DING DONG THE AIRPORT WITCH MIGHT BE DEAD
I have blogged in the past about my evil airport twin. She arrives on her broom full of furry when I am faced with frustration at airports. She has been known to throw coats, yell and even stomp on a boarding pass. She is not pretty nor does she make me proud. I have been trying to get her under control and if possible annihilate her completely.
I end today feeling if the six hours it took me to get back from Boston did not bring her out, she may have taken up residence in someone else.
For those of you who do not live on the East Coast or happen to travel the Boston – New York route, it is a real no-brainer. Glenn has been known to leave at nine, have lunch in Cambridge and be back by five. It’s a commute for many. The actual flying time is thirty-two minutes if the wind is with you.
So why today did I leave the hotel in Boston at nine-thirty to catch an eleven-twenty flight and walk in my front door at four- forty -five?
It was one of those days when all the airport gods were against me and amazingly I never once lost my cool. I remained calm, polite and focused. I barely recognized myself.
I got to the airport early as I always do. I normally would take the train back but I was lugging an extra suitcase full of things Taylor decided she did not need, plus an empty suitcase and my own things. The nice man at baggage check-in could not find any record of my reservation.
He finally took me inside and to the head of the line. Now had I been in the line and had my evil airport twin been in action I would have been pissed off at someone like me. But he said it was OK and I needed to get to the bottom of the situation. It took some figuring out and finally one call to Allison and low and behold organized, anal retentive, no detail gets passed me me had booked myself home on October 7th. We all make mistakes. The girl behind the desk told me she did the same thing last week with a rental car, click the mouse too fast and you’re booked six months later. She told me there would be a transfer fee that was more than the price of the original ticket but I could get on the flight. It seemed punitive but I had few options.
Then the computer would not accept me. Who knows what the computer had against me, perhaps it had witnessed my evil airport twin at Jet Blue in the John Wayne airport when I threw my coat on the floor five years ago when they cancelled my flight all together.
It took 20 minutes and a supervisor to discover it was because I had travelled one leg of my journey. DO NOT ASK ME WHY THIS WAS AN ISSUE. I was just focusing on getting home and not turning into Sybil in the process.
Then the supervisor walked by just as nice lady one was about to hand over the boarding pass for the flight and announced to her co-worker that flight 1013 to New York was delayed. I asked her what the problem was and oddly she told me. “They have to switch planes.” Which usually means the steering wheel on the original one is broken. She ripped up the boarding pass and said since I was there she would get me on the twelve o’clock, only a half hour later than I was supposed to leave.
The nice me took the positive position, it was all meant to be; had I not booked the wrong flight I would have been delayed at least an hour.
We boarded on time and were all buckled in when the captain announced, “JFK has flight restrictions no planes allowed to take off or land.” We would be stuck for at least an hour.
Tarmac time, unable to do anything but read your magazines and wait. Evil Twin did not seem to mind at all. She read Oprah from cover to cover and Marie Claire and a House and Garden that she had not realized she bought when it came out as her friend Penny’s house was featured, and The New York Times. Finally at one something the plane took off.
Thirty-two minutes in the air. Several set backs but evil airport twin was nowhere in sight.
When I went to retrieve the baggage it was listed as Carousel 4. The three of us who had checked luggage stood there for a half hour and nothing came down. Then someone said Carousel 5. We all went running over but that was the other flight, the one I was originally on that was delayed but was somehow landing at the same time. Though their luggage was not coming either, it was on Carousel 4. So where was ours?
A girl from San Francisco spotted her bag on Carousel 6 that said Tampa. I went running after her, and there was my bag, one of my bags.
Now I must add that I really get nervous about not getting my luggage at airports. In the days when you could smoke in airports I smoked up a storm in baggage claim. People who have quit smoking say it’s the post coital cigarette they miss the most, for me it’s the baggage claim cigarette.
Well, no suitcase was coming and I was then running from carousel to carousel.
I asked someone who worked for the airlines; they said go to the baggage retrieval office.
I was still miraculously composed and normally I would really be on the brink of some major outburst.
I cannot bare incompetence.
I know myself. Someone this week accused me of being unexamined. There are many things one can accuse me of, petulance, sometimes. Pig-headed, sure. Brazen, at moments. But I am examined and competent.
So when I had to inform the women in charge of baggage that all the carousels were mismarked and luggage from Boston was coming in from Tampa and luggage from Tampa was coming in on the ramp from Bermuda and there was no way to find where one belonged and couldn’t they maybe sort this out please? They agreed it was a mess but went back to talking about pizza.
One finally looked up and said “Try 5”
But that is the luggage from Flight 1013, my original flight. I knew more than they did.
The level of incompetence was staggering. Nobody knew where their bags were and the women in charge were discussing pepperoni versus extra cheese.
Mine never showed. It was then over five hours from the time I had left Boston. I could have ridden a bike and been there sooner. AND I NEVER ONCE LOST MY COOL.
I quietly gave the woman who was pushing for mushrooms my info. She told me maybe security had stopped it or there hadn’t been any room on the plane and maybe she really wanted sausage.
By then I was looking for my evil twin as hard as I was the luggage and she was nowhere to be found. There was a man from Miami who had lost his luggage who kind of looked like he might be channeling her.
I called Jet Blue two hours later, the recording said leave a message, except the message box was full. The only way to get any info was online. I logged on to the lost and found website, they said my case was “open.” It is now twelve hours since I left Boston; the luggage has not appeared on any of the flights.
But the good news is my evil airport twin might be dead. As I type this, I’m thinking oh, well, it’s just stuff, no point in getting worked up. I made it home safely and that’s what counts.
P.S. Jet Blue just called the bag is on it’s way.