What happened to me at the Baltimore airport

20 Feb 2004 // places

So here I am at the Baltimore airport. I arrived early as the airline suggested and rested easy in the lounge outside, amongst many other obvious delegates of the conference from which I attended. I drift off and doze a bit, try to read, drift off again and in the end decide to listent to some music.

So I rifle through my backpack and find my discman and put on my favorite Tori Amos cd, putting the volume at a loud enough volume to drown out the deadening murmur of the airport. At some point, about 10 minutes before boarding time, I decide to stand up and stretch my legs. I scan the area and notice a newsagent. I walk into the newsagent, whilst listening to my discman, lost in a world of music.

Anyway, I am in the shop, browsing a few magazines, maybe some Linux magazines, maybe Time and as I feel the time of the boarding come, I turn around to leave.

I turn around to find that the shop-keeper had pulled in all the newspaper stands, looked the shop and left.

I panic. I try to open the gate. I start to yell outat the first person to come by. "Help! I've been locked. Find someone. Please." Fortunately it wasn't a hard door and sound penetrated through. He is a small asian businessman and looks somewhat startled but manages to find an airline staff.

The airline staff is a homely woman and as she approaches the newsagent, she doesn't see me at first, as there is a large newspaper stand.

"I can't believe it", she said. She tells me that the shop shouldn't be closed but that doesn't help me somehow. She tries to ring the manager, whilst I try to get a grip on myself. Another airline staff comes by. The try to open to security roll-a-day but find that it is secure. They discuss various thing including sticking a screw-driver into the servo-mechanism. The woman tries to ring the newsagent general manager.

I try to explain what happened and that my plane, which is just adjacent is leaving.

One of the other airline staff, a portly moustached man arrives, mumbles something about the police, rings them. "Look, there is a customer who get locked. No. This is not a crank call. We're trying to contact someone with a key".

Just 10 minutes before the plane leaves someone arrives, a short asian woman wearing a floral shirt arrives and unlocks the door. As the roll-a-door slowly unwinds up, I spring as quick I can and race towards the plane, which is no more than 10 metres away, just around the corner.