Taking my pants off in the Admirals Club…

For the first time ever I took my pants off in the Admirals Club. No, not in the bathroom, but at the table I was sitting at. Let me explain.

I’m having a bit of an odd travel day. I’m flying from New York to Atlanta on American, and then from Atlanta to Tampa on AirTran. That’s because I’m heading home from Asia and my ticket to Asia originated and terminated in Atlanta (because the fare was much lower from there). I completely spaced and forgot to book my ticket from Atlanta to Tampa, so last night logged online, only to find that AirTran had the lowest fare at only $80 one-way.

The good (and at the same time bad) news is that I have an hour-long connection in Atlanta. I need to get home tonight since I’m flying back up to New York tomorrow for my brother’s wedding, so I really do need to get home, wash my clothes, sleep, and head back to the airport.

I get to the security checkpoint in New York (LGA) and the contract worker ensuring you have a valid boarding pass asked me to place my carry-on in the sizer, and it didn’t fit.

Of course with my luck this has to happen on the very last segment of my journey. Heck, even Japan Airlines didn’t have a problem with my bag, which is a miracle in and of itself. Of course I realize she’s just doing her job, so I wasn’t about to blame her. I tried to reason with her to the extent that I was flying American Eagle and my carry-on would be gate checked anyway. She argued I was actually flying American, claiming American Eagle leaves from a different terminal.

But checking a bag just wasn’t an option, thanks in part to my short layover in Atlanta. There was no way I could go to baggage claim and still make my flight home. So I did what I’ve secretly always wanted to do. I walked about five feet over from the checkpoint, opened my bag, and started “layering.” It was a hot day in New York so I only had on shorts and a t-shirt. Two minutes later I was wearing three pairs of jeans, two sweatshirts, two shirts, and my biggest pair of shoes.

I asked the same agent if she wanted to “size” me again, and she responded with “no need, sir, go right ahead.”

Now, wearing three pairs of pants, and four shirts/sweatshirts wasn’t especially comfortable, and I’m pretty sure I looked like I was in a spacesuit to those in the security line.

As soon as I got through security I headed for the Admirals Club, found a table, and immediately started taking my pants off. It didn’t occur to me until they were off that others were giving me looks of pure horror. Oops.

There you have it, folks. That’s what it takes to make a connection on AirTran…

Comments

  1. And the fact that if there are any delays, you have a nice run across the airport. Hopefully your flight leaves from C, since D is an even more annoying hike.

  2. Were your PJ’s the inner layer, or the outer layer? I can see arguments either way…..

    But gotta ask…. why didn’t you just stay in NY?

  3. A few comments:
    1) I’ve had recent issues with the contract workers telling me my bag is too large for the overhead. Some do it and some don’t. I know my bag fits comfortably in the overhead and those sizers are not accurate for overhead bins. I just wish they would be consistent.
    2) Following up on hobo13’s question: why didn’t you just stay in NYC? Surely it’s cheaper than $80 to wash some clothes in NYC, saving you the cost of the Airtran flight and saving the hassle of heading back to NYC tomorrow?

  4. @ Brian — Hah, that’s a toughie. In terms of the obliviousness factor the Singapore PJ incident was tough to beat.

    @ hobo13 — Cause I suck at planning. Basically I had booked my trip to Japan and months later booked my ticket to NY, and until a few weeks ago didn’t realize the flights were only a day apart. I would have changed my ticket but my mom is one the same record, so it would have meant her flying coach, me having to change my ticket, and not being able to wash clothes at home and check my mail.

  5. How do you fit three pairs of jeans on? I doubt I could get on a second pair too easily, let alone a third I would figure to be impossible unless they all increased in size.

  6. And how does AirTran get the brunt of the joke? Indeed pictures are needed.

    Isn’t it great we can all learn from another’s mistake. Thanks.

  7. I am tired of practically everyone bringing on bags that don’t fit the sizer, slowing down the boarding process and taking up huge amounts of overhead space. I hope one of these days ALL AIRLINES enforce the carry on size requirement or the FAA mandates it.

  8. AA PJs, stripping in the AC, what a reputation you now have. I have laughed ever since the story of the PJs. Heck, they don’t fit anyone except an elephant and you don’t qualify. Madame Tussaud’s will have you in your PJs for posterity with your alter ego in 3 pairs of pants. The stories keep coming!

  9. Why wouldn’t you have gone straight to the first bathroom to change instead of undressing out in the public?

  10. @ Ben — The Admirals Club isn’t far from security and I’m a total germophobe. Couldn’t bring myself to change in an airport bathroom stall.

  11. I actually lol’d when I read the part: I did what I’ve secretly always wanted to do. I walked about five feet over from the checkpoint, opened my bag, and started “layering.”

    Good stuff!

  12. I had a similar, but different (!) situation with a security worker at PEK, heading home on UA. She insisted I could only have one carry-on. I had a roll-aboard and my laptop case. No argument would change her mind that I was entitled to both. So I opened the roll-aboard (that was already stuffed), put the laptop case in it, and 1/4 zipped the roll-aboard closed with the top hanging out like an open jaw. In that configuration it wouldn’t have fit in an overhead bin on an empty A380. But I said, “Now I have one piece.” She said fine, and let me through. Three feet beyond, I “unpacked.”

  13. How did the pat-down go with all those layers on? Was TSA able to ‘find resistance’?

  14. Welcome home – always enjoy a good laugh.
    Have a good time – enjoy the wedding
    Keep on blogging!!!

  15. That is why you almost didn’t make it to your Air Tran flight on time, next time be at the gate 55 minutes before departure:-)

  16. I read this and thought “so take out the recycle shopping bag and shift things until the other side of security” but you decide to go all stay puff marshmallow man and I couldn’t stop laughing -thanks!

  17. I did an electronics/charger shuffle to make carry-on weight by putting chargers and such into my messenger bag that counted as a “laptop bag”. Alas, I was still 2kg over and had to check…

    Not as hilarious as the layering but probably the same eye twitch. Especially since I pack a lot of electronics, was leaning towards the side, and re-shuffling between bags felt like I got weird looks at SFO which is a tech mecca.

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