Sunday, June 25, 2006

Trying Hard To Be Grateful That We're Not Talking Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria

12:00 Noon ~ Arrive at airport checkout counter with son en route to Spain.

12:40 PM ~ Son is finally checked in and I am waving good-bye as he makes his way through security.

4:40 PM ~ Son calls; plane is landing at JFK half an hour late and he has an hour to make his connection.

5:20 PM ~ Son calls; he has made it from one side of the airport to the other and is confident he will miss his flight as he is now required to go through security again.

5:35 PM ~ Son calls; drenched in sweat from running, he is the last person on the plane which is departing momentarily.

2:30 AM ~ Son calls; plane arrived in Barcelona an hour and a half late. He has one hour to make his connection and is standing at the end of a long and static line with yet another security checkpoint ahead.

3:00 AM ~ Son calls, wondering whether he should abandon check-in line and try to get to gate. I try various Iberia Airlines numbers in U.S. and Spain to find out how Barcelona Airport works but apparently everyone else is asleep or on siesta.

3:15 AM ~ Son calls, much more cheerful. He has realized that when it's time for a plane to depart, they move everyone from slow general line to fast specific-to-that-plane line. Surely he will be sent to the fast line in a minute.

4:00 AM ~ Son calls, dejected. He had reached the head of the slow line only to be told that his plane's doors were closed and that the passengers for his flight had been called to the fast line much earlier -- when he was still sitting on a Delta aircraft.

5:00 AM ~ Son calls to say that he has another flight in five hours. His luggage is presumably in Valencia but since he is not there to retrieve it, no one is promising anything.

9:45 AM ~ Update: Flight to Valencia delayed. Son sounds on the verge of collapse.

1:30 PM ~ Update: Son in Valencia in his residence, showered and feeling much better now that he is no longer trying to use his (very) limited Espanol to converse with ticket agents. Luggage? Iberia Valencia says it's in Barcelona. Iberia Barcelona says it's in Valencia. I remind him that we got the same stream of vague and mis-information last year when his luggage left Barcelona and apparently visited London and Chicago -- and then after two or three days suddenly landed on our back porch. Not time to worry yet.

I know that it was more difficult for Columbus to go west, but still.

Read the previous entry. Today I choose North Carolina over transatlantic travel.


stacy said...

What an ordeal! You must BOTH be exhausted.

Virginia said...

Sounds not unlike some of my business trips. I have learned to take a carry-on with at least the essentials for when the luggage doesn't arrive and also to wear clothes on the plane good enough for a customer visit, as they may be about all I have.

Peace, Virginia

Kathryn said...

I love, love, love Spain and would've gladly traded places with your ds -- luggage hassles and all. I spent two weeks there with dh on our honeymoon and could seriously just move there and be done with it.

Hurray -- he arrived.

Lisa :-] said...

I swear to god I will never travel by plane anywhere ever again. The level of customer service the airlines provide these days is an absolute crime.

Judith said...

Inhale in, slowly exhale out... Lather, rinse, repeat.

Paul said...

Your kids are giving me gray hair.

Carol said...

Let us know when/if his luggage arrives. What a journey!