Friday, June 01, 2007

Kicked off AirTran for Taking Notes

ATLANTA-- It’s now 10:27 a.m. I was supposed to be almost in Indianapolis—City #6 on my SEVEN CITIES, SIX WEEKS summer tour. But, I am still in the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport for taking notes on the flight.

Sounds bizarre?

I thought so.

In these jittery post-911 days, flight crews like the employees on AirTran Airways Flight 419 have to be on the lookout for suspicious passengers.

I suppose taking copious notes about my first travel experience on AirTran in almost 10 years could be construed as suspicious.

AirTran has apologized for the inconvenience and given me a free pass for another flight. They’ve re-booked me on an afternoon flight that will get me to Indianapolis in time for the start of the Society of Professional Journalists Scripps Leadership Institute on the Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis campus.

But, the bigger story here is that something as harmless as taking notes might get you kicked off a flight.

Fortunately, I as a journalist did not have to surrender my notes and I don’t think I was the cause of the flight being about 10 minutes late taking off. The AirTran Airways attendant who escorted me off said the flight was held up also because they were waiting for ice.

For now, I’m happy recounting the strange experience as perhaps the most memorable event in my “Seven Cities, Six Weeks” tour.

More later.

At least this gives me time to blog about what I experienced getting into the Atlanta Airport this morning. I’ve been gathering elements for that posting.

1 comment:

Wendy Hoke said...

Hey George!
Sorry to hear about all the hullabaloo in Atlanta. But was glad to see you at Scripps. Looking forward to seeing you in DC in October.