Both to and from New Mexico, Tom and I had to change planes in Atlanta. This is annoying because 1) changing planes is annoying and 2) ATL is annoying. I believe their gate algorithms require you may never land at the same terminal you depart from. If it’s gonna happen, they make the airplane circle until another inconvenient gate opens up.
But all and all, it wasn’t that bad. We’re pros at ATL by now, and pros at traveling together. The short flight from Tampa to Atlanta actually breaks up unbearable long travel into one easy-peasy-over-before-your-beverage-service flight and one just-long-enough-to-actually-watch-a-movie-or-do-work flight.
On the way to New Mexico, we used a headphone splitter to watch Batman Rises (meh) on Tom’s iPad. On the way back, the flight is shorter due to tail winds so we both just read (I am over half done with Three Cups of Tea and loving it).
We already knew the Atlanta to Tampa flight was going to be full since we were offered to get bumped for credit during check-in. And since we were flying Delta, we weren’t surprised they announced they had changed planes on us – we assume to allow for more passengers.
On all of the flights, Tom boarded in zones ahead of me. Which is fine since he’s the one antsy to get on the plane and I’m the one who finds it a rousing success in time management if I arrive at the gate to be the last one down the gangplank.
What was a little annoying is that when I did board, they had changed my seat.
Tom and I were not booked as traveling together since we were using individual flight credits. So they obviously were trying to re-arrange the passengers to accommodation more companion travelers. (Except that they ended up putting a non-solo stand-by passenger in my old seat. A little old lady confused that she was being separated from her husband. And they put some non-English speaking tourists (Scandinavians?) in an exit row. Kindergarteners with a known cootie outbreak can pick seats easier than this flight.)
I thought I’d flag Tom down and point as I sat, but the plane was being boarded from the middle doors after first class. My new seat was one row from the door. So I slipped in amidst stand-by Scandinavian chaos, sent Tom a quick a text, and started reading my book like a good little anti-social traveler.
I was doing fine until an elderly black fiercely gay flight attendant came sashaying up the aisle (when a stereotype fits…) yelling, “Is there a Jessica In Progress here?”
I raised my hand without looking up from my book.
Hands on his hips, he hollered, “Here she is! Honey, ” looking at me, “tell your husband you are on this plane! I do not have time for this.”
“I…sent him a text?” I answered looking feebly back down the aisle.
Later I found out that Tom had already turned off his phone and had been engrossed in his own book so he didn’t pay close attention to the boarding process until he was sure I had been kidnapped from the zone 2 line up.
“I told him I needed to find out what happened to you and all he wanted to know was if I was gonna still take the flight if you weren’t on it.”
“No I was not going to take that flight!”
I know some people refuse to call it love unless there’s a whole lot more to it than that. But people have also settled for a whole lot less.