Africa: The Journey Home Continued...

Atlanta Travel Blog

 › entry 24 of 25 › view all entries
I arrived in Atlanta a little after 8 am after 17 hours (way too long!!) on the same airplane, made it through immigration and customs with no problems, and found my gate. The monitors said the flight would be departing on time. I had a little while to wait, so I phoned my family and sent a couple text messages and emails, to let everyone know that I was alive and safe, and back in the States. I looked at my watch, and realized that something was wrong. We should have started boarding the plane almost 20 minutes ago. So I was looking around at the monitors, which told me nothing, and then a new screen popped up that said my flight was departing from gate B1. I was at gate A21, and had about 5 minutes to get to where I needed to be. So I rushed to the tram and got off in the B area, then had to rush to the very last gate only to find that my plane had just taken off. So I had to go to the service counter where the guy put me on priority standby for the next flight to Salt Lake. So I went to the departure gate, and the person working said it was a pretty full flight, but he was going to do his best to get everyone on. He just couldn't assign seats right away. So I sat down and waited. My name was third in line for a seat, and then as they were boarding, it disappeared from the scree on the monitor, but wasn't on the cleared list, and they hadn't called my name. So I went up to the counter to see what was going on, just as they gave the last seat to someone else. The man at the counter said that I had been cleared and called, but I am positive that he did not say my name. I was paying very close attention to the names called, as people usually mispronounce my name. I can usually figure out that they mean me, but I know that he didn't call me, or anything close to what could have been my name. So I was then directed back to the service counter. By this time I was almost in tears because I hadn't slept in about 2 days (I discovered on this trip that I can't sleep on an airplane very well) and I just wanted to be home. The lady was very nice, and again put me on priority standby, and also had to book me on a different flight from Salt Lake to Helena, as I would now be missing that connection as well. I got on this plane with no problem and was on my way again. I arrived in Salt Lake then had about 5 hours until my final flight. I made it to Helena on the last flight in...around 11 pm...completely exhausted, and relieved to be home.
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photo by: vulindlela