Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cutting It Close

I was in the Charlotte airport today making a connection.  Long walk between the two gates, which is good, as I prefer to get in as many steps as possible with every opportunity that comes my way.  In fact, I usually walk every concourse when I'm in this airport which equates to about 3 miles.  But today the connection is kind of tight, so I head straight to my departure gate, getting in only a paltry mile or so.  As I reached into my backpack for my travel wallet, which contains my passport, airline cards, hotel cards, rental car cards, tickets, etc, I found nothing but air.  Panic rolled through me as I dug frantically through all the compartments, only to come up empty handed.  The flight was boarding in 10 minutes and I had no idea where my ID, tickets, etc were.

I closed my eyes and focused on the last time the travel wallet was in my hand.  Ah-ha - my last flight.  I took it out to review some upcoming flights and left it in the seat pocket.  @#$% the other side of the airport and in another plane.  Again a moment of panic as time was the enemy.  Do I report it as lost to the airline in hopes that they can find it and return to me and go ahead and board my next flight?  Good luck with that, especially since my passport was in it.  Or do I high tail it back to the other gate and hope that I can get back to my departure gate before the plane leaves.  It only took a few seconds to make up my mind - and I was off to the races.

This is another example of where fast walking pays off.  I made it back the first gate in record time, with only a handful of people run over in the process.  Luckily, the gate agent was able to retrieve my stuff and I was sprinting across the airport again.  A few minutes later I was at the departure gate and able to walk right on the plane. 

Total time en route for my rescue mission was about 20 minutes and I was able to get about 1.5 miles more onto the pedometer.  So as it turned out, a bad situation worked out for the best in multiple ways.  And I wasn't even tired... a bit sweaty, but what the heck, that's just a symptom of burning off more calories.

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