Sunday, March 22, 2015

They Can't Revoke Your Soul For Tryin'

The Missus and I completed our Bahamian adventure yesterday.  We arrived home to Newark Airport at or about 1:15 PM and were home 'NTSG by shortly before three o'clock.  By all outward appearances, the day's events unfolded according to Hoyle.  

Except they did not. 

Grand Bahama Island has fast become one of my favorite places.  But for the sound of music emanating from various places, there is scant little ambient noise.  Margaret and I made it a nice habit - during our week in the sunshine - to walk on the beach every day.  But for the sound of the waves introducing themselves to the shore, there was little to no sound.  It was simply terrific. 

However, Grand Bahama Island is not the easiest place to reach from the United States.  Its name notwithstanding, there is nothing at all "grand" about the island's airport.  It is too small, apparently, to accommodate full-sized jet airplanes.  Thus, in order to get to it from New Jersey, we flew this year (as we did last year) into Fort Lauderdale on United Airlines and then took a flight on one of United's "travel partners", Silver Airways, from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport.  Silver Airways is not what one might describe as a consistent performer in the service department.  Thus, it was not a complete surprise when our 5:04 PM flight out of Fort Lauderdale last Sunday night actually took off at closer to 8:30 PM.  

At some point in the wee small hours of yesterday morning, Silver Airways decided to cancel its 7:50 AM flight from Freeport to Fort Lauderdale.  Their decision would have been of little consequence to us but for the fact that we had seats on that particular flight and - even better - flights on a 9:56 AM flight from Fort Lauderdale to Newark.  Upon our arrival at the airport yesterday morning, I had a concise, terse and almost (but fortunately not quite) life-altering conversation with the little douche nozzle manning the Silver Airways counter.  He told me - with more than an air of smug "Fuck You Very Much" in his voice that we had limited options available for getting from the Bahamas to Florida, by which he meant we had just one option - a 7:25 AM flight into Miami - and that if we missed our 9:56 AM flight out of Fort Lauderdale we were completely screwed since (as he put it so eloquently) "all flights to Newark are zeroed out".  

The Missus and I landed two seats on the 7:25 AM American Eagle flight into Miami - and paid American $50.00 for the privilege of checking our bags on the plane.  Our flight touched down in Miami shortly after eight o'clock.  By the time our bags made it off of the plane, we were staring at 8:20 AM.  We exited the terminal, told a cab driver that we needed to be at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in order to make a 9:56 AM flight.  He smiled and assured me that he would get us there.  

And get us there he did.  We disembarked curbside approximately thirty-five minutes and $100.00 (including tip) later.  The Sky Cap with whom we checked our bags curbside not only got them onto the plane before the flight closed but he also got us our boarding passes.  Into the terminal we went as the clock flashed 9:04 AM - and into a crowd of what appeared to be several hundred waiting to get through the TSA Security Checkpoint.  After the high we had felt in actually making it to Fort Lauderdale in time to make our flight, the sheer volume of people needing to get through security was deflating.  

As we made our way through the line, we reached a point where two young TSA agents were stationed.  Margaret decided to trade upon her innate cuteness by sharing our tale of woe with one of them and telling him that through no fault of our own we were facing the very real possibility of missing our flight.  His face never betrayed his intention of assisting us but assist us he did.  He and his colleague funneled us out of the line we were in and into a route that had ZERO people between us and the security checkpoint.  We were through in less than five minutes.  

Murphy being an Irishman, our 9:56 AM flight did not leave Fort Lauderdale on time - in spite of United's representations to the contrary.  Although it left approximately twenty minutes late, it touched down in Newark at or about 1:00 PM, which meant that it landed fairly close to right on time.  Yesterday, all things considered, "fairly close" turned out to be more than good enough. 

It was great to be away.  It is equally great to be home. 

-AK 

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