Once I got off the bus and entered the airport, I headed to the screen which announced flight times and status. I scanned the display for my flight, without really knowing my flight number. I assumed I would be able to figure it out from the airlines and the destination. I was forced to pull out my ticket and get the number, when I could not see my flight on the list. That was a little silly because I should have been able to find out with the logo of the airlines and destination, if only I had been patient enough to wait for all the pages to flash by on the screen. I could not find my flight anyway.
I was not really sure that my cheap, no-frills, flight would fly out of the same airport terminals as the rest. Some cities seem to have a terminal for these carriers, a little distance away from where the 'regular' flights fly. So, I went off to check at the information centre, where a cheerful young woman pointed me to the check-in counters. I was going to tell her that I did not really want to go to the check-in counter but a little voice in my head stopped me. I trawled in the direction she had pointed. On the way, I stopped at the display screen again and this time, found my flight. How funny is that! It was at that point it hit me that I did need to go to the check-in counter, after all. There had been no web check-in for this flight.
I stood in line and got my boarding pass fairly quickly. The girl behind the counter was one happy chick. She had "seen Daniel" that morning, which had made her day, as I heard her say to her friend in the adjacent counter. I have not the faintest clue who Daniel is but obviously he was a guy both girls were drooling over. Good for them. A happy check-in girl makes a happy customer. I got a lovely window seat out front. I could not have asked for a better one myself.
Once the check-in process was complete, the familiarity of the airport started clicking into place, in my head. Most importantly, I remembered that there were more coffee and food shops after the security checks than there were outside. I finished my pre-flight activities first and arrived at the lounge. That was easy enough. Soon, I was standing in the queue at Red Rooster for my chicken and chips, both of which were not too great. I called up a friend I was going to catch up with, during the weekend, and when that was done, settled down to play a game of Monopoly on my iPad. It was going to be at least an hour's wait, if the flight would not be delayed.
Thanks to the people around me and my iPad, I had no trouble killing time at all. The wait was absolutely delightful. That is a good start to a trip, I should say. It made me rethink my decision never to fly out of that airport again. It was definitely worth saving the $30 and the time was well-spent.
I could not finish my game before they called us to board the flight. I hit the PAUSE button on it and moved to line up for boarding. As I stood there, tucking my iPad into my backpack, it dawned on me that I now had 2 mobile devices to turn off now.
"Technology!", I spat and turned both my iPad and mobile phone off, before I chucked both in the bags.
The friend of the happy kitten, from the check-in counter, was at the door, scanning our boarding passes. I should have realized it before but I did not until I saw the girl there - the same staff did both the tasks - handing out the passes and scanning them in later. Well, that explained why the airlines insisted on closing the check-in counters 45 minutes before boarding time. It was the most obvious thing and yet I missed it.
"Hmm... I need to be more alert!", I thought to myself.
At my turn, the girl, reading out the name of every passenger as she scanned their tickets, said to me, "Thank you, Miss Villager!"
I have known people to mis-pronounce my name and surname before. It happens so often that I expect it now. Yet, she managed to have me in splits. How could she possibly read "villager" out of that? As they say, it takes all kinds to make the world!