I was just speaking with a coworker who had a horrible time getting to and from an event we both attended. Canceled flights on both ends of the trip and an eventual rental car for an unexpected road trip home were only a few of her unexpected adventures.
Air travel has been much different in the past two years. I have avoided flying unless I absolutely need to. Of the last four flights I have taken, three were changed by the carrier. A month ago I was awake for 22 hours due to a trip where I was in the air for only two and a half hours.
I used to travel a lot and have had many adventures on the way to the airport, in the terminal and on the plane. There is a lot to take in as you move through the airport.
It's a great source for stories as diverse as the personalities that roam through the terminal – funny, sad or just really strange.
Some are exasperating, like the time I spilled gas on myself while fueling the rental car. The guy at the rental desk told me that if I had clean clothes I might want to change because he didn't think security would let me through smelling so richly of gasoline.
While changing in the men's room, I whipped off my belt, forgetting my phone was clipped to it. My phone hit the ground and went sliding across the floor, underneath about four bathroom stalls before stopping. I spent the rest of the trip frantically sanitizing my phone.
Then there was the time the lady in front of me insisted that her rabbit was her emotional support animal. The gate attendant questioned the woman a bit and ultimately let her on the plane.
Once I had two older Chinese women who spoke little or no English follow me through the terminal after our gate had changed. We communicated mostly with hand gestures. I'm still stunned that they got as far as they had on their own knowing so little English.
Another time the city of Pasadena police ushered a guy onto the airplane because he had wreaked some sort of havoc at the Rose Bowl and they wanted to get him out of their jurisdiction. He was calm and very nice, albeit a bit smelly, throughout our hour-long flight.
I was in an out-of-the-way walkover in the Dallas airport recently and noticed a woman struggling to walk against the direction of a moving sidewalk. I asked, "Are you alright?" She said, "The other one is broken." She pointed to the stopped one that was supposed to go in the direction she was heading. I pointed out that it might be easier to walk the distance off of the moving sidewalk. She looked at the long hallway and muttered, "Oh."