This is Robin with the next segment of my recent Flying En Femme adventure. This part covers the trip from San Francisco to Atlanta.
Denae’s and my flight was scheduled to leave on Wednesday at 11:30am and since we were coming from different directions, agreed to meet at the Delta baggage check-in counter around 10-10:15am. I arrived a little early with my suitcase, computer bag, and purse in tow. I decided to be brave and check in the luggage myself. I stood in a short line and when I reached the front I walked up to the counter and gave the man my boarding pass and my male id and waited to see what would happen next. Just as I had found two years ago, exactly nothing happened. He typed into his computer, took my suitcase, gave me back my boarding pass and id, and wished me a good flight. It was much the same as the hundreds of other times I checked luggage. I had made it through the first test.
Denae was late arriving at the airport due to problems with her ride from Santa Cruz and did not arrive until almost 10:45. We rushed to get her luggage checked which would be the cause, as we would discover in Atlanta, of her luggage not arriving.
Once that was done, it was TSA time. We walked to the security checkpoint and after standing in a short line reached the TSA agent. We both gave him our boarding passes and ids. He stared at them a long time and I began to worry. He then flipped the boarding passes and ids and all was well. Denae and I had somehow switched boarding passes which further confused the poor agent (since Denae and I look nothing alike). Once that was clarified, he checked the ids, wrote on each boarding pass, and indicated we could proceed to the inspection area. Once there I repeated the drill I have done hundreds of time: remove computer from its bag, remove shoes and belts, remove the 1 quart bag with your “fluids and gels”, and put them all on the belt for the xray machine. This time I added a few extra items to the belt such jewelry and my purse. I then approached the full body scanner.
The agent asked me to step inside the scanner and raise my arms above my head. It was a little scary since the scanner could see “everything” but also sort of liberating. Based on Kimberly’s report, I fully expected to get called aside to get patted down. Much to my surprise the agent simply said “thank you ma’am, you can gather your things”. No inspection, no pat down, that was it!!
I felt really good at that point, thinking the worst was over. Denae also got through inspection without any problems. Fortunately our gate is near the inspection station and so we didn’t have far to walk. While we are waiting I bought some food for the trip and visited the ladies restroom. The last step was to get on the plane. We were in the last boarding group since I don’t normally fly on Delta and so did not have the option for priority boarding. We approached the ticket agent and I gave her my ticket. She scanned it, up popped my boy name, and she handed me back my boarding pass with a smile. Everything was going very well.
The flight to Atlanta was entirely uneventful, much like almost every flight I have taken. Denae and I planned her seminars, I worked on my work presentations, and we generally rested. Four and half hours later we arrived in Atlanta and made our way to the baggage claim area. I had allocated a couple of hours between our arrival and my departure for Boston. I figured we would get our luggage and I would get Denae on a shuttle to the airport. Depending on how the boarding process had gone in San Francisco I figured I could always change back into boy mode for the flight to Boston.
Unfortunately things would not be that simple..
Next Post: Trouble in Atlanta and my trip to Boston