I got on the wrong stupid plane

Trip Start Oct 30, 2009
Trip End Nov 05, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Thursday, November 5, 2009

OK, so the flight to Dulles airport was just fine this time.

Going through security was kind of lame, because United charges $20 for EACH checked bag. What most people do, is chuck the liquids and then check their bag at the ticket checker lady. This ends up being more convenient, aside from the longer security line, because you can just grab your bag as soon as you get out of the plane at your destination. No more lost bags!

Anyway... my flight to Ottawa was boarding on time in gate A5. Remember that, because it's important. I had about an hour to kill before it got there, so I sauntered on over to the Duty Free for some shopping. This is also important.

I purchased a couple of bottles of liquor for super cheap and the lady at the counter asked if I wanted it delivered to my gate. Would I?! I sure would...

So, I'm killing time, using my free Boingo wireless card that I got in Chicago in the summer, totally not paying attention to any announcements that would inform me that my plane was leaving from a different gate.

Finally, it's time for me to line up at gate A5. There is a line of people going through the ticket counter. Everything is normal. I give the guy my ticket and ask him if he has my duty free stuff.

"Oh no, you get that on the plane." OK cool, no problem, I follow this line of people, with my "sky-checked" bag and check it onto the plane with everyone else. Still no problems.

I get onto the plane and ask the flight attendant where my duty free stuff is and she has no idea! OK... weird... she says she'll go look for it, and so I sit down in my seat. The one that matches the letters on my ticket.

The flight attendant comes back onto the plane and says...

"Excuse me, where are you going today?"


"Oh there must be some mistake, this is the plane to Newark."

"What?!" I jump up from my seat and run down the stairs. One problem, my bags are already checked on the plane to Newark! A tall, skinny black man with those giant orange plastic ear muffs on sees me freaking out and he helps me find my bag. Meanwhile, a big black lady with massive cornrows and hardcore sunglasses is frantically gesturing at me to get out from behind the wing of the aircraft. The short Asian guy that checked my ticket at the ticket counter is waving at me to tell me to get onto the plane to Ottawa. The first man grabs me and MAKES me run behind a bunch of planes, I can feel the heat emanating from the engines. They're all about ready to take off. I imagine my head getting completely vaporized because some pilot pushed the wrong button at precisely the wrong moment, and I run screaming, behind him, terrified.

Meanwhile, the other people are yelling and screaming at me like I'm going to accidentally set off a nuclear holocaust out there.

So I just... freeze... and scream some more... not a cool, sophisticated scream like agghhhh! or something, no... a high pitched, little girl, temper tantrum, idon'tknowwhatyouwantmetodorightnowi'msoconfusedandscared scream. You had to be there, really.

Eventually they figure out what is wrong with me, and they nicely usher me onto the right plane. Phew. I sit beside a nice blonde lady and we flip through the sky mall catalogue and talk about boys the whole way home.

The customs agent tries to charge me for my second bottle of vodka. I had no idea it actually was vodka. I thought it was some kind of fruit mix drink thing. It was going to be $30, but I talked him out of it by batting my eyes and smiling sweetly. OK, so that's a lie, but whatever, he was just nice and I learned not to try and buy too much vodka at the duty free. And now, I am warning you dear readers.

Yes, buy things at the duty free, because that stuff will save you from being accidentally sent to Newark. But for god's sake do NOT buy two of them.
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FlyAArmy on

I'm ROLLING!!!!!! This was to Funny, I'm so glad you shared this with us!!!!

skylab on

wow, thats pretty crazy!! glad you sorted it out though! :)

big_red_truck on

I'm pretty sure I woke up the guy in the hotel room next to me I was laughing so hard....what a mental picture!!!

Raniroo on

OMG! That is hilarious....I would have been screaming to, if it was me :)

greekcypriot on

At first I laughed but then I imagined my self in your shoes.
You were lucky that you bought those duty free things. Otherwise you would have landed in the wrong destination!
My God Louise! Thanks for sharing.

starlagurl on

Hehehe, thanks guys. It definitely was an "interesting" experience.

laorfamily on

You could have spent the day at beautiful New Jersey - taken in the sights of the Big Apple, go visit Miss Liberty (and us), etc.

I mean...who would want to go to Ottowa?

mmbcross on

So much for our billion dollar homeland security!!! I just cannot believe the airline staff didn't catch this when you checked through the departure gate. If you hadn't mentioned your "sky-checked" bag, it would have gone on to Newark, and if you had been a terrorist, it could have blown up the plane while you were driving away merrily towards the Mexican border. I'm amazed that in this day and age of electronic surveillance, something like this can still happen. Only Louise, eh?

starlagurl on

Well, the "sky-checked" bag went through security with me, the same as a carry-on... so I think they would've caught the bomb there.

travelmonster on

Too funny - LOL!!

kathryn77 on

LOL!! Even though I've never obviously heard you scream, I'd never have imagined you having a 'high pitched girly scream' - no offence!

What made me laugh even harder was the fact that despite all that trauma, you still managed to talk about boys all the way home, lol!

ojbyrne on

Having done this before, I know you can bring back 2 bottles, as long as one is a quart (750 ml) and one is a pint (375 ml) because the limit is 1.14 litres (also know as a "handle").

starlagurl on

Yeah, I had two 1.14L bottles of vodka...

gildo on


You have THE best adventures!

starlagurl on

Heehee! And let that be a lesson to you, don't ever go running around the runway at the airport!

hecqs on

Did you really run behind the planes? I would have taken some shots of those once in a lifetime or never at all places one can be unless you work at the airport. Anyway, that is assuming I wasn't running towards my right plane.

starlagurl on

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to get my camera out, everyone was screaming and yelling at me too much. It definitely crossed my mind...

papayaprincess on

But I can imagine that it would have been uber stressful!!

starlagurl on

Oh, just stressful for a minute, but when it was all straightened out, I was OK.

Anthony V Smith avsent on

This is like so great-first hand experience on what not 2 do. I get chills just having to do the OJ thing 2 catch my flight-you get 2 do the 007 Bond thing; neat.

starlagurl on

What do you mean by "the OJ thing"?

paddyandmandy on

I'm in bits...really funny up until you sat next to the really nice blonde and talked boys all the way home!

Keep it up

starlagurl on

Thanks guys! Glad you liked it.

Richard on

OJ used to do commercials for Hertz car rental. He would have been running through the airport for the commercials.

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