Washington, DC (IAD) – Albany, NY | Flight #7902 | Seat 11B

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I was connecting through IAD on my way from DFW to Albany. I had about an hour and 20 minutes to kill, and made the critical mistake of not plotting my path through the airport before setting off from my arrival gate to my departure gate.  My flight came in to the new United terminal at IAD where they have nice shops and nice restaurants. My flight was leaving from the old terminal B where they have no shops and crappy restaurants.

Yet, i got to terminal B full of optimism for my trip home. With 40 minutes to spare I went to find something to eat. There were lots of pizza places, but I decided on Cosi as I was in the mode for soup and their pannini can be tasty. Never did I expect it to be so difficult, or take so long to order soup and a sandwich. It went something like this:

I said, “Hi. Can I have a cup of soup?”

“Soup?” questioned the attendant. “Yes, soup,” I said, to which I was greeted with a blank stare as though I were ordering a foreign delicacy.

“You know, broth with vegetables or other stuff floating around? Soup!” I shared, trying to be helpful.

The clerk answered, “what kind of soup?”  “The soup on the sign,” I answered, referring to the tomato basil soup listed.

He answered, “We don’t have that soup.” “Ok, what do you have?” “I don’t know.” “Can you check?” “Can you just order a sandwich?” was his closing remark.

I was so stunned that I ordered a sandwich. Which, incidentally, he got wrong.  And served cold, despite it being a grilled sandwich that I asked for. Man, I am picky.

Anyway, back to the flying part of the adventure, gates B3 and B4 at IAD are run kind of like bus stations for regional and/or shuttle service between Dulles and other locations. They were boarding flights to LaGuardia, Newark, White Plains, Albany, and a few other places all at once. It was quite impressive. Those guys are on a schedule. Don’t you dare even sneeze unless you ask first. Due to my soup dilemma I was still eating my mystery sandwich when they boarded my flight. “If you are traveling to Albany, please get ready. We will board and close this flight in 7 minutes.” So, I started chewing faster. After about three minutes they announce, “Final boarding call for Albany. At the conclusion of this announcement we will close the flight in one minute and twenty-three seconds.” Not one minute. Not two minutes. One minute and 23 seconds.  I believed them, chucked the sandwich and boarded my flight.

The flight itself was uneventful. We left a few minutes late but landed right on time. Baggage claim in Albany delivered the bags in about 10 minutes – that is a great performance for an 11:30pm landing at a small airport. Over and out for me until Monday when I head to Chicago…

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