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Ok, one last post about my trip to Indiana.

This trip yielded some of the most interesting airport/airplane experiences.

  • I broke my belt.
    I almost always wear a belt.  This is especially important when I’m working out in the field because it generally involves kneeling, crouching, crawling around machines.  This is a problem if your pants will gap in the back.  Belts.  They are important.  And of course, I broke the only belt I brought (because why would I need more than one?) as I was taking it off to go through security.  It meant that I had to run around SLC (layover) to find another belt that was sensible and I could use beyond this trip.  I found one.  It was expensive.  Because it was from an airport.
  • I nearly lost another knife to TSA.
    I had to carry a bunch of tools for this job.  If I have to carry a lot of tools, it means that I will check my bag (this is important later).  Since I was checking my bag, I decided that I would carry my Swiss Army knife with me (a Cybertool 34).  I am wary of carrying my knife with me because I lost my first one to TSA on one of my first trips for work.  Final boss was nice enough and offered to replace it for me just that once.  I took him up on the deal and I’ve had my current knife since then.  And then I nearly forgot to check it with my bag for this trip.  I had it hooked onto my “personal item” and nearly tried to take it through security with me.  I had to run back and ask the desk agent if he could fish my checked bag out for me.  He was nice enough to do so.  It look awhile.
  • I met some incredibly well-behaved children on all legs of my flights.
    I was really amazed.  I have this incredible luck to sit next to the children on flights all the time and they are almost inevitably whiny and fussy and waily.  Not this time.  There were two really young girls sitting behind me and the older sister was teaching her younger sister to read.  She was very supportive.  They were cute.
    There were two brothers flying alone on another leg of my flight.  They were also incredibly well behaved.  They read almost the entire flight.  The younger brother only became rowdy and loud after he had some coffee the flight attendants were passing out (she had rather dubiously handed him a cup after he asked for it, I suspect she knew what was going to happen).  Even then, however, the younger brother was pretty well behaved and his older brother kept trying to get him to calm down and talk quietly.  It didn’t work, but I was amused.  Also there was only about 10 minutes left to the flight.  If I had to sit through his antics for an hour, I probably would be considerably less amused.
  • I met an extended family (I think three generations) out for a family vacation.
    They were so friendly and cheerful even after the delays for our flight.  There wasn’t any squabbling.  They would joke good naturedly with each other.  They were pleasant to be around.  And the grandmother thanked an Army solider who was also on the flight for her service to the country.  I thought that was terribly nice of her.
  • The flight back from IND was packed full of action, or something.
    First, I had a relatively early flight out of IND.  I was the only one going through security.  I was somehow “randomly selected” to go through the full-body scanner.  Yay.  It was indeed such a random choice.  I mean, out of all the people they could have picked, they picked me!  Sugh.
    The flight to SLC (layover) was relatively uneventful, but within 5 minutes of landing in SLC, they changed the gate from which my next flight was leaving.  Another 5 minutes later, the flight was delayed for 2 hours.  Another 5 minutes after that, they changed the gate back to the original one.  It confused nigh everyone waiting at the gate.  Also, there were no agents at the desk so there was no one to clarify what was happening.
    We did finally board the flight and nothing really interesting happened until we were going to land at LGB.  You see, there was a tail wind.  At any other airport, this wouldn’t be a problem, because the pilot would just approach from the other side of the runway and land into the wind.  But, you can’t do that at LGB because the runway points directly toward LAX and the area on the far side of the runway is restricted airspace.  So we circled the airport for about 20 minutes to see if the wind would die down.  The pilot was very apologetic about the whole thing and tried to keep us updated.
    The guy  sitting next to me wouldn’t buy it.  From what I could tell, he was a nice guy but didn’t have a good grasp of physics.  He kept calling the pilot names every time there was an announcement.  He tried to see what my opinion was and I tried to explain why we couldn’t land with a tailwind (basically, the plane would be terribly unstable and we would probably all die in a fiery crash).  He kind of got what I was saying, but thought that maybe it was only because we were in one of those tiny commuter planes.  Oh well.  Anyway, we were diverted to LAX, which is only about 30 miles away.
    Now, all this is kind of a problem for me because I had arranged for a shuttle to pick me up at LGB twoish hours prior to when I actually landed in LAX.  They did indeed call me while I was in the air trying to see if I had landed.  I thought they would check my flight info, since they asked for it, but apparently they don’t do that kind of thing.  Because…that would make too much sense.  You can’t have that.  However, I did find out that they don’t change you a cancellation fee.  So I canceled and asked my dad to come pick me up instead (passengers who were not able to find their own transportation were offered a free shuttle ride to LGB).
    My dad took awhile to get to the airport and that ended up being a good thing because my bag had somehow gotten lost between the loadening at SLC and the off-loadening at LAX.  The guys in charge of moving unclaimed bags from the baggage claim didn’t see it.  They even checked twice for me.  The other passenger looking for her bags from the flight didn’t know anything about it.  I tried tracking my bag and saw that it was never scanned plane-side at LAX.  So I assume that it was left on the tarmac, sad and stranded.  I’m sure it was so alone and confused.  Maybe it was even panicking out there.  Soaking wet, because it was pouring by the time I landed.  I feel kind of bad for it.  The people at the lost baggage office tried to be helpful, but since my flight had so many weird things go on, it took awhile to explain to them why my bag wouldn’t be at LGB, why I really needed them to look for it at LAX, and why I didn’t want it to be sent to LGB in the case it was found at LAX.  We managed to work it out and they promised to send my bag to my house after they found it.  Then I left.  On the car ride home, I thought I’d check up on the status of my bag.  They found it.  Eleven minutes after I left the airport.  Sugh.
    They delivered it to my house at 12:30 the next morning.  I found it on my doorstep when I left for work that morning.  It seemed relatively dry.

It was an adventurous trip.

The end.

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