My flight to Korea – Part 1

The itinerary said my plane would take off at 6:57 PM on Friday. So I got to the airport at like 4:45. My parents came to see me off, along with my brothers and sister and Grandma Jones and Uncle Jett.

Louisville’s airport is easy – I didn’t have to wait in line at all to get my boarding pass. That gave us plenty of time.

We hung out at the restaurant area that’s right in front of the metal detectors. It’s as far as y family could go. I don’t remember what we talked about for those 45 minutes. I just remember giving everyone hugs around 5:45… and then again around 5:50, right before I made my way through security.

I turned around on the other side, and everyone was waving goodbye. Yeah, thanks for making it easy, guys.

At the gate, I had to wait again. I tried the WiFi, thinking I’d update Twitter and Facebook. The connection was too weak. Instead, I just sat there by the window, watching the planes taxi around and the travelers come and go.

One family, a husband and wife and little boy, looked like they were heading to Korea. The rest looked like they were just going to Chicago, where my flight was connecting.

The plane was supposedly booked full, but some didn’t show up, I guess. There were plenty of open seats. I grabbed a spot by a window, and a lady sat next to me in the aisle seat.

“I’ll move once we leave if there’s enough space,” she said. Then she smiled. “No offense.”

I knew what she meant. Those small, commuter planes are more about getting as many people as possible in as small a plane as possible. The flights are short enough, so why bother with comfort?

“Are you leaving Kentucky, or are you coming back to Chicago?” the lady asked.

“I’m leaving Kentucky.”

“Oh, I see,” she said.

“What about you? Do you live in Chicago?” I figured with her accent she did.

She confirmed that.

“So what brought you to Louisville?” I asked.

She told me that she actually had to go to Cincinnati on business. The direct flights from Chicago were about $800, though, because of the late notice and Delta having a monopoly on the airlines there. So she had just rented a car a driven from Louisville. She said she wouldn’t do that again. She almost missed her fight back because of the Cincinnati traffic.

We talked a little more about Kentucky, the beautiful countryside on the way to Cincinnati, and all the flooding in Louisville. Then the plane started taxiing, so she moved across the aisle.

The takeoff was fun, especially seeing Louisville from the Google maps angle. Indiana and Illinois were ridiculously flooded too. In Louisville, the water stayed in pockets, but across the river where it’s flatter, it seemed like every third field was soaked, probably only a few inches but still.

We got a late start because of air traffic at O’Hare. But 50 minutes after taking off from Louisville, we landed in Chicago.

“Now you know O’Hare is not like Louisville’s airport, don’t you?” said the lady across the aisle. “You can’t get your boarding pass in five minutes the way I did to get on this plane.”

I smiled. “Thanks.”

When I stepped into O’Hare, I paused. Hmm, where do I go now, I thought.

The Chicago lady walked passed me. “Enjoy your stay.”

“Thank you,” I said, and then moved into the herd of people pushing to the right.