The One Minute Uncle
My nephew Jake is flying from Spokane, WA to New York City to spend time with his grandmother (my mother) with a stopover here in Minneapolis. Way back when the flight was made, his was scheduled to land today (12/23) at 6pm and depart at 7:30. Even with time spent boarding, that was enough for a visit, so we made plans.
Flash forward. As of this morning, the incoming flight arrived at 6:14 and went outbound at 7pm, in different terminals. Even a quick hello was worth it. Then it started snowing.
I was tempted to take the bus/light rail to the airport. That's the preferred method, short of being dropped off. Even on busy times, such as Thanksgiving, I've never had much trouble getting through security. However, this time was different: I wasn't taking a flight, I was visiting. I was told this wasn't all that hard, but I'd never done it before and didn't know how much time to allow. So I drove.
Unfortunately, I had neglected to allow for rush hour traffic. Fortunately, I found a parking space in Short Term Parking fairly easily. Unfortunately, I still had no idea which line to stand in for a Gate Pass. Fortunately, I guessed right.
I stood in the Self Serve line, which was much longer but moving much more quickly than the one booth with an agent. A Delta employee herding travelers into a queue longer than the rope lines confirmed that this was the right place to be. *whew* I had the Important Thing to get a Gate Pass, namely my nephew's Confirmation Number. (I don't know if this is really the case, but the ticket agent ((at Self Serve)) almost grabbed the piece of paper with the info out of my hand and started entering data. He tried to talk me out of going in, saying the connections were going to be very tight. He was right, but I was already there.)
To cut to the chase: Even though lines were long, things went fast. From the time I got into the ticketing level to when I was putting on my shoes after going through security was about 45 min. That means that every time I've gone to the airport, except when I've been dropped off, it's taken more time to get to
the airport than it has get inside.
Okay then. Jake's flight was now scheduled to arrive at 6:23. No time for a shared meal, but I was hungry. A Maui Taco
place was right opposite Jake's arrival gate. Airport pricey, but a fair amount of tasty Maui-Mex food, with a Salsa Bar. As I predicted, the hottest salsa wasn't very hot, but the pineapple salsa was interesting. For Jake, an always-hungry 19 year old, I got a turkey sandwich and orange juice from the News Wall place next door.
Jake's flight actually got in at 6:40. The outgoing flight had already made it's final boarding call. I asked the ticket agent if they could let them know we were coming. She said the flights look at the connecting flight logs.
Jake popped out, and I played Sherpa. We had to go from gate C4 to gate F1. Not the farthest one can go in the Lindbergh Terminal, but a good hoof. Halfway there, I was winded. Jake wanted to "book", and I agreed. I gave him the sandwich and oj, a copy of thorintatge
's book (which Thorin signed to him), and he shot off.
Being the responsible avuncular sort, I made it to the gate a few minutes later, and checked that he had gotten on the plane. He had. While I was there, two more people arrived and were let on. The flight eventually left at 7:17.
That is, it left the gate at 7:17. As of 7:59, the Flight Status is "Left Gate" on one screen and "Awaiting Takeoff" on another. It's not snowing very hard here in Mpls, and it's not snowing at LaGuardia, but the whole system is slow.
8:05, still on the ground. I don't really want to go out there again tonight...Update
: As of 8:10, the status on both pages is "In Flight". And he has a something to eat and read. Okay, I can hunker in.Added later
: Jake in a hurry