In June of 2006, hubby and I went to the Hubert H. Humphrey terminal in Bloomington, MN to catch our flight back from the beautiful baby shower my mom threw for us in her backyard. We were overloaded with gifts, and dragged bed sets, a lamp and our carry ons through the airport. We trudged to the gate, and were probably quite a scene with my belly showing the signs of eight months of pregnancy. We tried for fifteen minutes to get our stuff to conform to the travel baggage size restrictions, but we hopelessly failed. Two very nice passengers offered to carry a piece for us, and we assuaged to the second offer and gave a blanket to a lovely black couple to stuff into their carry-on for us.
When our seats were called for boarding, we headed to the gate attendant, whose scrutinizing eye quickly glanced at our two pieces of compactly filled carryons and proceeded to ask us where was the rest of the stuff we arrived at the gate with. I could not lie to her, so I remained silent. She then asked if we had given our belongings to another passenger to carry on. Of course we had! So I told her this, and she furiously began to drone on and on, while I heard tidbits of …”TSA… illegal… security…” drop out of her mouth. She asked us to step aside from the jet way, and then boarded several passengers who clearly violated the airline’s carry-on policy. I attempted to point this out, to which she responded, “you’re in a lot of trouble young lady, and I would keep my mouth shut if I were you.” Oh the nerve of her!! At this point, tears began to fall, in spite of my desire to remain calm and rationale. This situation was quickly turning into a ‘scene,’ as passengers who overheard the initial exchange eyed me, the crying and very pregnant black woman with a Fuzzy Pooh and Friends crib set, purse, and laptop bag.
The gate attendant then pulled the unsuspecting couple off the plane, since they had become accomplices in the incident. After my pleading, she let them back on the plane. Hubby and I, though, were forbidden from boarding. In an attempt to fly for as cheap as possible, we had connecting flights with a different airline, and knew that if we missed the flight, the second airline would not make any concessions because the connection was external to them. Thus, I thought we would be stranded in Minneapolis… indefinitely.
Eventually, she let us board a later flight, on which I sobbed in anger for the first thirty minutes after take off. I must have scared the on-board attendant, because she kept asking if I was alright. In lieu of this horrible experience, no matter the cost-benefit, we no longer fly Airtran airlines.