- Drop Off - you might as well just slow down to 8 or 10 MPH and push your beloved out the car door under the Delta sign. If you slow down any more, you'll get in trouble by the curb police.
- Checking In - I do it on line so I save $5 on my bag. After nursing my scrapes from the drop off, I forge through the cattle line to reach the ticketing counter KIOSK where there is nobody to help me. After the necessary kiosking, I have to drag the suitcase to the newly added X-Ray screening section. I wonder if when they are done, they'll let me take it outside and toss it into the cargo hold of my plane myself.
- Security _ I don't know about you but I get all warm and fuzzy in the security line... "empty your pockets - all change - jewelry - lap tops - belts - bags - they all gotta go in a bin on the conveyor" ...."take off your hoodies - your coats - your panties and bras - empty your mind of any thoughts..." And being "wanded" is a treat. A male agent is required to ask if you prefer a female before they commence with their wanding and ask if it's ok to touch you before they frisk. Need I say any more?
- The Gate - Ahhhhhhhhhh, at last. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Delta flight 923, service to Please-Get-Me-There, Florida. In just a few moments, we will begin boarding by zones 1,2,3 and 4" . I am zone 4. When they finally do invite us to board, " the rest of you, get on", I see I am one of six people waiting our turn. I feel as though I am the bottom of the flying barrel with the #4 stamped on my forehead. Not First class - not Elite, not even THREE....I am zone 4. I rush up to have my ticket scanned and down the jet way I go to get stacked up with everyone else, EXCEPT I am at the back of the line because I am zone 4. And this is where I begin to profile. Go ahead, say you don't look just a little.
- The Ride - Snuggled into my window seat next to the bathroom and the single mom of twins, I try to reach for my purse for my IPOD. However, due to the close proximity of the seat in front of me, I cannot bend over. I have to use my toes to pull it out and over and ask single mom to stop nursing for a second and reach into my purse. After a bit on the tarmac, we get the standard safety training but with a few added requirements: No blankets or coats on our laps for the last hour of the flight (why just the last hour?) and no electronic goodies to be used (thank you Mr. liquid explosive moron). I happened to fly yesterday and noticed that in place of the standard "What-the-hell-do-you-want-you're-bothering-me" attitude of the flight attendants, they were exceptionally outgoing, Southwest kind of "up" and overly helpful. When I couldn't reach into my purse for the credit card for wine #2, the attendant actually smiled and comp'd the drink. Another new tradition I've noticed on my last few (very smooth and pleasant) flights is passenger applause upon touch down. That says something about how we feel about flying in these new times.
The root of the word terrorism, is terror and that in itself is enough to make Greyhound rich and Amtrak richer. This seasoned flyer has never been fearful or anxious up until a couple of years ago. Last weekend, I nearly beat the poor pharmacy tech when she said she had not filled the RX for my "vacation pills". She eventually came through, thus my flying. Find me the person who invented Xanax because I want to kiss them.