With as many connections as I have printed on my itinerary, a mishap was bound to happen. Granted, I was expecting the mishap to occur either on my way to Springfield (due to weather), or somewhere in Europe, where so many flights go in and out that I have a hard time imagining that things always go smoothly.
When I arrived at SGF earlier today, I patiently waited inside their tiny, 8 gate terminal (passing time by people-watching and noticeably rocking out to ZZ Ward), for my plane to arrive- and then it didn’t… I listened as airport personnel announced that my flight would be delayed for nearly 2 hours, texted my sister to see if she thought it was feasible for me to hang with her again (it really wasn’t- I was just hopeful), and got in line outside the United gate to have my connections gone over by airport personnel.
See, my original layover in Chicago gave me a 2 hour window in which I was planning on eating an obscene amount of cheese-less pizza (could I find it) and exchanging money. That 2 hour window was now gone. With our new estimated arrival in Chi-town, I was now looking at a 20 minute window- a length of time, I was told by airport staff, that might allow me to make it to my flight to Frankfurt- if I ran and got extremely lucky. Mr Airport must have seen my running shoes and decided I was worth betting on because he decided against searching for alternative routes to Athens.
And so, I went for it. I mapped my arrival and departure gates (of course I would need to be in a different terminal) as we taxied in, bolted off my plane, and with a few cheers from my lovely new traveling friends (it’s amazing how the stress of travel fiascos can bond people), I ran, a blur of leggings, Columbia Sportswear, and polka dots, my carryon swinging (annoyingly) at my side.
As I rounded the corner and saw my gate, with an entire 4 people left waiting to board, I thanked the GODS for my recent speed work, and sweating, panting, and laughing, handed my passport to security, and boarded my flight to Frankfurt.
I wish I had had the foresight to turn on my Garmin because I can pretty much guarantee that my “little” sprint would have sent my watch into a frenzy of AHEAD OF PACE beeps as I recorded my first, and hopefully only, AirportPR.
Now I just have to cross all my fingers and toes that my bag ran as fast as I did (or that it catches me in Athens…).