I just had the most embarrassing experience at LAX. A friend dropped us up at the airport. As we were on the curb saying goodbye and picking up our luggage we lost the car key. And it happened in a few seconds from the time we stopped the car to the moment we opened the trunk. Yes this is one of these absurd stories. Could be one for Mr. Bean! I always thought those stories only happen to other people and hey… voila! One thing really helped me… the AAA card. A quick call… and AAA arrived in 10 minutes. The only drawback is for my ride to the airport, a beautiful young friend who was already dressed up to go out. Since we did not have car keys, she had to be accompanied by a filthy tow truck driver home …. Faux pas! Oops!
The check-in hostesses were not really helpful in our adventure but we made it. Even some travelers helped us go though our stuff, suitcases and pockets (well not really everywhere but they told us to double check there). I was stunned how people empathized. I guess it is one of those situations that you wish will never happen. Guess what, it did!
Anyway, for the first time I was happy to be at the airport ahead. Except for the police who were a little intrigued and left us alone. The airline staff forgot the true meaning of “service” as they threat you as a enemy. You always do something wrong. Immigration Officers are being even nicer than airline hostesses on the ground these days. Airlines charge you for peanuts these days as United will start charging food on their international travelers. So not only you are stuck on a plane for 7 to 10 hours going overseas but if you do not have your doggy bag, tough luck! And if it’s too heavy they might even tell you not to bring it on board.
So you are totally right Jerry, “Service is all gone now” from passenger check-in, to passport control and finally on airplanes comfort are not part of the trip. Especially if you travel coach! (Read an article by Jerry Waxman, « How to Make the Best of Travel by Air. »)
Let’s look at the bright side though. You can still enjoy free movies on international flights. I kind of like that, cause how many of those are we waiting to see when they come out on video?
At the end of our journey we unpacked and guess what we found the key. Don’t ask me how it got in the suitcase but it did. Magic! Thanks to our pretty friend and our filthy tow truck driver who arrived earlier than expected we made it and he saved the day. Many things could have gone wrong and it could have ended a lot worse.
Anyway Bon voyage and see you soon.