Friday, November 17, 2006

There might be something to it after all

We seasoned international travelers get a little blasé about the whole "two hours before the flight" thing. I mean, you don't want to cut it too close or anything, but two hours and, in some cases,'s a pretty significant cushion.

There's the whole "what if a lot of flights are scheduled around then?" roulette. There's the "what if we get stuck in traffic?" chapter. But on the whole, you know it's a rule made with the worst-case scenario in mind and, after 20 years of international travel and who knows how many flights, you take that into account.

I'm not even sure what the official word was on how early Dad was meant to be at the airport for his flight today. We decided on a departure time from the house that would get him there a little less than two hours ahead, but nothing extreme.

But this morning he went online to check the flight status - something I've finally learned to do when picking someone up, but which I rarely bother with before a departure. Turned out they already knew his flight would be leaving late, because it had left late from Nashville, or wherever it originated. Normally, this wouldn't make much of a difference, but it cut his layover down to something like 20 minutes, which clearly wouldn't be enough for customs, immigration, baggage (re)check, and security to get back to the gate area.

He got on the phone to the airline (and my sister, and my mother) and eventually worked out a plan. By the time he had it figured out, it was pretty much time to go - past the original departure time, but about right for the delayed flight which, it turned out, was a little less delayed than originally reported. But still, he would be there about an hour and a half ahead, which is comfortable enough.

You can see where this is going, right? There was a traffic jam on the way to the airport, and we lost about 20 minutes. When he got to the airport he had to pay the departure tax before getting in line to check in.

The check-in line was easy to find, but very long and not moving. And then after 10 minutes, the signs up front changed from US Airways to another airline and another flight, and the line started moving again. He asked around and eventually found a US Airways office where he, along with six other people in the same boat, was told that, although the flight had not yet left, they were unable to check anyone in within the one hour leading up to flight time. (Not a US Airways policy, by the way, but a Costa Rican Airport policy.) They were veddy veddy sorry, but there was nothing that could be done. And that was it.

Because he doesn't have the flexibility to leave tomorrow, he had to go buy another ticket on another airline. He'll get to Miami sometime tonight and see what he can do from there.

Let's all wish him good luck tonight!

The girls rode along to the airport. Julia doesn't take regular naps anymore, but afternoon car trips do still have this effect on her.


A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

  © Blogger template 'Personal Blog' by 2008

Back to TOP