Interminable Lines And Other Misfortunes

March 14, 2010

in Airport Stories

I had the wonderful experience of flying with a toddler recently. My daughter is well behaved, adorable (of course all parents say that!) and rather soft spoken. Our flights were great. The Orlando airport was not. Our flight to Orlando was one of the best I have ever had. We were hoping for the same luck when we left Orlando. No such luck!

We arrived for our flight three hours in advance. We figured we would walk around, eat and still have plenty of time to wear out our two and a half year old. First we tried checking in for our flight outside. We had two large rolling suitcases, our daughter’s diaper bag, car seat, my purse and my husband’s carry on. It was difficult carrying everything and holding the hand of a toddler. We figured the very short line outside would work best. Nope. The lady in front of us couldn’t decide if she wanted to carry on her bag or check it. After 25 minutes… yes 25… we decided to move indoors. We waited in another line. Only to be told when we got to the front we were in the wrong line. This was the line for people with no checked baggage. I would think the gentleman who told us this could have told us before we stood in that line for 15 minutes. A little obvious that we had luggage with us. I guess he was too busy hitting the other airline worker in the leg with his crutches.

Off to our third line. By this time our little one is getting tired of waiting and not moving. We finally get to the counter and weigh our luggage, check in… cool were checked in! No were are not. Though our luggage has been weighed and tagged, we have to walk it to another part of the airport. Has anyone ever had this happen?

Finally we are walking around, luggage free, boarding passes in hand. Off to security. Only to find the line for security has around 400 plus people in it. The next hour was the worst of my life. Shoulder to shoulder, hot, stuffy air, people pushing chaos. There was no structure or organization to this madness. When we finally reached the person who checked IDs, we asked if we could proceed to the family security line. “No you can’t. That line is for people with strollers only.” Pardon me for not having a stroller, just a car seat! Off to the long line ahead. People were so rude in this makeshift line. One man actually pushed my toddler so he could get in front of her. I have no patience when someone is rude to a child, and spoke some wonderfully chosen words with this man. Only to have him tell me to get my child under control. That is when my husband took over and they had more words. He ended up behind us. While we were removing our shoes and placing everything into bins, one of the TSA workers actually grabbed things out of my hands and started putting it into bins for me. I was appalled. I also got told to hurry up, they didn’t have all day.

We are finally on our way to our gate… ride the tram to our terminal, and check on our flight time. Great we have no time to get any food, go to the bathroom, nothing. We ended up being one of the last people to board. Our seats are taken, and the FA won’t make them move. We get split up on the plane. The FA even tried to put is in three different rows. No way should I ever be asked or implied to make my toddler sit alone in a row! The FA said I would be directly behind her, like that was going to make it any better. Luckily a nice man moved so I could sit next to my daughter. My husband got stuck in the back of the plane. Oh well, he caught up on some sleep.

The final straw for me… we sat on the runway for 77 minutes before takeoff. No reason given… we just did. Luckily, my daughter had fallen asleep and saved me from the restlessness I was expecting. From now on, I think I will just drive to Orlando… the 90 minute flight isn’t worth the time saved!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kad March 14, 2010 at 6:19 am

Why any airline employee would try to split up a toddler and one or both parents is beyond me. It's almost like asking for trouble. Can you think of a more understandable reason for a parent to go literally NUTS and get away with it?

That said, it seems that the underpaid, undertrained, apathetic airport employees have, like some of their FA brethren, take security to mean what it really amount to: a crass power grab to put the 'people' in their place.

Some people will, given vague authority and little supervision, use it as much as possible. Any border crossing, government office, or any other necessity of life that exists in a non-competitive environment does by nature encourage the worst attitudes fromthose who deliver the 'service'.

By the way, Pearson Airport in Toronto compares quite nicely to Orlando, at least when it comes to flying to the US. FIVE security checkpoints? Why not have TEN? or Twenty?

It reminds me of the thousand monkey's on a thousand typewriters scenario….What will the thousandth monkey do that the first one won't?

I'm rambling. But I agree generally that an airport experience can definitely produce a FFH.

—my smoothest airport experiences? Flying to Cuba. Imagine that. Nothing but politeness and efficient service both directions. It's almost the opposite experience if anything related to the United States is in the picture. At Pearson, I had a helluva time getting through security after a trip to Orlando….How does one prove Canadian Citizenship when all of our ID (except for the Passport, not required at the time) is Provincially produced? We don't have a National ID card…..

It's not like I could stutter my place of residence as Waubaushene (or make up such a name)


rerere March 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Blame osama and allah


mike March 17, 2010 at 1:17 am

Amen brotha!


Sam March 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

What does religion have to do with this you idiot, why dont you fix your foreign policy abroad?


ps March 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

that's right. the pc security mess is due to the nordic terrorists not the pigs in dirty nightshirts.


Anotherguy April 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Couldnt u see u were in the wrong line? U were the only ones with baggage. Then u expect someone else to tell you you in the wrong line even though there signs everywhere. It your fault you in the wrong line so dont expect someone else to correct you, he probably had better things to do then correct you. Good thing u came 3 hrs before your flight. I do however blame the fa for giving your seats away, unless u guys came in a minute before they closed the door.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: