Friday, December 20, 2019

“Leaving on a Jet Plane”

Okay – first of all, I have done my share of travel.  In another life, I had to travel for work – enough that I have no issues with the whole air travel process.  I can deal with my luggage (rule #1), check myself in (rule #2), and find the gate (rule #3) with comparative ease.  Well, as long as I’m in a reasonable airport.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is no longer a reasonable airport.  It is rather intimidating and really big.

Looks like something that should be flying around in space – right?  With little space ships hanging onto it.

I had an early flight out this week.  Had to be at IAH by 7am.  I live in Wharton.  It’s about an hour and half drive, unless there’s traffic, then it’s a 3 hour drive.

My sister offered to drive me to the airport.  Thank you, thank you, thank you – we had to leave at 5:30am (this is not her favorite time of the day).

I hate to use the long-term parking lots.  First of all, they’re expensive. And, then you have to make a reservation to be sure of a parking place and you have to leave even earlier to go through all the hoop-la of getting to the lot, parking, catching the bus, etc, etc.  So, I was very grateful that she offered.

And, we left at 5:30am and got to the airport with minimal problem – to early for severe traffic and there were no accidents, no totally insane humans, no completely blocked highways.

I hugged her, grabbed my two-ton suitcase and went to find the check-in.  First of all – there were all sorts of airport helper people around.  Check in??  Right over there.  Cool.  Used the check-in kiosk, already had my boarding pass, don’t carry luggage onto the plane.  I don’t because I’m short.  I can’t reach the overhead bin to get stuff into it and then, I can’t reach the stuff to get it out (Rule #1 – I have to deal with my luggage.).  Yes, sometimes tall people offer to help but . . . . .  Besides that, I had a two-ton suitcase. 

Suitcase on its way to the airplane, I went to find security.  Didn’t get pre-TSA (boo-hoo).  Now, there’s the thing – I think there were so many helper people because IAH DOESN’T HAVE MANY  SIGNS.  No sign pointing Pre-TSA Here, no sign Normal, Annoying Security Here, no sign saying Infinity and Beyond Here.  There was a very nice, chatty man that pointed me in the right direction AND held up a couple of younger men brushing past so I could go first.  Cool.

Now, either security is really different at IAH or they let me do the Pre-TSA thing because I’m past the 70 number.  Whichever, getting through was a breeze.  Was met by a nice couple of guard/police/soldier-types with a dog looking for bad things.  None of those.  Then didn’t have to remove shoes, jacket, or half my clothes.  Zipped through with no problem.  Cool.

If you go to IAH, wear your good walking shoes because it’s a long walk to any of the gates.  Something new I saw – every place to sit that had a table, had a iPad attached.  You could, I assume, order something from the close-by bar or restaurant and could watch a movie, play a game or whatever while waiting for your plane.

My plane arrived on time, I found my seat and we left reasonably close to departure time.  And taxied and taxied and taxied (I wondered if we were taxi-ing to Dallas) and finally flew away.  The flight was long and a bit bumpy and I either read my current book or dozed. 

And arrived in Portland, OR where my brother was waiting for me.

More to come.

20 Dec 2019


  1. I don't enjoy air travel because it's so much hoopla - but of course I ain't driving all the way to Oregon, so flying it would be. I hope you have a great trip!

  2. Well, considering all the horrors of flying around the holiday season, that wasn't too bad at all! Lucky you!

  3. Better yet, be an old lady in a wheel chair. The chair pushing man cuts to the head of every line, the sooner to be done with us, and then pushes me straight to the gate. You have a great holiday.

  4. I love flying. I remember my first time in a jet was to Hawaii. We flew first class and it was wonderful. I'm glad you got through without incident.

  5. You lucked out on security! When I traveled in a wheel chair after a foot surgery it was great. Like Joanne says, straight to the head of every line. The downside was when we arrived at the destination, there was no one waiting with a chair, I guess they decided there would be spontaneous healing in flight. Have a good time in Oregon, hopefully the weather will not suck like it is in Seattle at the moment.

    1. Actually, my brother lives in Camas, WA and it is raining - like real rain not just drizzle. But the temps aren't too bad.