I have a bone to pick with one Mrs. Pearatty: What. The. Hell?
The last time Mrs. Pearatty came to visit me in my fine city, she “took the train to the plane.” To wit, she took the subway to JFK airport because she had a terrible host who didn’t drive her to the airport. Later, when I asked her how it was, she said “actually pretty fast and easy.”
This, my friends, is a damn hell ass lie.
Last week, I was going to Las Vegas on a Thursday night flight. Since I’m pretty strapped for cash I decided two things: 1) I would leave for the airport straight from work and 2) I would take this long sang about “train to the plane.”
I got on the subway in Manhattan at 3 pm. My flight left at 6 pm. I had to change trains twice and then wait for the A train. Turns out, there are TWO A trains.
That’s right. Despite having the whole 26 letter alphabet at its disposal AND the existence of a Q train, the MTA decides to have two As and NO I or O trains. THE HELL?!
Anyway, I get on the A(2) train and I’m on this thing for THREE days. Finally, I get off at the airport stop and really it’s a train station for an airport TRAM! Not only that, but this tram costs FIVE DOLLARS! And it doesn’t accept my monthly metrocard!
I’m POOR! This is why I’m taking the SUBWAY to the airport! I wait 15 minutes for the tram and when I get on, I immediately fear for my life. The tram creaks along the tracks like a car on the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island. Its oblong form rocks, not-so-gently, from side to side as it weaves from the subway station to the terminal. All you can do at this point is get right with whatever God you believe in.
I finally get to my terminal, run down to the Delta check-in station, stick my credit card in the kiosk and wait for my boarding pass.
The computer says it needs more information: Please tell me when your flight is schedule to leave:
Um. Well played, troll under the bridge, well played. I pick the second 6:00PM.
I need more information, the computer says again.
If my life were a movie, instead of the tragicomic reality show that it is, clouds would now begin to close in around my head, ominous music would play.
Please enter your destination.
Is your flight the 6pm to Las Vegas?
You are too late to checkin to this flight. Would you like to schedule a later flight?
There are no later flights.
I hit clear and did the whole thing again, same result. it was now 5:25.
I pushed my way to the ticket counter, one dude directed me to a supervisor lady.
“How can I help you, honey”?
“The computer won’t let me check-in. My flight leaves at six.”
I hand her my ID. As slowly as is humanly possible, she takes it, spins the computer screen toward her, puts on her glasses, adjusts her chair, looks for each letter of my name on the keyboard, squints, presses it, cleans her eyeglass lens, coughs, puts her glasses back on her face, presses the next letter.
I am DYING.
“Yeah, sorry honey, that flight has boarded. Checkin is closed.”
“But it doesn’t leave till six! I was here at 5! (Lies) I’ve been at that computer kiosk thing for 30 minutes! (More lies) It’s a domestic flight. I thought you had to be there an hour before!” And cue the tears.
“Alright, honey, let me see what I can do.”
She types some stuff in, gives me a boarding pass and says “the security line is pretty long, I don’t know if you’ll make it, ask the guard at the front if you can go through. Good luck, honey.”
I run to the front of the security line and simply hand the guard my boarding pass and driver’s license like it was the most normal thing in the world to enter a line from the side after ducking under two ropes.
He took it!
I ran through the metal detectors, grateful that I didn’t bring my laptop. I ran and ran and ran until I collapsed in a wheezing, sweaty mess in my seat.
Victory was mine!
Next Stop, Las Vegas