I am in the middle of a non-direct red-eye flight from Seattle to Pittsburgh.  I was supposed to go to Charlotte, NC on the way, but USAir called(!) last night to tell me to come a half hour early to the airport (I was already there and had already checked in, and having a relaxing dinner watching the planes taxiing and taking off) because the Charlotte flight was delayed and I was going to be re-routed through Detroit on Northwest.

The Seattle airport was very fast my first time through, but I always like to avoid going through security more times than I have to, so I almost succeeded in getting the USAir rep to meet me on the other side of security, but she declined after waffling a little.  So, out through security, and then had to wait in a relatively short line at the ticket counter - for some reason, people don't realize that they can use the computers to check in, even if they are checking baggage.  And the one guy who did try to use the computer was scolded by the USAir employee, saying that he was wasting his time, that she was going to have to re-route him since he was going to Charlotte.  But, he said he wasn't going to Charlotte...  She then rolled her eyes and said, "fine, use the machine then".  Beaten down, he got back in line.

After being switched over, then went to Northwest to get the ticket (then I could use the computer - again, stepping in front of about 15 people - I guess it is good for me if they like standing in line) and back through security.  The guy got out his yellow highlighter and highlighted the secret text and announced that I was going "first class", and directed me to a different scanner line.  This is the second time that it has happened when I have gotten a ticket changed after checking in and then getting stuck in security, so that must be suspicious activity or something.  If I had remembered, I could have given him my first boarding pass, since I happened to have an extra one, because I printed it out at home, and then again at the airport, when I was trying to see what it would cost to upgrade to first class for the red-eye.

For someone who was actually trying to avoid the search, it would have been pretty trivial.  I think the screeners expected me to be surprised, and warned me to not touch my stuff - of course, since I already knew that I was going to be searched, I could have removed the stuff before they saw me.  Since the search was coming, I emptied everything out of my pockets, so the pat-down was very fast, but the girl going through my bag came up accusingly with a 1/3 full 6 ounce container of toothpaste.  Aha! What was I thinking? She had actually poked holes in the container before confronting me with it. (Note that I had already carried the "dangerous" material through security without any problems twice this week, so presumably I would have already done something with it if I was going to...) I was able to keep a straight face and manage to get out without further incident.

The red-eye wasn't too bad, I did have a window seat, and there was a couple inches more legroom on the Northwest flight than the previous USAir flight, so that was nice.  I did actually fall asleep before take-off, and then slept on and off for the whole flight.  I am planning on going to work, and wasn't sure how well that would work, but I think it will be alright.

I was chatting with a woman in the ticket line who regular travels between Seattle and Pittsburgh, and says that direct flights start today, so if I had known that I probably would have stayed an extra day.  But, due to a longer layover, Heather will get to have a more relaxed morning to get me at the airport. 

Posted by Jon Daley on June 14, 2007, 6:54 am | Read 1826 times
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I forgot to say that a lady bought me breakfast, since she had an airport voucher. I went to McDonalds for price and consistency, and found that this particular McDonalds doesn't have any biscuits, which both the lady and I tried to order.

Posted by Jon Daley on June 14, 2007, 7:16 am

When I read the subject line I was sure this was a post from Heather about Noah....

After the first one, Porter loved the red-eye from California, but that was a direct flight. He learned to sleep well (his legs are not as long) and thus was didn't waste half the next day either sleeping or sleepy.

One thing I wish they would change about the way security works is having to go through it twice. That often seems to happen when you go from one country to another, even if you are a continuing passenger. I guess one country doesn't trust another's security.

The couple of times I have had to change tickets it has been really nice -- they could do it from a place located in the secure area. I wasn't changing airlines, though, and that probably makes a difference.

Posted by SursumCorda on June 14, 2007, 7:27 am

Way to keep a straight face, I can imagine the smile creaping across . . . and it probably would come across mine too.

Posted by Tom on June 14, 2007, 2:15 pm
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