October 14, 2012

An Airport Experience So Good You Don’t Want to Leave!

The below was sent by our customers and neighbors in Long Island City, Sheila Lewandowski and Sonia Saleh of The Chocolate Factory Theater. The two were Portland-bound to attend the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Art Festival, and enjoyed the experience so much at our home at JFK’s Terminal 5 that they missed their flight!

I left extra time to meet my travel buddy for a delicious dinner with good wine at the airport. You see Terminal 5 is not like other terminals. The terminal is a destination.

We settled on the 5iveSteak over seafood since neither of us wanted to snore fresh fish on the plane. 1/2 a bottle of wine into a really good dinner and I asked my friend what time it was. I had set my alarm on my phone, but my phone died and we were having such a good time that neither of us paid attention.

“I think we just missed our flight,” she said holding up her phone as an indicator.

“What?” I said.

“8:51. It’s 8:51,” she said.

“No… Really?” I wasn’t sure if she was joshing me. One minute past ETD. Was she having fun with me? I smiled hoping for the punch line.

“I’m serious. I think we just missed it.”

“Crap.” I added and we were stunned for a second then grabbed our stuff and ran for the gate. We had paid our check earlier so that we could leave whenever we needed to.

The monitors on the way to the gate visualized the ON TIME departure of our flight. It was a walk of shame.

We stood in line at the Just Ask station and I vacillated between laughing at us and total embarrassment. How were we to explain this?

The crewmember asked us how he could assist us. My friend explained that we missed our flight and he asked what happened. We were a combination of giggling and trying to be tough and we asked if he wanted a story or
the truth.

He smiled and shrugged slightly. I was guessing he had a script that I wasn’t privy to.

My friend smiled back. Her years in the hotel business prepped her better than me. She kept the ‘I’m telling a story smile’ on her face as she said how we got stuck in traffic. The crewmember kindly asked how we checked in on time then.

Busted!

So, truth it was that we told. We all laughed. He shook his head and said he had heard of people missing their flights getting drunk in bars, caught in their reading, on the phone, but never because the meal was sooooo good.

I said I had a complaint. T5 was too damn good.

The best the crewmember could do for us was to put us on standby for the same flight the next night. He was really lovely and laughed with us at our situation.  So, we limped back to the restaurant with the other half of the bottle of wine that we had planned to finish on the plane. The staff at the restaurant kindly let us finish the wine while we waited for our ride home.

The next night we returned even earlier than the night before. Before we ordered our dinner and wine we told the hostess, wait staff and bus person what time we had to hustle, and we both set our alarms.

Once again we saved half of the bottle of wine for the flight and headed to the gate with time to spare.

Learn more about Terminal 5

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