I’m traveling again on my own, sitting at Logan airport, waiting to board my flight to Philadelphia. So far, so good, but as much as I try to anticipate how to make the journey easier on my hands, there are always surprises.
One thing I did right: I knew the flight was full, and my seat is in the back. Chances of getting overhead storage for my carry-on was slim. So I volunteered to check my bag when the inevitable announcement came. Saved $30 and spared my hands and back. There’s an Apple Air Tag in my bag, in case it gets lost in transit.
One thing I should have realized in advance: Getting though the entrance to security requires showing your ID, which I had ready, but my driver’s license is in a wallet with a window. Nope, needs to be handed to the security staff, because they run it through a card reader. I fumbled and fumbled to remove it. Fortunately, no impatient person was in the very short line behind me. But I needed the TSA guy to take it out for me, just couldn’t do it myself. Ugh.
Something I wish I could manage better: Lifting my luggage into the TSA bins, taking out my computer, taking off shoes, et al is always the hardest part of air travel for me. (“Do you happen to be 75 or older?” asked the TSA guy politely, regarding the shoes. Apparently when you reach that magic age, you are no longer suspect for having dangerous items concealed in your footware. “No,” I asserted. He apologized for asking. Ugh.) At least security wasn’t crowded, so I didn’t feel as rushed as usual.
Another thing I did right, sort of: With a lot of time to kill, I got a bagel and cream cheese and some tea at a Starbucks in the terminal. Of course, this meant that I had to spread the cream cheese myself. It came in a foil packet with a nick at one end and directions to “tear here.” Unless you have strong fingertips, these things never work. I had packed a pair of manicure scissors for just such a challenge. But I put them in my backpack, instead of my purse. So, lots of digging around before I could pull them out and use them. Next time, I need to remember that I can put them in my purse—no issue with tiny scissors going through the TSA scan (especially since it raised no issue when my backpack passed inspection—duh).
A useful trick that I learned from my trip to Germany: To protect my thumbs, which are always bandaged because of ulcers that never heal, I wrap the bandages with a second layer using Coban. This is an elastic fabric that comes in rolls and sticks to itself. One of my medical team recommended it as a way to cushion my thumbs and protect them more. It works pretty well, and serves also as a second layer to keep my bandages from getting dirty from travel.
A necessary precaution: I’m wearing a mask in the airport and on the flight. Enough coughs and sneezes in the vicinity, and I don’t want to get sick or make others sick when I arrive.
I wish flying were simpler and enjoyable. It isn’t.
Even still, I am always amazed that a huge steel tube with wings, filled with tons of people and luggage, can rise into the air and carry us to distant places. The view of clouds and patchwork landscape and cities from above never fails to fascinate. For all the drawbacks of air travel in the 21st century, it’s still a wonder. . . .
And I made it to Philly without a hitch.