As we were landing in Dallas the flight attendants called my flight number and requested that I report to a Los Angeles gate rather than my San Diego gate. Seeing that the new gate was quite a hike, I could at least be pleased that I had chosen a reasonable heel as opposed to the ones I could have worn. Other than being very rushed, the walk was uneventful and I felt like I was passing well as a woman. I also could see that everyone there that evening was having a problem in getting to their destination, and very little people watching was going on.
When I got to the gate, it did not look good. With all of the delays several southern California flights were canceled and then combined into one flight to LA. This was not a situation I had planned. If I did not go on that flight, I knew that the airline would put me in a hotel in Dallas and then fly me to San Diego in the morning. The choice would be mine, but I did not have a razor to shave, or enough makeup to get a female image together again for the next day. Also I would not have my checked bags to get back into male cloths, and I knew that checking in a hotel with only my male ID and credit cards could be tricky. So my only option was try to get to LA, and see what was next.
The gate agent, a man, did not even look up when I handed him my ticket. He told me I was on stand-by and he would call me for boarding.
I looked around and there must have been fifteen or twenty others waiting; all men. The posted departure had already past and I knew from experience the flight must be over booked, and not all of us were going to fly that evening.
What was I going to do if he called "Tom"? If I wanted to start a riot, all that was needed, would be to walk in front of all those men, take Tom's ticket and board. My best bet was not to move. I just stood at the counter and very quietly in my best feminine soft voice ask, "How does it look?"
It took several seconds (seemed like hours) for him to respond, and not realizing that he had just taken my ticket, ask me for my name, and said he would check the computer for me.
"We are over booked by twenty and would you be willing to fly tomorrow?" he asked.
In a firm and soft voice I said "No".
He again asked for my name and said he would check my status for the flight.
I gave him my last name and I could see him looking on the screen for a female of match up to the last name I had given. He then asked "What is your first name, please?"
By that time several others, that were waiting, had started moving closer to see what was going on, and to see if I was going to get on.
"T....O....M", I spelled slowly and softly.
He now looked up for the first time and I had his attention.
Part 4 Tomorrow – The Next Day