That wasn't so bad!
On the way to the airport, I asked the driver of the car service that we use if he would mind assisting me with my bags. It was the one real worry that I had. I knew that I had to get them in and that if they were too heavy, I'd pay the overage and expense it. (I was still stressed, but dealing with it!) Kevin (the driver) went above and beyond the call of duty on that one!
By dint of following the directions given to me by the airline, I got almost everything wrong. On the preparation of Saga to fly, I was told to: pack the kennel with a blanked that had her and/or my smell on it so that she would feel comfortable, fill the kennel cups with water and freeze them, and attach food to the top of the kennel so that she could be fed in Detroit. The problem is that they will not allow the kennel to have a blanket in it because they are afraid that she could be tangled-up in it and strangle herself. She cannot have food during the flight because they are afraid that she will choke on it. And the water thing? Not allowed to carry liquids on. Hmmm… but I can check them and she will be in the cargo hold as checked baggage. I (wisely) didn't press the issue. I packed the blanket, tossed the food and dumped the ice out of the bowls.
I was also mislead by the BBC (and by Northwest) when I believed what I had been told. No! As of this morning you can still only carry ONE carry on. Not "one plus a briefcase" as I was told by Northwest and by the reports on BBC. Luckily, the check-in agent was kind enough to take my camera bag, and put a do-not-load tag and fragile stickers on it. I was handed it back as I boarded the plane.
The flight is now about half over. I've watched a couple movies, and am listening to podcasts as I write this. I've decided that I will find a porter to assist me in Detroit with getting Saga and my luggage through to the re-check desk and there will definitely be a porter in Denver. I've got my bottle of wine, my entertainment and am not even going to give what I have got still coming up ahead of me another thought.
Wherever you are today, I hope you've got time to relax!
Don Bergquist – 26 November 2007 – Northwest Airlines Flight 31, Somewhere Over The North Atlantic