I had a 10am flight to Detroit. I figured it being a Thursday the airport wouldn’t be all that crowded. But that turned out not to be the case. It was very busy. The US Air terminal seemed particularly busy.
As I always try to do, I got to the airport early. Better to be sitting there then missing your flight. I took the subway there. I was so used to going to Nats Park I almost got on a Green Line train instead of a Yellow Line. It was a smooth trip there.
But things started getting a little strange once I got there. I was going on US Air even though I booked the flight from American. It’s been years since I’ve been in that part of the airport. My gate was 35X. This is where the strange part began. There wasn’t a gate for 35X. What you did is you went down stairs. You were now on the runway level. There were six different doors down there. Each door served as a gate. You went through the door and got on a bus. The bus then took you to the plane you were on.
That’s the gist of what happened but a little more detail is needed. Essentially you had six gates in one. So there were a lot of people milling around waiting to go down stairs to get their flights. Some of the flights were announced over the PA system but some of them weren’t. My flight to Detroit was not announced over the PA system. A woman said, as loudly as she could, people for the Detroit flight follow me downstairs. But even with her talking loudly you needed to be really close to her to hear her. It occurred to me it would be really easy to miss your flight if you weren’t paying attention to what was going on.
We all went down stairs. We went to our “gate” which was a door to go out of to get on the bus. We had our boarding passes scanned and then we got on to the bus. We waited for a while until everyone who was supposed to be on the plane got on the bus. Off we headed to the plane. I think out plane was like the last one on the tarmac. Got to the plane and the bus doors opened.
The plane was small. Two seats by two seat with 15 rows in all. The overhead compartments were small. Normal carry on luggage did not fit in the bins. You had to leave it on the tarmac to have it valet checked. Only problem it was raining at the time. Not hard but it was still raining. So the luggage got wet. I can only imagine how wet it would have gotten if we had a huge storm.
Everyone got settled and off we went to Detroit. Actually first we had to wait in line and then we were off to Detroit. We probably took off twenty minutes late but we still managed to arrive on time.
As I walked off the plane, Denis was waiting for me at the gate. Our Detroit adventure had just begun.