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You know that horrible feeling that you get when you forget or lose something important? It can be something as simple as placing my phone or wallet in the wrong pocket. When this happens, it sometimes feels like someone kicked me in the gut. I may as well have been robbed at gun point, I’m pretty sure that it would feel about the same.

This morning, as I was stowing away my bags on the plane in Boston, I realized that my backpack was missing. I was overcome with that instant panic. At first, I wasn’t sure where I had left it. My guess was that I had set it down when I’d come through security. I told my captain that I’d be right back and ran as fast as I could through the airport, back to the security checkpoint. I then discovered that nobody had seen a bag left behind.

I figured that I had left it back at the hotel! That was horrible! All of a sudden, I’m extremely thankful for two things. The first is the fact that we stayed at a hotel that is right next to the airport- I wouldn’t need a cab or a shuttle to get me back there. The second is the fact that my first flight was only booked to 37 people. This means that I just might have time to sprint all the way back to the hotel, find the bag, and make it back to my plane before it was too late. It might be possible.

Let me tell you this- if you would have been inside Boston’s Logan Airport this morning, you would have seen the absolute fastest mad-dash out of the airport and to the hotel. I can only imagine that I had a look of dread on my face. Here’s the thing: As a flight attendant, if I am the cause of a delayed flight, that could result in disciplinary action which could in turn into suspension or worse. I’m over 12 1/2 years into this career and I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.

Now you’re beginning to understand why I was in such a hurry to find my bag. A bag, which by the way, contained my electric flight attendant manual, an item that I’m illegal to fly without. Not to mention my personal iPad, laptop, and wallet. If I’d have left any other bag, it wouldn’t be the end of the world- Walmart can provide most of what I need when I’m on a work trip.

I get to the front desk, show my i.d., and ask for another room key. I make it to my room on the 5th floor, only to find out that my missing bag isn’t in there. I run back down to the desk clerk and ask if any black backpacks have been turned in. She calls security, they tell her they have my bag! I’m so thankful, but now, as I’m waiting for them to bring my bag, I’m looking at my watch. The time is now two minutes past the when I was supposed to be on the plane so that we can start boarding.

I realize that it took longer for security to bring me my bag than it took me to run from the plane- all the way back to the hotel. I’m relieved that the bag is on its way but very worried I’m about to cause my first delayed flight. My mind starts to wander- I’m wondering which airlines are hiring right now in case this all goes from bad to worse. British Air or Emirates would be a blast! Delta would let me be based in Salt Lake City or Seattle- now there’s an idea! Finally, my bag arrives and now comes another sprint back to my plane.

I made it back to the plane about 15 minutes late, but with plenty of time to board 37 passengers and still push back from the gate early! I am extremely grateful that a potentially bad situation was avoided and that I made it back with time to spare! Sometimes I’m such and airhead!

Tonight I ended up at Dulles International Airport, and am staying in Herndon, Virginia. I just finished some fish tacos (pretty good, not great) and am looking forward to a deep sleep. Before I nod off, I thought I’d talk about another item on my bucket list.

Coming in at number 16 on the list is to attend a circus. I’m not sure how or when this will happen since most or all of the U.S. circuses are now gone. Not sure if it’s an animal cruelty thing, but I do think this would be cool to have this experience. Perhaps I’ll have to attend a Cirque Du Soleil event and call it good. Or maybe they still have traveling circuses in Europe? Time to do some research!

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