Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lee - Heading to Cedar Rapids (CID) airport


To the airport: I had a computer install in Waterloo, IA, which is about an hour from CID. I leave the store at the last possible time due to some problems at 9:30am. I have an 11:30am flight to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Covington KY (CVG) but had a lot on my mind as we had some major problems with the new registers we installed that caused our customer problems during their breakfast rush.

I ended up missing my exit and went east instead of south and I didn’t realize it until I was almost 10 minutes off path. I thought, oh my God, I might miss my first flight. I have flown 400 segments in the last 3 years and (knock on wood) never missed a flight that I did not plan on changing to a later flight.

I frantically pull out the map from the rental car company and found a cut through road that will help me make up time. I start speeding to try to make up time but my estimates have me at the airport 20 minutes before departure.

I have a bag that must be checked due to tools and Delta Air Lines (DL) has a hard 30 minute cut off for baggage on the computer and I have learned on another trip there is no way to override this cut off.

As I am racing towards the CID airport, I try calling the airport to get in touch with the DL counter – but to no avail, no one will give me the phone number or connect me to talk to an agent. I hope to get an agent to pre-print my bag tag since I know I can make the flight but not the cut off. I call a friend who works with ASA (DL connection) that I met in my former hometown of Wilmington, NC (ILM). He used to work as a Gate Agent in ILM and now travels to open up new stations – I knew he might be get the number if he is working at a station.

I get a text message back saying “In a meeting in ATL, will call you in a few.” I think, oh @#$@ I am screwed. I sent a text message to him explaining the situation and hope. 10 minutes later he sends me back just the phone number to the station – how he got it, I don’t know. I call the station and get an agent to pre-print the tag and now I know I am good to go with a huge sigh of relief. I have to make these flights as I leave tomorrow morning to go to Shanghai, People's Republic of China for a weekend trip.

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