Friday, August 18, 2006

Starting Over: Part the 1st

Well, here I sit: the television and air conditioning providing white noise, my mother's couch a little bit of comfort, and my hometown a depressing reminder of a lifetime past. How is this post supposed to start? How am I supposed to start? It's hard here: everything is exactly the same as I remember. No surprises, but so difficult to adjust to. I am confused and surprised by the most everyday of things. How do I start?
I guess the airport is a good place...
I arrived at the American Airlines check-in with 1 and 1/2 hours before my flight's departure. I got in line to check-in and waited. And waited. And waited.
With 30 minutes to spare, I got to the counter and was told that my baggage was too heavy-- 80$ too heavy. I checked my bags and walked over to the AA customer service counter to pay the 80$. My card was declined.
"Looks like you went a little overboard with the shopping"
"That's appropriate, thank you." I replied. "I'm going to the ATM-- I'll be right back." I've experienced problems with credit card machines and find ATMs to be almost 100 percent reliable.
The ATM declined my card as well. This frustrated me on several levels:
1) I knew I had money in my account-- I checked the balance online that morning.
2) The airline had already tagged and sent off my luggage
3) My flight was supposed to leave in about 10 minutes
4) I had no other way to pay the 80$. I made a point to spend all of my cash before getting to the airport, I had no American dollars, and none of my other cards.
I returned to Mr. Smug sitting behind his customer service counter...

"So you believe me now?"
"What are my options here? I need to get on that plane, but I have no way of paying you... I don't know what to do."
"Why would you do this? Do you have any idea how late you are? You have to pay or lose your ticket."
"I wouldn't do this-- I didn't! I don't know why my card isn't working."
"Do you have a phone number in the States"
"YES!" I replied thinking he was going to take all of my information down and work out a way for me to take care of this problem from Seattle.
While I wrote out any and every piece of personal info. I could think of, he had begun helping someone else.

"Hello! Pay attention! I need her credit card number and expiration date as fast as possible."
"Whaaa? Whose credit card? What are you talking about?"
"Do you want my help?"
"Do you want to make your flight?"
"Then you need to pay attention: I'll need her credit card information."
I looked at the woman standing at the counter next to me in confusion
"Sir, what are you talking about, whose?
"How should I know, whoever is on the phone! Whose number did you give me?"
"My mother's-- It's 3 am there! You called her? Fine, give me the phone!"
"uhhh, wait just a minute, I need to take her off can't just pick up my phone!"
I talked to my very groggy mother for about 5 seconds, gave him her info, and got on my flight after I cut to the front of the passport check-in line, darted up the escalator tubes, cut through the security line, and ran, and ran, and ran.
The plane had not even begun to board when I reached the gate.
When we did board, the plane sat on the tarmac for 1 and 1/2 hours.


Blogger Jen said...


This sounds like an awful way to start off the beginning of the new chapter in your life.

I am please, I have a question? Why are you coming back here?

I hope it things get better. *smile*

4:46 PM  
Blogger European said...

Ahhh, the joys of air travel. There's nothing quite like sprinting through an airport. I'm glad you made the plane at least! And incidentally quite jealous that you're in Seattle. I have tree-envy. ;)

6:34 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Airlines are so much fun. Welcome back. How soon before you leave again? :)

8:17 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Have I mentioned to you how I love American Airlines? They are always rude to me and the planes never leave when they are supposed to.

Sorry the guy was such a condescending jerk.

7:45 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

** fingers tapping on the desk **
Hrmph. check it again later......

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stopping by to say hi

8:07 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Serena? You aren't in jail for assaulting rude airline employees are you?


3:47 PM  
Blogger Nique Zool said...

hey serena,
long time no talk
its the dearfuturewife guy,
just wanted to say i'm still reading.
take care

12:44 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Bureaucracy- gotta love it!!

although nowhere near as bad as your experience, Easy(yeah right)Jet held us in Belfast for an hour and a half, because they couldnt count and then blamed it on a "computer error".

Then when we arrived in Edinburgh, our luggage took about the same length of time to arrive as another plane from Belfast would have (50 minutes)- a coincidence?


12:46 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Im still reading too!!



12:37 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

I fear she may be gone........

6:32 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Merry christmas

6:52 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Waiting for sweet potato salad.......

1:17 AM  

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