Kelly dropped me off at BWI at about 8 AM this morning. I had checked in online and printed a boarding pass (with my new printer, notes on that another time) but I still had to check in my bag. That line seemed to take longer than it should since all people should be doing is showing boarding pass and getting bag tag printed. Once I had my bag checked I headed to security.
At this point it was 8:30 AM or so. The line was being held up by a group of people lead by a teacher from my school. She was oblivious to her disturbance, which knowing her is not surprising. When I got to the person who checks boarding pass and ID she remarked that I was quite early. The response I wanted to give was that it is often necessary to be that early due to TSA lines, however I just took my pass and moved on.
I boarded Airtran flight 445 on time. However we were not able to leave on time. Apparently the baggage conveyor belt broke. This meant that bags had to be manually moved and loaded. We ended up leaving about 20 minutes late.
As I mentioned I have been sick all week leading up to this. One benefit to flying is the pressure drops as you take off and ascend. This allowed my sinuses to open up and empty to some degree. I was able to blow my nose and clear some out. It actually felt good to be able to hear for a while.
Now as many of you probably have guessed by now the reverse happens when the plane descends. The pressure began building up again. I am used to this in normal situations and I can usually pop me ears easily, this time not so much. One sinus was relatively clear and ok, the other was not. My left ear / right sinus (I don't know how it works in the body, just where the pressure was) kept increasing in pressure and rapidly was getting painful. It felt like my forehead near my right eyebrow was going to explode, this was by far the most painful flying had ever been. Luckily I got it to pop a little and released some of the pressure.
When I got to the airport and got my bag I had to decide how to get to hotel. Microsoft always provides great transportation at TechEd and back to the airport but nothing from airport. The cabs started at $40 so I decided to take a Mears shuttle for $17. The wait was supposed to be 15-45 minutes, it was closer to 45.