If you have ever been in an airport, then you know the struggle of trying to make your flight while navigating weird layouts, huge lines and TSA fiascoes. No matter which airport you're in or what country it is in, the process brings a sense of déjà vu. All airports seem to be the same, each journey kind of runs together, and these 13 moments of the process are always the same.
1. Check Baggage
First, find where you check your baggage. Muscle your 50 pound bag onto the scale as the worker stares calmly back at you. Silently pray that it doesn't exceed the weight limit. Nobody has time for that.
2. Wait in Line
Find the security gates. Join the line. Avoid eye contact with guards so they won't think you're guilty of something. I'm a non-threatening white girl, so I can't imagine how others feel going through this process. Plus, lines are just the worst in general.
3. Passport/Ticket Check
Here's my ticket that I bought and paid for and everything. Here's my passport. Really, that's me. Please stop squinting at me. That picture is only a year old. Yes, I'm wearing glasses, but I don't look any different. Just let me through.
4. Metal Detector/Bag Scanner
Anxiously wait in line for them to discover something in my bag that I shouldn't have, or realize that I forgot to take off a metal ring, or that, oops, there is a phone charger in my bag. Cue the suspicious looks and re-scanning of the bag. Meanwhile, try to look as innocent as possible.
5) Make Your Getaway
Collect all the items you had to remove from the bag in order to get it through the scanner, shove them frantically back into your bag so as not to further hold up the people behind you, and hastily leave the line with your shoes halfway onto your feet because there's nowhere to actually put them back on. If no one thought you were a terrorist, that's still a win.
6) Find Your Gate
Find your next waiting location. If you're lucky it will be easy to locate and also not change five minutes before your flight. Is anyone that lucky?
Find another way to pass the time. I hope you like people watching and chatting with random strangers. If not, just bury your head in your phone and pretend to be crazy busy.
8) Boarding Pass
Wait until it's your turn to board. Hand them your ticket, and head onto the plane! Pray that you're the only person booked for your seat.
9) Locating your seat
Find your seat. You will inevitably be seated by the window, and the two seats between yours and the aisle have already been filled. Or, better yet, there's someone already in your seat. Have fun with that.
10) Security Spiel
Once you're finally situated, you get to learn about all the safety features the plane has to offer. You should be paying close attention, but we all know you're not listening at all.
11) The Flight
If you're lucky, your flight is short and uneventful. If you've got one that's more than a couple hours I hope you are easily entertained and don't want to use your armrests.
Finally! The plane has landed. Everyone claps for the pilot and then immediately stands up and rushes into the aisle like they have somewhere to go. Enjoy that backpack in your face for the next ten minutes.
13) The End
You're off the plane and out of the airport. You make a solemn vow to yourself that that will never happen again. Return flight? What return flight? You'll just live here now.