Well I did it! I finally traveled on an airplane while dressed. Something that I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time. I finally built up the courage to try it. Naturally, when the day arrived, I was very nervous getting dressed for my early morning flight from San Francisco to Long Bleach. I pre-booked a taxi with Uber to take me to the airport that morning. When it arrived and I got into the car, the driver seemed a little intrigued by my appearance. After a fairly quick drive to airport, he pulled over to the curb, turned his head around and took a long look at me while I was getting out of taxi. He had most definitely ‘clocked’ me! But, after all, he was expecting a man based on my profile. I took a deep breath as I headed towards the Terminal, which was almost empty as it was only 4:30. Being so early and with no check-in staff on duty, I made my way to the self check-in and printed my boarding pass. The next step was security! As I arrived, the line had only two or three people in. Great, no waiting at all. I quickly entered, handing my boarding pass and driver’s license to TSA. My documents were scrutinized for about a second longer than normal, after which he said ‘OK, thank you’ and handed back my papers. Onto the screening area, where I unzipped and removed my knee high leather boots and took off my blazer. I carefully placed them into the bin for the X-Ray machine and approached the full body scanner. This is the point where my nerves hit a peak. I was wearing hip padding and breast forms and had heard stories about issues with those machines. I acted as usual and stood for 3 seconds. Just as I was about to exit scanner, suddenly the woman called ‘one second please’. I stopped in my tracks remaining inside the scanner. She appeared to press a few buttons on a screen and promptly asked me to step out – to my relief. My typical reaction to this would have been to look back at the screen as I walked away, to see what area triggered a problem. On this occasion, I really didn’t want to know. As it had turned out, she said that she just needed to pat down my right shoulder. The cut of the blouse had very full shoulders and for some reason this may have triggered the machine. She patted my shoulder and once satisfied that everything was fine said ‘I could go’. As I put my boots and blazer back to leave the screening area, I realized that my concerns about TSA were a complete non-event.
My gate was located at the end of the terminal, so it took a quite a while to walk there. By the time I got to the seating area I was fairly hot and relived to take off my blazer once I arrived. I had nearly an hour and a half to wait for departure. Fortunately, they started boarding early and even boarded from the back of the plane, forwards. I was surprised they boarded that way but wasn’t complaining. I decided I should get my blazer on and buttoned up. When I looked up, several others had appeared in line in front of me. To make it worse, I got behind someone with a carry-on, way too big and needed some convincing by the gate agent that her bag would need to be gate checked. I was about 5 people behind her with probably 60 or so folks standing around waiting to enter the line. I was eventually seated in row 20 of 25 and this was feeling as if it was taking forever to get there.
Finally my turn! I handed my boarding pass to gate agent. He scanned it, but was thrown a little. ‘Thank you Mr. Smith’, he said welcoming me with a slight pause as he gave back my boarding pass. Oddly he appeared more nervous than I was at that point. I went down the jetway and leading to the aisle of plane. Luckily not too many people had boarded yet, only those in the very back and the pre-board folks were in front of me. Several flight attendants greeted me politely, some smiled longer than typical and I think they may have ‘clocked’ me. The moment I had waited for – I had located my seat and was very happy to see that it was a window seat with no one next to me. I buckled my seat belt and tried to relax a little, the air-con wasn’t operating yet. Finally, I was sitting in my seat on board an airplane, the excitement was building up! I couldn’t help looking down at my tight pencil skirt, restricting my legs somewhat and seeing my boots as I stretched my legs out. There is no question of turning back now! I felt very much at ease after a few minutes and relaxed as we prepared for take off.
It took about 30 minutes for the remaining passengers to board and then taxing to to the runway. Eventually we took off, we were on our way to Long Beach. During the hour long flight, I nodded off to sleep a few times and was clearly relaxed and calm at this stage. As flights go this was no exception and quite an uneventful flight. Once we had landed, I noticed that someone two rows in front of me was holding a cell phone high in the air. I could see that it was in ‘selfie mode’. He was moving it around a lot and was appeared to be trying to find me with the camera. The plane arrived at the gate and the general lighting came on. I noticed he frequently turned around, looking through the spaces between seats towards me. It was a little unnerving, but unexpectedly stayed in his seat waiting for everyone else to leave via the rear exit, including me.
I walked through the airport terminal and up towards the car rental counter. As I presented my driving license to woman behind the counter, I observed that her response to me en femme was zero! This was clearly nothing out of the ordinary for a car rental representative.
My final thoughts on this long awaited adventure – flight en femme, was a lot of fun and fortunately a non-eventful one. I’m hoping to repeat this experience again someday!