How I almost didn't get home from LA

Wow, where do I start? After a long, exhausting, and occasionally fun week, I missed my flight home. And well, there was a Ducks loss somewhere in there, but in the scheme of things, this was worse.

In hind sight, I would have preferred to hang out by myself all day and get to the airport 3-4 hrs earlier. But sometimes against my better judgment, I let others' wants get in the way of my own. I'm a no stress girl and meeting up with two friends, although enjoying it, ultimately led me to some major freak out level stress.

With a late flight out, I had plenty of time to do a little sightseeing. But after meeting up with 1 friend and walking down Hollywood Blvd seeing all the stars in the sidewalk, I met up with another friend to walk down Rodeo Drive and grab a bite to eat. After driving, parking, walking, eating (chicken sandwich and pom margarita) and driving back to by car, it was cutting it CLOSE.

I hate being late, but sometimes that is truly the price you pay for trying to do too much in too little time. With just 90 min left, I made it to trafficky 405 S. I finally busted out of my rental car and on to the shuttle bound for the gates.

With just 45 min til my flight departed, I arrived at the ticket counter. The Alaska/Horizon agent said that even though I had checked in the night before online, they had already given away my seat. And that's when I lost it. Bad enough to get home to the manfriend at 11pm on by birthday, but I wouldn't be getting home at all that night. Oh lord.

Judy, the dear saint of a ticket agent, spent the next 20 or so min in the back trying to get me on to any flight tonight/tomorrow to no avail. She came back to my sorry, red eyed, sobbing self to explain options. People, LAX to Portland/Eugene this weekend was nearly impossible after the NYE holiday and then the Rose Bowl.

After talking through everything, I begged for anything nearby (Portland or Medford). Finally, saint #2 of an agent helped #1 bump me up to #7 on the standby list for the last flight to Portland Sat eve. They said the chances were good, but no promises and sent me on my way, but not before asking if I had money coffee in case I didn't make it.

I rushed to security, made two final phone calls to the man and my brother (Portland resident) before the cell phone died. Note to self: if I can't find my wall charger before leaving for a big trip, I will buy an extra when I get to my destination. I ran to the gate, checked with the agent to confirm my spot, and waited.

People, it was a miracle. I stood there shaking as she printed out my boarding pass and bumping two other passengers who didn't make it to the gate in time. I have never been so relieved. It's not home, but it was close enough. After leaving a message on my brother's voicemail, I only hoped he was in town and able to pick me up from the airport late.

I'm not much of a religious person, but you can be sure I was thanking everything holy as I sat down in 9C and shoved my bag under the seat. I do believe in karma and the golden rule and I'm sure that a combination of something bigger and my own character helped me get on that plane. I also believe in getting to the airport obnoxiously early, even if it means blowing off your friends.

I may be 27 now, but that extra year has yet to make me wiser. Here's to a productive, successful, karma-filled year to you and yours! And thanks again to the great work of the Horizon/Alaska ticket agents in LAX (and everywhere). Your job is not easy.



KGreg said…
Oh wow, that sounds so stressful. I used to fly standby all the time because my mom worked for an airline and it was free, but we always had like 3 backup plans because it was such an uncertain mode of travel. But yeah, having the right (nice) gate agent is everything.

Glad it all worked out (and hope you had a good birthday celebration when it was all over with)!
Amber said…
That sounds super stressful - I'm so glad she was able to get you on a flight! Annoying they gave your seat away!!
Anonymous said…
Ugh, I'm with you on the *early* thing!! I have a mini panic attack if I'm there within the 2-hour mark....

that is Not a fun way to spend the 27th Birthday...but I'm so happy those chicks (aka Saints ;) ) got you back to the Fam and Man-friend!
Ooo, that sucks. I am so sorry you went thru the stress of that - but I am glad you made it home!

I am also anal when it comes to flying. Err, many things actually. I digress. Anyways, I get all panicky if I am not at the airport at least 2 hours early. It stresses me out so much when I travel w/ others who are more lax about it!

Happy Birthday! :)
Shoshanah said…
Glad to hear you were able to get on that flight. Especially with all the extra airport security that's been going on lately. But at least it all worked out!

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