I hate waiting but I hate being late even worse. It's one of those personality quirks. So, I got to the Austin airport and approached a SkyCap to curb check my luggage (I'm heading to Iceland today) and get everything squared away.
The guy behind the counter gave me the sad news. Since my layover exceeded six hours in JFK he could only check the bags to there. They'd have to be collected in baggage claim, re-checked for my next flight, and I'd have to go back through security again. No problem.
But when I got to NY I asked an agent to check my bags and he informed me that they have no way to store baggage for longer than..... six hours....and that I would have to wait from 12:30pm till 3:05pm before I could check my (one) bag. I'd have to drag my suitcase around with me until then.
But where's the Catch-22? Well, all the seating and good food is inside the security perimeter but until you check your checked luggage you can't go through security. But all the seating and decent food is inside the security zone/departure area and you can't go through there until you check your bags and we're right back to the six hour exclusion period.
In 25 minutes I'll (theoretically) be able to check in the bag and proceed to the TSA check point.
It's gray, cold and murky in NYC. Instead of standing in a giant, crowded ticketing area (absolutely bereft of seats) I decided to take the Air Trans tour of the entire airport. I dragged the bag along and got on the Air Trans, which is mostly intended to take travelers to connecting terminals. Pretty bleak for tourism, but then airport tourism was never high on my bucket list.
I think from now on I'll try to make my own travel arrangements rather than leaving it up to someone else. After two weeks of tight schedules and (Yikes) eighteen flights across the Southeast U.S. my tolerance for schedule slop is pretty minuscule.
Looking for a little silver lining, I did bring along the cookies they gave me on my last flight. I think I'll eat them now......
And, by the way, today is my birthday. Happy to have made it to 63 and hoping to get a few more good decades in..... I'd like to end up setting the record for the oldest working photographer. But not if I have to spend those decades waiting to check my luggage....