High Alert Flying

I love flying. The feel of lit off. The look of clouds and terrain. The pure enjoyment of just sitting with nothing else to do but read or work on a few crossword puzzles and a sudoku or two. What I don't like so much is sitting in airports during long layovers. Sure, I still get some reading done, but I find people more irritable waiting for their flight then when they're actually on their flight. That and the constant security reminders blaring over the loud speaker.

Given that I was flying during a "high alert" weekend, there was a buzz about longer lines and heightened security at major airports like LAX and JFK. Lucky for me, I was flying out of the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, which is apparently not high on the list of airports to go security nuts during a "high alert." My progress through security screening was quick and shoeless, leaving me two hours of sit time before my flight. My wait was excruciating, as usual, and the reminders to keep an eye on every personal item to avoid risk of tampering were grinding—save some announcements made by quirky desk attendants.

Though the rule is never to joke about security issues in an airport, those attendants didn't strictly adhere to the norm. At one point, an attendant informed we the populous of a gate change from Gate 1 to Gate 1A. "This is not a security issue, it's just a gate change," he said. "No need to panic."

Ha ha!

I looked around to see if anyone else caught the delicious irony. No one else seemed to notice, but I reveled in the joke. Over the hours, I heard a few different jabs at security over the loud speaker, making me smirk every time. They made me think of the absurdity of it all, and how humor sometimes is our only relief. It sure did make me feel a bit more sane.

Thank you gutsy desk attendants at John Wayne for making my travel experience just that much more enjoyable.