After Brookside Gardens we went to Max’s, a kosher deli, for lunch. My brother hoped we could sit down, but my daughter (DiI) insisted we leave for the airport. I took the food, booster seats, strollers and children onto the Metro and said goodbye to my brother and nephew.
At National the computerized Shuttle “kiosk” rejected us. We were misdirected upstairs to the regular Delta counter, with a humongous line, and at 1:10 we found the Shuttle counter. Our flight was for 1:30. At least it wasn’t cancelled.
When the computer again did not show our reservations, the agent simply began to book us in manually. I told her about the threat on our trip down, and she said we wouldn’t be charged. She printed out old-fashioned cardpaper tickets and boarding passes. The people behind us in line were plotzing, so the agent advised them to check in using the electronic kiosk. “That’s what they’re for,” she informed them helpfully.
At about 1:20 we got to the security line. The inspector looked at my brand-new boarding passes, marked them for special security, and directed us to another line. It’s that middle eastern thing again; I’m not sure how we escaped it on the way down. DiI still doesn’t understand how they knew just from looking at the boarding passes.
The woman at the front of the newest line decided not to argue with me after I explained that we had been diverted here from another line and our flight was in ten minutes. Small children are useful sometimes. They patted us down gender-appropriately and rifled through our hand luggage. When the basket on the conveyor belt began ringing an agent gave permission to answer my cellphone; we had passed. It was my brother — I think he realized that we may have cut it too close. I told him that if he didn’t hear from us again, we were on the plane.
We replaced our shoes and ran to the gate, catching the plane about 30 seconds before the doors closed. Two passengers from the check-in line boarded right behind us. We buckled into seats in the last three rows of the plane,
My four-year-old could finally eat her hotdog.