It’s Just an Airport

It’s Just an Airport

Last Saturday, I woke up at 6:59. In the morning. On the weekend. Our kids are great sleepers, so I can’t remember the last time I had to get up that early on a Saturday. Most of you are telling me this isn’t that bad. It was. We had a 7 a.m. flight.

I hopped out of bed. “Babe!”
He hopped out of bed. “What?”
I yelled. “We slept through the alarms!”
He yelled. “How did that happen?”
I didn’t have the patience for analysis.

We ran around the house, aimlessly panicking for a few minutes, before we realized we weren’t going to make the flight. Period. By now, The Kids were awake. The Boy said, “I woke up at 5:30 and wondered why we hadn’t been woken up yet. I decided to go back to sleep, though.” Thanks, bud.

While we were getting dressed and throwing last-minute things in suitcases, I called the airline. The first person (idiot) I talked to made me cry. He all but promised me it would be upwards of $500 per passenger (3) to get us to our destination (Chicago). Through my tears, I asked if there were any more options. He said no. In my desperate panic, I said, “I guess we just won’t be able to go.” He said, “yeah, guess not” (jerk).

I know it was our fault, but I was having a hard time believing it was going to be so difficult getting us there. Meanwhile, my ever-patient and therefore clear-thinking husband is looking to simply rebook our flights, as if we never had tickets in the first place. It was cheaper to forfeit our original tickets and buy new ones than to do what the guy (idiot/jerk) suggested on the phone.

Realizing there had to be a better option, I called the airline again. This time I was connected to a delightful young woman who suggested we go to the airport, which was only 15 minutes from home, and try to get on the flight. She said they’d put us on standby, and there were plenty of seats on both flights. I’ll never understand why the guy (idiot/jerk) didn’t offer that information.

At this point, we were in the car, on the way to the Augusta airport. The panic was gone, and we really just hoped for the best. We knew we’d get there at some point, even if it was late that night. This was a trip for The Kids and me, so we hugged and kissed Daddy/husband and crossed our fingers as he dropped us at the curb.

I figured the ticket agents didn’t want to hear our sob story or frustrations from the morning. I walked up to the counter and said, “We missed our 7 a.m. flight and I need to get the three of us on standby for the 10:15.” He smiled, took my license, and said, “Why do you need to be on standby? There’s plenty of space on this flight and your next one. Done. You and your kids are booked all the way through to Chicago, with a stop in Charlotte.” I could’ve hugged him, but I didn’t. “I hope someone does something really nice for you today, because you’ve done that for us.” He smiled again, and told us to have a good trip.

That, my friends, is one of the many reasons I love the Augusta airport. I know y’all love to hate AGS. Any time I’ve been delayed, it wasn’t the fault of the folks at AGS. It usually trickled down from another airport. I’m probably jinxing any travel henceforth. I’ve flown in and out of the Augusta airport, eleventy billion times, and I’ve never had a bad experience.

We moved through security easily. I think there were four people in front of us. As we put our shoes on, one agent told me how good my children were and that she loved my dress. After how our morning looked at 7 a.m., I gladly accepted compliments. They were professional and did their jobs, but the added southern charm was appreciated.

So we made it. We got the flight. The airport, with its two operating gates, feels empty in comparison to giants like ATL. Complain if you will, but it might be easier to appreciate it for what it is. It’s a regional airport with easy parking. The employees are courteous. It’s a 15-minute ride from my house. The cost of gas to ATL will make up for any cost difference for ticket prices.

It isn’t perfect, but what is? Especially when it comes to air travel. Everyone’s got a story, and it’s usually not a positive one. Sh*t happens, and it happens at every airport. Suck it up and make it work. A delayed flight isn’t the worst day of your life.

Be patient and kind. It’s just an airport.

I still don’t understand how our whole family slept through two alarms last weekend. The morning was hilarious, like the crazy scene from “Home Alone.” I guess it wasn’t all that funny at the time, but after 30 minutes or so passed, we laughed.

Now that I’ve jinxed myself, I’m crossing fingers for our flights home. It’s best to remember this: a quick trip to the airport bar will shorten the delay significantly. Cheers!

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