Here I am in lovely Montreal – finally.  Well, actually I got here on Sunday – eventually.  Now, being a sensible traveler, I checked the airline websites and the TSA restrictions, put everything in my checked luggage, wore my nifty new (very comfy) "just for the airport screening" sandals and headed to the airport aiming for 11:30 or so on a 2:00 departure.  I give Mr. Cosmic and Cosmic Jr. a kiss, square my shoulders, gird my loins and head in to what I figured would be chaos.
 
10 minutes later I’m on the other side of security wondering what the hell I’m gonna do with all that time.  No one was at international checkin and I was the only person going through the TSA checkpoint.  What a letdown!  I was hoping to see people throwing away toothpaste, chugging bottles of wine and tasting baby formula but NOOOOOOOO….
 
That said, a smooth exit almost always means a travel nightmare.  We got out of Charlotte just fine, landed a bit early in Philadelphia.  I get off, check the boards and see I’ve got a 30 minute delay.  Bah.  Departing on Concourse F – "Please take the shuttle bus, if you walk you will have to clear security again".  I head to the bar, order a Sam Adams Oktoberfest (quite good) and a burger and settle in to kill time.  Start chatting with the guy at the next table who looks… weary.  Find out why – he’s been there for 4 hours waiting to fly to (drumroll) Montreal.  Uh oh.  Seems that his first plane had "mechanical problems" and in the fixing they blew the fire extinguisher units (taking it entirely out of commission and causing the flight to be cancelled).  Getting nervous for the intrepid Cosmic?  You should be.
 
We board about 45 min late and then we sit.  And sit.  I see the pilot getting off looking annoyed.  I’m thinking not good.  I look out the window and see luggage laying on the tarmac everywhere.  Seatmate and I start looking for our luggage somewhere in the piles and notice the pilot tossing bags on the plane.  Now I’m sure things aren’t good.  Our flight attendant announces that there is a "problem" with the baggage handlers (ya think?) and that the pilot has loaded all but 7 bags and we are leaving.  Hrm… that means seven bags left laying on the ground in Philly.  I ordered a beer.
 
Nope, it wasn’t mine, thankfully, but by the time it was all said and done, I’d spent 10 hours traveling to make two hops of around an hour and 15 minutes each.  I think I’d have rather waited at the security checkpoint – I was at least all squared and girded for that. 😉
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