I missed a flight, while sitting at the gate it departed from. You may be asking yourself, "how can this be?" and I still do not know the answer …

10 a.m. arrive San Jose airport to catch 11 a.m. flight to L.A. — it's a commuter jet so I expected small planes, small gates, etc.

10:05 a.m. Self and baggage are checked, proceed through security without incident.

10:15 a.m. Purchase Sees Candy and sourdough bread because you cannot get it on the right coast.

10:35 a.m. arrive at designated gate 10 yards from the store. I do not see any Delta people at the gate and wonder if the flight is delayed or canceled. Wait patiently to board flight. See a random Delta person walking back and forthe between a gate around the corner, want to flag him down but he is busy looking like a chicken with his head cut off on the phone and radio. Confirm woman next to me is on the flight to LA too.

10:55 a.m. Walk 10 yards to check board to see if gate change. Nothing. Call white courtesy phone to find out about gate agent. They tell me to go to the ticket counter — um wrong answer I'm not going through security again!

11:00 a.m. get in line at other gate to talk to the guy who has been acting like a dying chicken. Notice the flight status is now "closed". The gate agent insists he called and paged the flight and that it's my fault for missing the flight. I insist that I have been sitting there for 20+ minutes. I ask how they can close the flight without a final boarding call, and without paging passengers who have checked in for the flight but not boarded. We both find witnesses, but it DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE I HAVE STILL MISSED THE FLIGHT, DESPITE THE FACT I WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE.

Apparently there is no other way to get to NYC today so I am re-booked for tomorrow for a $140 fee. Yep, I missed the flight because the gate agent was absent/stupid, and I still have to pay a change fee. I'm told my bags will be in JFK tonight as scheduled (hello, post 9/11 rules say bags cannot fly without their accompanying passenger, yet my bag has made the flight I missed while sitting in front ot the gate).

I start crying out of frustration. I call my aunt, still crying, and ask her to come back and get me so I don't have to spend any more time at the stupid airport.

12 p.m. I go back to my aunt's house for salad and beer. I manage to laugh at the stupidity of the situation. I am still baffled as to how I can miss a flight while sitting right there.

Rest assured that Delta will be receiving an angry/confused letter from me.

I will try this all again tomorrow — being sure to go to the gate right after clearinng security so as not to miss the boarding call which apparently only happens 30+ minutes before departure.

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