate will do. Doesn’t look like a serial killer or serial chatter from here.
“Oh, that’s right…” I say as Lukas waits for me to slide in. Of course in all the chaos he remembers me relinquishing the prized aisle seat. Wiggle, tuck, I arrange myself into my seat. Lukas just plops down like he’s in front of the TV at home.
“How do you move these seats back?” He inquires while searching for the controls.
“You don’t. Welcome to Coach!” I jokingly say with knitted brows. “But you can pivot it back like an inch.” I suggest.
“How do people do this on long haul flights…like to the East Coast?” Lukas wonders out loud.
“Long haul? Try Asia. People fly like this for 16 hours to Asia…” I say with a tight smile…
Traveling with a non traveler is not for the faint of heart. This is only an hour and a half flight, right?