There are few things more frustrating than missing a flight and trying to figure out what you can do to try and fix things. The first time this happened to me, it was a flight home from Detroit to Seattle, with a layover in Salt Lake City. My husband at the time had misremembered the time of the flight and only realized his mistake at the last minute. We caught a ride from a friend who drove like a crazywoman through Detroit traffic, but due to new post-9/11 regulations, we had to be checked in 30 minutes before our flight. And we arrived 25 minutes before departure.
On top of a fee for missing our flight, we had to pay the difference in cost between our previous ticket and our new ticket. If we wanted to take the original route we had booked, it would cost us $100 extra per person to do this. On the other hand, we could avoid paying any extra ticket cost if we went to Seattle by way of Atlanta. In a moment of spectacular failure to remember basic U.S. geography, we convinced ourselves that Georgia was out of the way but not that far out of the way. Really, it was due south from Michigan, right?
Georgia is just north of Florida. The only way we could have travelled farther from Seattle, and still remained in the continental United States, was to travel to Florida. We didn’t really realize the scope of the choice we had made until we were on the plane and checked out the in-flight magazine to see on a map where we were going. We felt pretty dumb for having not realized what we’d chosen.
The flight to Atlanta wasn’t too bad. The flight to Seattle from Atlanta, on the other hand, was not as trouble free as we would have liked. While there were plenty of things to distract us, like the trivia game we could play with other passengers through the touchscreens on the seatbacks, the flight attendants had run out of food before they reached our seats at the back of the plane. We’d bought some overpriced snacks at one of the newspaper stands in the Atlanta airport, but mixed nuts and candy bars are not really satisfying meals.
The whole fiasco has made me more careful in making sure I know when our plane is supposed to depart. I will also never forget where Atlanta is compared to Seattle.