Day One: The Fun Begins

Cleveland Travel Blog

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Now you might be wondering why I'm starting in Cleveland instead of Milwaukee. That's the same thing the Continental ticket agents asked me when I got my non-rev passes for MKE-CLE-ORD. Why is the world would I go all the way to Cleveland to get to Chicago O'Hare? After all, I could just take the bus for 20 bucks and get there in an hour instead of heading two states over, waiting in the Cleveland Airport for a few hours, THEN catch an hour flight to ORD. Well, I ended up making a stop in Cleveland the day before to head to Sandusky, OH for a day trip to Cedar Point with some friends. That's a whole blog in itself.

Anyway, I arrive at the Cleveland airport late. This is my first experience non-reving on another airline as well as non-reving internationally, so I want to make sure I do everything in my power to make it go as smoothly as possible. What a way to start! I only have about a half an hour to get through security and get to the gate. Thankfully when I arrive, the ticket counter is empty with the exception of 3 ticket counter agents, and one other passenger. I attempt to check in with one person who clearly was not doing anything but staring at the wall, who says, "You have to check in with the agent at Line 20." Alrighty then. I proceed to Line 20 and try to explain to the agent that I am late. She cuts me off and tells me to use the kiosk. Ok, Fine. From my experience, if you are checking in less than 30 minutes prior to departure the kiosk will not work. Sure enough, it does not. The woman then proceeds to tell me, "You are late!!!" Hmmm. Maybe if she would have listened....She unwillingly checks me in, and shoves my boarding pass in my face. Of course, I get extra screening. As I approach security, there is no line. Whew. That will help a little. So I think. But then I proceed to the "extra screening area", and I have to wait about 5 minutes for an "extra screening" TSA agent to take their sweet time screening me. At this point I have about 15 minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart. I put my shoes on, and start my trek to the gate. After 5 minutes of walking, I realize this airport is a little bigger than I had thought. I am no where near the gate, so I take my shoes back off (they were fairly high heels), and begin running through the concourse. Working at an airport, this is something I see frequently. I never knew I would be one of those people! So I finally make it to the gate, and they haven't even started boarding yet! Woohoo! I made it. A few minutes later, my name is called, and I am given a seat assignment. The flight itself is far from exciting except for the occasional turbulence, and the flight attendant is more interested in flirting with a pilot in the flight deck than tending to passengers, but I make it all in one piece.

I purposely took the early flight out of CLE, so I would not miss my connection to Rome which departs at 3:35PM. I arrive in Chicago at approximately 11:00am. PLENTY of time. By the time I get to the American ticket counter, it is about 11:30. The line for international check in is quite long, but I don't mind. I have alot of time to waste. After about 10 minutes of waiting in the line (which had not moved), a nice American Rep tells me I can check in at first class. There is no line. I walk up, and the agent tells me I am too early to check in, but she did assure me there are plenty of seats available. I could not check in any earlier than 3 hours prior. I find that to be odd, but I only have about an hour to wait. Since there is absolutely nothing to do outside security, I find myself a nice spot to people watch.

After I check in and get through security, I grab a bite to eat at Burrito Beach. I also pick up a travel pillow, a book, and a sudoku puzzle book to entertain me on the 8.5 hour flight. Before I know it, my name is called for a seat assigment, and we are boarding the aircraft. Woohoo! I got a seat on the two side by myself!! And off to Italy I go!

kranski says:
"Way to go..." I have aways worried that I will one day be one of those pax running through the concourse with shoes in one hand and tkts in the other. Cos I am late for everything. Hasn't happened yet, but I to fly out to BKK on Thursday and at the rate I'm going I won't have packed until Thursday morning. Flight departs at 0700, and I'm not a morning person at all... So this could be my first bolt thru the terminal. Wish me luck!
Posted on: Sep 07, 2008
SamJo says:
I will certainly be getting it done in a timely fashion. I don't have much more to write! Most my time was spent in airports and on airplanes (and trains and train stations!) Hahaha One month tops. ;)
Posted on: Sep 07, 2008
freak0ut says:
But when Adrian says "timely fashion" she actually means "two months."
Posted on: Sep 06, 2008
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photo by: ErikaMont