wjs-feb-mar-004.jpg

I should have been more aware of the ides – but I never put much stock in such things. As per the usual, I never have normal travel arrangements. I’ve flown in and out of random airports, some convenient, most less so, had to have cars towed from Dayton tomy home, really anything is possible. But as I say, I am the optimist, so I thought I’d attempt the Skybus and fly out of Columbus to the ‘Philadelphia are airport’ in Wilmington, Delaware, about an hour from my parent’s house – which is about the same distance to any of the other airports I’ve been known to frequent.

The day started off not so bad – but early for a 12:52PM departure time. I safely deposited Patches at the kennel, who received more attention from the staff then I have almost anywhere I’ve gone in a year, and was off to Columbus. Those unfamiliar with the major cities of the great state of Ohio, it is slightly less than half way from Cincinnati to Cleveland, both very close to the edge of the state,I was there in roughly 2 hours give or take. I managed to park my car, as always I was grateful that we arrived intact, hop on the shuttle and made it through the modest airport fairly easily.

I liked the airport – it was easy to navigate, and I had no wait in the security checkpoint line deal – although I was asked if I had a sockmonkey in my carry-on. I didn’t want to seem hostile or that I was questioning their judgment and authority because I definitely didn’t want to anger someone who could pull me off a flight or give me a body cavity search, so I politely asked them to repeat it. ‘A sock. Monkey. That’s what it looks like on the monitor.’ I shyly said no, and offered them to look through my bag which they said wasn’t necessary. I then prepared myself for the Skybus experience.

Skybus is a really cheap airline that flies in and out of select cities – usually near major metropolitan areas but not actually directly in them, thus Wilmington was my destination. They offer $10 one-way fares in the beginning of a sale and the price increases depending on how many tickets are sold. My total cost for the trip was less than $30, and you can’t beat that. The catch is that every added amenity one pays out of pocket. So a checked bag is about $12, same for priority seating, refreshments on the plane, etc. And it is a completely web-based company, meaning there is no 800 number to call for assistance, and there is no ticket person who has any kind of information. So when the flight was delayed due to fog, I found out via email to my phone before the ticketing agent announced any helpful details. In the end, the flight was delayed 2 hours, which isn’t too terrible. I did see some interesting things while I waited: Many people dressed completely unprepared for the weather – especially the guy in the muscle shirt, two grown men wrestling in the area directly in front of me, and the Quiznos that refused to serve me anything that didn’t have meat on it.

The flight itself was just fine minus some turbulence, and I thought the unusual part of my trip was over. I was wrong. I couldn’t see anything resembling a terminal once we touched down and had no idea where the airport was. Then I realized the smallish structure that I thought was a hanger was indeed it, and it wasn’t much bigger than the size of the bottom floor in an average suburban American family of 2.5 home. I immediately spotted my brother and dad, because the waiting area was only a few feet from the entrance from the airfield. When asked if I had any checked bags, I realized that there was no luggage carousel. Instead, there was a square opening in the wall with a plastic sheet divider where some guy asked what your bag looked like and would find it and pass it to you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.

Strange behavioral things tend to follow me, or perhaps I’ll own that maybe I invite them. None of this matters much, as I was holding my niece, the ity bit, as soon as I walked in the door…

Advertisements