I had only 45 min before my plane takes off and I still need to reach the check-in area, which was two floors above.
I found myself blinking for a few seconds when I entered the check-in area. All I saw were long queues at various counters. Thankfully, this time, I didn’t have to wait for long as I soon located the counter of Jet Airways. With brisk steps, I grappled towards it and took the 6th place in the queue.
“Hi. Excuse me, may I have my boarding pass please.” I said to the girl on the counter handing over my booking printout.
She looked at the printout and replied, “I’m sorry ma’am, the counter for Jet Airways is closed and I can’t give your boarding pass.”
I thought there was some problem with my ears and that I made a mistake hearing what she said.
“I’m sorry, didn’t hear you properly.”, I said.
“The entry for Jet Airways is closed ma’am and I can’t give you the boarding pass.”, she replied again, loudly.
There were butterflies in my stomach by now.
I stood there with a blank mind and a numb body. Felt like laughing at what my ears saw (yeah, you read it right). Irritated at the people behind me (with you-heard-what-she-said-now-move-aside look), I approached the counter on my right.
“Excuse me, may I have my boarding pass please.” I gave my question another chance. I believe in never stop trying even though you know the answer.
“I’m sorry ma’am, can’t give you for this flight.”
God, this was becoming a nightmare. With a dejected look, I adjusted my trolly to move aside and think WHAT NOW!
………..“But, you can board the 2 o’clock flight”, My head spun around at these words.
(Didn’t I tell you. One should never stop trying.)
Woah! I wanted to hug that girl, my angel who saved my a** (and money too).
Wait! Did I say Money? (Well, yeah, remember the phrase- you PAY for your slipup)
So,… the moment I was given the option of another flight, a question hit me: ‘will I be paying extra for this flight? If yes, then how much? Oh God!’
The thought of paying a hefty amount for this changed flight was hovering over my head and I was calculating if it will be twice, thrice, or maybe higher than the initial cost. (I could imagine my father, fuming- ‘Had you been better with your time management skills, this wouldn’t have happened’).
There was no time to linger and ponder over the amount-factor, so I replied,“Yeah, thanks. That’s okay with me. But please make sure I get the 2 o’clock flight.”
After saying this don’t-know-why but I stepped aside and stood quietly next to the counter, thinking she might need some time to process my boarding pass. Half an hour later, still standing like a dumb, I decided to jump in the queue.
(Okay, she said to put me on a later flight, but I would be assured only when she hands me the boarding pass.)
“Hey, you said I can board the 2:00 pm flight? May I have the boarding pass, please? Do let me know if I have to pay extra.” I finished in a low voice.
A print here, a tag there.
“No. You don’t have to pay extra. Your boarding pass ma’am!”
Really! Is this happening! Another boarding and Not paying extra too? God is gracious, takes care of his children.
I clutched my boarding pass tightly like a treasure and headed to the security.
Finally…it was time to sit, relax, and wait for the final call. I looked at my watch, this time with a relief. It was 10:30 am now, means I have around three hours to kill or use before I board the flight.
Surprisingly, these three hours passed by easily, in exploring the Airport and by chatting with an uncle from Shillong. He was a Navy officer and posted as a judge during the court-martial sessions (wow!).
I proceeded to gate no 52 around 1:30 pm and after another 15 mins, the boarding started.
My face now had a smile, feet developed springs, and eyes brimming with fascination, to be sure of missing nothing coming my way.
P.S.- Since I’m traveling solo, it’s been a record to reach the railway station/the airport/bus station at the ninth hour (even now, when I’m traveling with my daughter. This might remind you of Jab We Met ‘thanku babaji, mera record tootne se bacha liya‘). Bad time management can be risky!
But, I just love the combination of the 3 A’s I experience each time – Adrenalin rush, Anxiety, Adventure!
Do you too have a similar adventure? Do share in the comments. I’d love to hear it.
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