I just wanted to go home

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Flying into Washington DC was a cakewalk. Flying home was another story. In fact, it took two days to get home. I wonder if this is what they felt like on the Oregon Trail?

Upon entering the airport, I had to talk to a woman with an upside-down cross tattooed to her forehead, who spoke very limited English. Now, as you know, I am not a Rocket Scientist, but–and excuse my lack of political correctness here– but 1) I’m offended, but who cares, I’m a Christian so I don’t count, and 2) she would be more likely to blow up a plane than I would. She mumbled something and pointed to the Kiosk area.

Mr. Porter and I arrived at the airport ten minutes too late to check-in our luggage, according to the Kiosk.The human clerk, after she spent five minutes updating her Facebook status (I’m guessing, as she was smiling at the computer and few things at work are smile worthy, in my experience) informed us that we cannot go home on the 12:30 flight, and the 4:00 flight is booked, but our luggage will be going on the 4:00 flight. But we can go on the 10:10 pm flight.

So why can’t we go on the 12:30?

No, that’s not the way we do it.

Note: If the reason we cannot go ahead of our luggage is for terrorist reasons, why would flying on the 10:10 pm make any difference?   We would still not be on the same flight as our luggage.

wait-what

We were handed plane tickets with our names, time: 10:10 pm, and seat assignments. We were informed we would be on the 10:10 flight. But oh, she’ll put us on stand-by for the 4:00, just in case.

Since we had several hours to kill, Mr. Porter suggested that we get something to read. I bought a book, “You are a Badass–How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” Yes, yes, the irony. Oh, and I also purchased a bottle of water.

I stepped about ten steps over to go through security. “Hey you can’t take this in there with you, the water.”

“What? I just bought it.” (Yes, ten feet away. At the airport.)

“Do you have time? You could take it over there and drink it.”  Okay, I’m a thirsty gal. So I started chugging it and….

ice cream headache.

I threw the bottle into either the recycle or the garbage, I honestly don’t know which one, and I apologize to my tree hugging friends,  but I had an ice cream headache.

I got through security, it’s all a blur but we made it.

We went to Gate “C” per our tickets and sat down. I started reading about how great and awesome I am as the clock slowly ticked away. Mr. Porter booted up (do they still say that?) the PC and checked his email several hundred times.

We watched the 4:00 flight leave, sighing that well, at least our luggage is going home.

After more waiting, it was finally time to board the 10:10. (There used to be a NYC talk radio station called 1010 WINS. I assure you, we didn’t win anything.) We lined up with the other passengers.

I scanned my ticket across the scanner and….BEEP. A red light flashed, “customer unknown.”

What?

Mr. Porter experienced the same.

“Step out of line, you’re not in the computer, you can’t get on the plane.” The door to enter the plane slammed.

(Matthew 25 anyone?)

By now, I am at the end of my patience, my kindness, my will to live, but on the bright side, at least the ice cream headache was gone.

“How can this happen? I was a computer programmer for 25 years. How do I have a ticket with my name, flight and seat number and I’m not in the system?” (Not that they care that I was a programmer, but just so you know, I’m not a mushroom either.)

We were escorted back to the desk, where a woman informed us that according to the computer, our names were called for the 4:00 flight, but since we did not answer we were deleted from the system.

“No one called us. We didn’t hear anything. We were here the whole time.”

“Well, it says on the computer that they called you and you didn’t answer so they deleted you. You’ll just have to stay over and fly out on the 12:30 pm tomorrow.”

Huh? Just stay over? No big deal? Or as Mr. Porter likes to say, “Like I care?”

She took another dig at us. “Just think of it as an adventure.”  I don’t know what held me back, maybe it was Mr. Porter, maybe it was a legion of angels, maybe someone mistook me for a tree. But I did not jump across the desk and choke her.

Enter Joe. A human; a caring human being who actually works for the airline. He apologized for our troubles, gave us two $10 vouchers to buy snacks, and suggested that we take a plane to another city close to where we live. He also gave us a voucher to get a discount on a hotel room in said city. (We chose Syracuse.) He gave us new tickets and assured us that we would indeed be on a plane that night. God Bless Joe.

As we were boarding the plane, I noticed many people handing off their luggage to the side, where a worker grabbed it, put it on a conveyor belt, and put it into the baggage compartment on the plane. WHY WERE WE NEVER TOLD OF THIS OPTION? We had checked in our luggage at the desk for $25 each. Rip off.

We flew to Syracuse, got a hotel room at 2 am, woke up at 6:30, inhaled coffee and cinnamon buns. We then rented a car and drove in a blizzard 6 hours to get home. And when I say “we”, Mr. Porter did the driving actually. God Bless Mr. Porter. Yes, the great April blizzard of 2016 had some spectacular timing for us.

So we drove to the airport to pick up our luggage, dropped off the rental car, and dug my car out from under the snow in the lot. We then had to pick up Mr. Porter’s car, which was at the repair shop. Then, finally, we picked up Bailey.

These three mammals were never so glad to be home.

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#flying #luggage

 

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3 thoughts on “I just wanted to go home

  1. So sorry for your difficult way home. I had a similar situation last December when I arrived at the first airline and was immediately told my flight was cancelled. I had been dropped off and had no way to get anywhere. After many tears and frustrations, finally a representative said she thought she could get me on another flight in 4 hrs which would actually arrive in time for me to catch my second airplane. I did get on via stand-by and arrived in time to wait another 3 hours for my second flight. Somehow I got to the home airport just 30 minutes after I should have arrived if the original flights had been on time!

    1. Wow, I’m sorry for your misfortune as well. I think airline employees could use a little more training in customer service. It’s difficult enough to pack up and get ready for the flight, go through “security”, and then find out you can’t get on the plane. I guess next time we will plan to be at the airport much, much earlier!

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