My Denver airport version of Sliding Doors

    This past week I began the wonderful adventures of air travel again after a several week hiatus from packing everything in 3 oz. bottles and waiting at gates and in planes.

    I was once asked the question of whether I enjoyed air travel by someone who looked like they were genuinely interested in the answer. I gave it some thought and realized I did enjoy the results of air travel whether it is meeting Adobe customers or checking up on the home we are constructing in Loreto Bay. The actual time spent in airports or on planes…no, couldn’t honestly say I enjoyed that part. Okay, there was the one exception of flying Quantas on business to Australia. On that occasion, when the plane landed in Australia, I really had the desire of staying in my cocoon of uninterrupted bliss watching movies and getting served meals. It was almost spa-like…but I digress.

    I jumped into the icy deep end this week with air travel. The flight out to Madison Wisconsin was pleasantly uneventful.

    The return trip was a different story. Having finished a presentation on the ‘Lessons from Social Media for Government Agencies’, I decided to see if I could catch an earlier flight out from Madison. Airlines these days seem like they are packing flights to capacity by overbooking flights. As a result, catching an earlier standby is harder and there was only one seat available which I was fortunate enough to get.

    Thankfully, as it turned out, my scheduled flight from Madison to Denver was delayed three times and I would have missed the connecting flight from Denver to San Jose.

    However, after having arrived in Denver, I could not get on the earlier flight out to San Jose as only one seat was offered to standby passengers and someone else beat me on the priority list. The string of airport voodoo continued as my actual scheduled flight from Denver to San Jose was canceled about 40 minutes before we were going to board. I was rescheduled on a flight for the next day at 6am which I refused to accept as my fate.

    I waited in many lines and finally got onto a flight from Denver to San Francisco that arrived at 1am in the morning. I almost missed this flight as the airline staff spelled my last name as “Koa” instead of “Kao”. “Koa” was far enough removed from the actual pronunciation of my last name that I didn’t respond to it. Luckily, I had the gate attendee look at my standby ticket.

    Finally, when I sat down at my seat on the plane, I was absolutely frazzled and livid. And then it occurred to me and I took a deep breath. In the many lines I waited at the airport, I did get into several interesting and fascinating conversations with others in the same fate as I. None of those great conversations would have occurred if it wasn’t for this airport fiasco.

    Having said this, I was very glad to have arrived home and was reminded of this with each “EasyUpdate” email I received telling me the 6am flight the next day had been delayed…yet again. Smile.

    Next flight…tomorrow to Boise, Idaho. This is Loni Koa….checking in.

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