Airport Fiasco Part 2: The Return Tripby Jim

7 Jan 2008
8:01 am


You’d think after our last experience, we would do everything in our power to avoid another fiasco like our last one trying to get to Utah. Well, the fates were against us this time. Get ready for another long post.

Angie bought our tickets a few months ago. Angie bought them because she has a SkyMiles account and we wanted credit for the trip. We figured a nice mid-morning flight would be best, so we booked an 11:20 flight home for me. Angie wasn’t returning until Sunday, so our return flights were different. In the weeks since we bought the tickets, Angie got a few emails regarding itinerary changes. A week before we left I asked her to forward me a copy of my itinerary so I would know when my flight was. The return trip now left at 2 in the afternoon on New Year’s Day. I was determined to get there in time to make sure I didn’t miss my flight again.

The day came and I was packed and ready plenty early. We ended up giving a ride to Ashley Ogzewalla since she had a 1:00 flight. I figured it was perfect; we would be forced to get to the airport plenty early. However, our plan was flawed. We got to the airport at 12:30, more than 90 minutes before my flight was supposed to leave. I went to the kiosk to check in and was surprised when it told me I could no longer check into my flight. Upon closer inspection, I saw that my flight had left on time at 11:20. It turns out Angie had send me her itinerary and her flight was at 2 on Sunday. I had missed my flight by over an hour; I wasn’t even close this time!

I got in line to see a ticket agent hoping there was something that could be done. It took me about 20-25 minutes to get to the front of the line. I told the agent there had been a mix-up and I had missed my flight and that I would like to get onto the first flight to any airport in the bay area (San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose). He was really nice about it and said there was a seat on the 9:30 pm flight to Oakland. I had someone picking me up, so it really didn’t matter which airport I flew in to. I said 9:30 would be fine and then he punched a few more keys and said, “You must be living right — two seats just opened up on the 2:50 to Oakland.” “I’ll take one,” I said. I was ecstatic; I even got to choose between window and aisle. (I chose the window-seat.) Since I was so early for my new flight, I got extra screening at security… yippee.

I phoned my wife and told her the news, then I called Justin, my ride, and told him when to pick me up. Everything went very smoothly from that point on — for me at least. Angie was scheduled to come home on the 2:00 flight on Sunday. We were pretty sure about the departure time thanks to my mishap. The night before her flight, I urged her to make sure she was on-time. Our airport track-record wasn’t turning out very well and I wanted to make sure we got this one right.

She arrived at the airport and checked in with no problems (so far so good), but when she had to show photo ID, the agent said, “Um, your license is expired.” Angie panicked and started to explain and the agent was really nice and wrote her a little note to say her ID would be valid (since this was a return trip and there wasn’t much that could be done). It would have been nice if that was the end of the story. The security officer wasn’t as understanding. “This note is for Delta, not airport security,” they told her. She tried to explain, but they insisted, “You’ll have to do a pat-down and we’ll have to do extra screening on your baggage.” This was perfectly fine with Angie because she has to do a pat-down anyway because of her pacemaker. She had made sure to arrive early enough that the extra searching wasn’t a problem. She said they even asked her questions about the contents of her luggage. Ironically, her license expired before we left on the 20th. I guess we lucked out that it wasn’t an issue on our way to Utah.

I picked her up yesterday at San Francisco Int’l and (fortunately) everything went very smoothly on this end. Her flight was a few minutes late, but besides that everything went like clockwork. In the end, I’m glad we took this trip, but I clearly see why people opt to take the 12-hour drive to Utah instead of braving the airports.

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  1. Angie
    11:08 AM on January 7th, 2008

    Yeah, both mistakes were pretty dumb on my part… In my defense, I sent Jim the wrong itinerary way back in California when we were discussing our departure – I knew we were going together, so I just sent the first one I clicked on. And, as for my second mistake…well, I have no defense. That was just pretty stupid. Years fly by and, after four birthdays, I totally forgot that the next one would require a drivers license renewal. When we left to come to Utah, my license had only been expired for 5 days, and I guess they just glanced at the year (and maybe even the month) and never noticed the day. SO, guess what’s on the top of this week’s To Do List? :P

  2. Kenn North
    11:49 AM on January 7th, 2008

    As good of a story as before. Unbeleivable the luck you two have. Don’t you have to take a driver’s test and everything if your license expires?

  3. Angie
    6:37 PM on January 9th, 2008

    Blast – I hope not.

  4. Angie
    2:55 PM on January 11th, 2008

    I am officially a California girl with a California Drivers License! And, thought I had to take a written exam, I didn’t even have to take a driving test! Hooray!

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