Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

A Plane to Catch

When I began my journey I wasn’t in possession of a boarding pass for the second leg of my journey. The airline staff had either been unwilling or unable to explain why I couldn’t be given one.

Having dashed through a lengthy maze of corridors I found myself in front of a huge departure board. To my left was a Customer Service counter. I quickly joined the line with hordes of other passengers who were waiting impatiently. The lack of personnel did not facilitate anything being done terribly quickly.

It took longer than you can imagine.  I was seen to and handed something. I saw printed in unmistakable capital letters, STANDBY. I would be given a boarding pass at my gate at the other terminal.

After an escalator or two, I found myself skirted off by train. I wanted to believe things might possibly be reaching their climax. But then I saw I’d have to go through security again And passport control.

As I rushed off, half-dead from not having slept the previous night, my left calf was so tight I was expecting a cramp that would send me writhing on the floor. In earlier times this might have elicited sympathy but in our days it would have probably only meant being surrounded by automatic weapons and being told to step down.

Arriving, I asked for a seat and was told to go to 25A. Nobody was there. Are you sure? I nodded speechless. Then go to 25.

Thankfully, someone was there. Ahead of me were four people holding US Passports. It was obvious from their names they were Arab Americans. Outraged they would have to go through security, they demanded to see the manager. I’m not sure if they ever got the chance since the woman instead was given my passport and in no time at all I had a seat for a flight I ran off to catch.


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7 thoughts on “A Plane to Catch

  1. ugh – that sounds horrible!


  2. I was none the too pleased. At least I caught the flight…


  3. Anxiety! This sounds like a nightmare. As you say, at least you caught the flight… I have missed two. Roll on teleportation!


    • Where are those teleporters when you need them?

      Yes, anxiety is the name of the game. I think the only way not to have any anxiety is to have zero expectations that anything will go as planned.

      Sorry to hear about those missed flights – absolutely no fun.


  4. Tomisard … I feel your pain. We made reservations months in advance when we planned to fly to Paris. Yet, there was still confusion on seating our family when we were returning to America. We did our own seat scheduling so that couples could be together.


  5. One would have thought booking in advance would have solved any problem of seating but apparently not!

    I get the impression that in my case overbooking was the reason they’d not assigned me a seat from the start.


  6. Well, I’m sorry for your troubles, Tom.
    But they’ve inadvertently given me some psychological encouragement, in a backhanded kind of way! Having reached an age and condition when travel is too difficult, I console myself that at least I no longer have to face intense fatigue, confusion, and anxiety!


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