High Alert – Steffie Flies

We’re under a High Alert from the Department of Homeland Security. Hopefully, police and security agencies know what to do, but for us mere mortals there are few clues.

The official word is, “Go about your business.” Great. It’s like being told not to think about an elephant in pajamas. What else could you possibly think of after that?

If you boil this alert down to its essence, the only effect it’s having on the general public is to scare us. If we’re not supposed to do anything different, what other benefit is there?

Meanwhile, Steffie had reservations to fly to Florida and visit my folks. This was going to be our first experience with Southwest, after switching my frequent flier allegiance to them a few months ago.

Helaine and I never talked about it, but there was no point when we considered changing Steffie’s plans. I feel confident in the safety of air travel. Beyond that, it would seem a Southwest 737 from Hartford to West Palm Beach via Tampa would be a very unlikely target.

Speaking of Southwest, the report back from the airport was mostly positive. Helaine and Steffie got there early so Steffie could be in “Group A” under Southwest’s non-reserved seating policy. Depending on when you check in, you’re assigned A, B or C. A’s board first and have their choice of seats and overhead storage.

There had been a time when National Guardsmen inspected cars on their way to the parking garage at Bradley Airport. Not so today when you’d expect it.

Southwest is in the new terminal at Bradley and Helaine reports it’s bigtime. Southwest allows three bags at 70 pounds apiece, so Steffie was easily accommodated. Helaine asked for, and was quickly issued, a gate pass, so she could stay with Steffie while she waited to board. We were expecting good, friendly service from Southwest and weren’t disappointed.

Once onboard, in row 7, Steffie called Helaine to let her know things were fine. The next call came after arriving in Tampa. All I got was a reply to my cellphone text message. Without going into the entire message, I’m a loser.

It’s OK. It was said with love. I think.

Steffie’s flight made it on time. Now, she gets a full week of being spoiled (and listening to A&E at stun level volume) with my folks.

The house will be eerily quiet, and though Steffie and I are often at odds, I will miss her.