SEARCH BLOG: TRAVEL
In the traditional American way of celebrating Christmas, my youngest sister decided to fly to Florida with her one of her daughters to visit our mother. They had an evening flight from Milwaukee on the 26th.
It was typical of December weather for the midwest. 0°F followed by snow, rain, fog, high winds, 50°F, and sleet. When they arrived at the airport after driving about 50 miles over the course of a few hours, the plane was not yet boarding. But there was a slight problem. The Transportation Security Administration people had closed shop... no one could get by the security stations. That way, nobody could pose a threat to holiday travel. Good thinking, TSA!
My sister checked. No. Not one single mention of abbreviated security hours anywhere in the airport or on the airport website. The TSA can do what the TSA wants... screw the airline passengers!
Remember, I said that planes were still not being boarded. So, there they were, with their luggage, 1-1/2 hours to go before the plane took off, and no way to get to the gate... the day after Christmas at 7:00 pm. I knew Milwaukee was a provincial town, but I didn't think the Federal government closed shop at sunset just because it was Milwaukee!They heard the boarding call and watched the monitors as the status eventually changed to departed. Then they sat down and cried. Their airline, AirTran, wasn't too helpful. They put my sister and niece on standby. The next morning, one slot came available so my sister put my niece on the flight thinking that another slot might become available during the day.
The 27th went by without another opening and apparently AirTran did not attempt to find another flight on another airline to let her begin her trip. So the second night arrived.Finally, one of the AirTran employees finally had some compassion and arranged for my sister to fly out on the morning of the 28th. Of course, the flight was not directly to Florida. This one took her to Baltimore for a delightful 4-hour tour of the airport there. As I write this, she is waiting for her afternoon flight... and hoping that her luggage will somehow find the same location as her plane.
I suggested that the next trip to anywhere, she drive to the Detroit area and have a choice of other airlines and 24-hours security gates... and generally cheaper flights than coming out of Milwaukee. If not Detroit, then Chicago [although O'Hare is my least favorite place].
Happy Holidays... TSA style.