Kate was worried the whole time. She's used to showing up to the airport 1.5 hours before her flights. This was risky for her but I was cool as a clam.
We hit minor traffic on our way to SJC and arrived at 8:30pm. "YOu'll have to check-in upstairs" the airlines attendant informed me as I walked towards the e-ticket kiosk.
As Kate and I made our way up, we saw an usual site: the airport was bustling with activity with the line closest to us snaking it's way around the corner and towards the parking lot. No lines to airlines counter. We walked up to the counter.
"If you have luggages to check-in you won't receive them until tomorrow" said the attendant. I informed her we had no check-in luggage. Sweet.
"The boarding time for the plane is 8:55am. We've checked with security and they won't let you move to the front of the line so you only have 25 minutes to get to the gate before you miss it."
Hmmm, okay now we have a problem. "Kate, I'll get in line first."
As I walked along the long line into the security checkpoint, I can see that both security points were clogged with people. Further I walked as I followed the line up and up. Further I walked as I walked outside into the parking lot on the upper floor.
During the whole time my phone kept ringining. My friend Chin is calling me. Him and his fiancee are also joining us to Hawaii.
"Dude, where you at?" I ask him, with a tension in my voice.
"Man, we're all the way at the end in the parking garage." he tells me. You see, Chin also likes to cut his flights close for the sake of not waiting around. He didn't anticipate this problem either.
"Hey I'm gonna cut in with you" I tell him as I walk towards the back. So there he was, and so Kate and I cut in.
"Oh no you don't! You can't cut in line! You get out and go to the back like everyone else!"
A woman behind them, a bit older with glasses, continues by yelling at how others cut in line also (not in our party) and how it wasn't right.
A wrinkle in my forehead appeared as I wondered how silly her yelling was. The airport wasn't a place where you would typically have a problem cut in line. I'm on the same flight as these people, going to the same place. They went in line first to hold the line, and we're behind. What's the big deal?
"Um, we're in the same party and we're going to the same place" I told her calmy.
"I don't care if you're together. You have to go the back of the line like everyone else."
Chin, Mary, and Kate had their backs to the woman. I was the only one brave enough to stand my ground. Kate was frozen in place, too embarrassed to face the fiery.
Line moved only a few steps while this transpired.
"We were running late so they went ahead to get in line first" I continued to tell the woman.
"I don't care if you were running late, you have to the back of the line!" she continued.
At this point I was bit annoyed. She's being unreasonable but I stay cool. No one else seems to agree or object with what's going around us.
"I'm going to report you to security when I get to the front and you're going to have to move back to the end of the line!" She adds.
Okay, now that's just ridiculous. Security will have no problems with our situation, they'll be too busy to really care, and I seriously doubt they'll move us towards the back.
"I understand how you feel. If you feel you have to do that then you have to." I calmly told her. She continues her rampage, and I repeat myself.
"I'm not listening to your excused anymore" she responds. End of subject.
We eventually make it to the security point, three lines formed from that point. The airlines representative sees us and comes up to us.
"You got 5 minutes to board the plane. Gate 17 is all the way at the end so once you get through here you have to haul ass" he says. I kind of chuckled. I like the sense of urgency.
So I was the firs to make it through. I hastily packed my laptop into the bag again and with my carry-on held up I hauled ass, I hauled ass halfway until my arm started to feel tired. I can't see Gate 17 yet.
Pop the handle off from my bag and I walked hastily. I don't look back to see how far Kate or the rest of the gang was, I was gonna get to the gate and hold the plane back if I had to. I see gate 17, the doors are still open and there was a guy and girl making their way through.
"Your name?" the person asked. Out of breath I somehow managed my name. "Jimmy <huff, huff, wheez> Bui."
"Are you with anyone?"
"Yeah <wheez> Kate Ingram."
Boarding tickets printed. I could see Kate walking and the other two far behind. We made it in and sat down in our seats. The flight is full in the Boeing 767. No empty seats. Were we the last ones?
Kate breathes a sigh of relief while I was still high on the adrenaline. How exciting! We made it just in time, yet again.