Monday, July 13, 2015

Airport Experiences

I first flew in 1967 to Charleston, SC to get the alignment of my teeth checked so that my physical disqualification for the US Naval Academy could be reversed.  There have been a LOT of flights since then, but I recently experienced some new things.

My first surprise came at ATL- Atlanta’s Hartsfield International.  My flight to Rome was with Lufthansa, typically one of my preferred airlines.  As I checked my bags, I noted that my big bag was right at the weight limit because I was hauling about 10 pounds of USA products to give to the missionaries in Rome.  That was as I expected.

But then the German lady weighed my carry on and my backpack.  The carry-on was over weight, and my backpack was near the peak.  With a bit of rearranging, and leaving a few items out, I made weight.  Often airlines weigh checked bags but this was a first for carry-ons!

The flight from Newcastle to London was pretty uneventful, but when we arrived to LHR- London Heath Row, for our return to the USA, we were met with another surprise.  I am accustomed to scanning my passport to get a boarding pass, but here you went through a pretty lengthy maze to get your boarding pass, but you also printed your luggage tag at the same time.  The luggage tag had 4 little sub-tags, and the lady at the actual luggage check counter wanted those, though I am still unsure as to why.  For airline personnel handling baggage tags is no big deal, but for us travelers, it is a bit trickier than it might first appear.

Once we were checked in, the lady explained that one of our pieces of luggage was “too long” and would have to be taken to the “over-sized bag” conveyor. I feared being charged extra, but no one tried to take my money and it was otherwise OK.

Passing through security, I got through fine, but for the first time ever, the security people balked at Brenda’s collection of small shampoos and other small liquids, none of which exceeded the requirements, but apparently capturing their attention just from sheer number. After the appropriate swabbing and sniffing, her liquids were divided into two bags and she was passed through.

A century ago it took weeks to travel between the USA and Europe. Now it is a 6-9 hour flight.  The olden missionaries carried their coffins with them. We expect a semi-edible meal and a movie.

L^rd give us a heart of gratitude, even in the midst of a brand-new inconvenience.

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