Well, after last night's airport debacle,
I finally made it to Austin. At 1:30 in the morning. From a flight
scheulded (originally) to leave at 6:55. The craziness went like this:
Huge unmoving line at Terminal 3 security. Why? We think — we think —
two guys rushed the security gates. And they couldn't catch them.
Solution: Shut down the terminal, then later, take more drastic steps.
45 minutes after I arrived, Delta personnel have a powwow and one woman
sallies into the group to randomly tell people that if they have a
"connection flight" and "no checked luggage" they can go to Terminal 2.
I assess that "connection flight" doesn't mean you're connecting from
one flight to the other, and that this subset of the diagram includes
me, so I race like a refugee down a ramp and up another with a few
hundred other people to Terminal 2 (which is also Delta and connects to
3) Stand in line. A long line. A very long line.
Woman in front of me going to Berlin, behind me to Indianapolis. No
sight of a Delta employee coming down the line to explain anything (and
indeed, none ever comes). I realize the security situation is not
Delta's fault. But how they handled it was — and for the most part,
they handled it crappily. To wit:
4) Another 45 minutes in the
line that moves, we're still only about halfway there. Announcement on
loudspeaker: "Will all passengers in Terminal 3 please leave the
terminal. Delta agents will be waiting at the exits." All passengers?
Including the ones waiting for planes? Including the ones waiting for
my plane which is leaving from that terminal? No one says, no one
knows. Suddenly, Terminal 2 gets a lot more crowded.
4) Mom —
who I've been cell phoning all this time — says the flight I'm on is
now boarding at 7:10. If it does, and if that boarding takes 20
minutes, I might still make it. I'm anxious now. I get through
security, and once I do there are no signs as to how to get back to
Terminal 2 without leaving the building. One lone agent tells me
nothing's leaving from that terminal, which has been completely
evacuated. I decide to get as close to Terminal 2 as possible, so I
know when they're letting us in.
5) I happen to walk by Gate 20, which has my flight information. The
plane has "just arrived." I'm safe. We're meant to board at 7:30.
6) We board at 8. There's almost no one to get on.
7) We wait until the plane is nearly full and leave the gate around 9:15. And we're 13th in line to take off.
And so that is how you end up landing in Austin at 1:30 am local time.
I slept in.