Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Few Airport Sprints

Yesterday's Total Calorie Intake: 2450
(Exercise Calories: 743)
Total Net Calories: 1707

I have meetings in Nashville today and tomorrow, so I was scheduled to fly out last night. My original flight was scheduled to depart BWI Airport at 9:20pm, however, there was a 7:40pm flight beforehand so if I was really lucky, I was hoping to get onto that flight. I could not leave until 6:30pm since Sherry was tutoring, so in order to make the earlier flight I'd need to make it to the airport with no traffic, fly through security (I was not checking a bag this time) and hope for a close gate and a small delay on the departure of the earlier flight. I knew it was asking a lot.

The weather was bad - freezing rain started falling around 3pm in the Washington, DC area - so traffic was going to be horrendous. I also checked the departure times for both flights - the early one was now scheduled to leave at 7:50pm and my flight had been pushed out until 10:30pm. OK, I thought to myself, "at least I'll be able to make my flight..."

I left my house around 6:45pm. Traffic was moving pretty well despite the sleet, until I got to I-495 (the Capitol Beltway). I had to be on this road for at least 15 miles before picking up either I-95 North or the Balt-Wash Parkway. I don't think my car went more than 20 mph the entire time I was on the Beltway. At this point, I figured there was no way I was getting to get on the earlier flight.

I decided to take the Balt-Wash parkway and traffic was moving at a normal pace...Hooray! I made it to BWI Airport and parked at 8:20pm. I called Southwest for the status of both planes - the early one was showing an 8:20pm departure and my flight was still showing 10:30pm. "Oh well", I thought. When the parking shuttle bus dropped me off at the terminal it was completely empty so I was able to fly through security (as much as taking one's shoes, belt, coat and watch off, taking out your laptop computer and ziplock baggie full of toiletry items to put in separate bins and then reassembling everything on the other side will allow you to fly!).

I took a look at the flight board - the earlier flight had "Boarding" listed next to it - hooray! I still have a chance! Gate B11 (no...It couldn't have been B1 or B4 or something closer). I started walking towards the B concourse and I hear an announcement calling 2 or 3 travelers for the flight to Nashville. I start to pick up my pace a bit. I get to the B concourse and there's another announcement calling all last passengers to Nashville. At this point I cradle my duffle bag in my arms and start to sprint down the B concourse.

I made it to the gate panting (I'm used to running long distances - but not at a sprinting pace!). I went to the gate agent and showed my boarding pass and asked "I'm on the later Nashville flight which is delayed...can I get on this one?". Her response surprised me, "No, I'm sorry you can't. The gate door is closed." We were both standing next to the open gate door. "It looks like the gate door is open to me," I said. "Well, it shouldn't be" was her reply and then she went onto the jetbridge and closed the door. I could not believe that just happened!!!!

I walked away from the gate and checked the gate of my flight - A3. I started to walk back through the B concourse. I got about half way through when I heard over the loudspeaker "Those passengers trying to get onto flight 1107 to Nashville, please return to gate B11". I turned around and sprinted again to the gate waving my boarding pass as I got near. It ends up that I was not the only one who had asked to do this, and the gate agents finally had a bit of compassion for us (I think that since the plane had to be de-iced again and was not about to take off made their decision a bit easier).

That's how I got a few more sprints in today :-) I don't recommend this workout to anyone....

FWIW, I'm very glad that they did let me on that flight. When I finally arrived in Nashville - around 10:20pm local time - I asked the gate agent there if my original flight had left Baltimore yet. "No, it is currently scheduled to depart at 12:50am - if it gets out at all. The plane itself has not left Providence, RI yet". Boy, did I luck out!!!!

No comments: