Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Missed Flights and 50-Dollar Taxis
...after this tweet we arrived at the airport and I hurriedly, with heavy bags in each hand, walked into the terminal to check in to QF 108.
The day had been "blah" due to work assignments (aka a video) needing to be created, edited and exported that day and I also had to pack.
This usually wouldn't be a problem except my love for video making has dwindled terribly into a chore and I could not find any inspiration for the task at hand.
I quickly edited it, shrugged over the fact that the sound levels were awful, and sent it off and continued packing until after 5pm.
Any normal person with a flight leaving at 7pm, would probably be worried by now. But not I! I had arrived at the same terminal months before at 6:30pm and was allowed to board (forgetting that it was most likely only still open due to the plane being delayed for 20 minutes). I had also conveniently forgotten about the holiday traffic, so instead of the usual 40 minutes to JFK, the cab driver mumbled that it would be an hour.
That's when I started to get nervous...and started to tweet.
"Are you here for QANTAS!?" A blonde, scary looking woman barked at me.
"The flight's closed. You can't check in."
"You'll have to go to the Ticketing Desk and get another ticket!"
The shrill twang of her voice and my own disappointment in myself (and disbelief that there was still an empty seat on a plane that wouldn't fly for another 40 minutes - add an extra 20 for taxing on the runway) made me simply stare along the counter looking for someone nice. When there were no nice people, I turned around, looked up, looked down and started to cry.
In my peripheral vision, I could see a sweetly plump lady greet the scraggly blonde woman and through the voice in my head yelling, "You're an idiot, Caitlin!" heard "Oh no!"
Aha! Someone with compassion! The pigtail plaits had worked!*
The lady came over to me and asked me if I would like to come with her and see what she could do, I just blubbered and followed her.
"Take it from me, never cry over a missed flight!" A lady at the desk offered... but all her wisdom made me think of was that maybe tomorrow's flight was meant to crash and then all I heard were lines from Hook.
About half an hour later of crying deeply (the sort of cries you made as a 7 year old when you accidentally left your party invitation in your desk at school and now didn't know where to go or who to call to partake in the "partying"), a swapping over of people to take care of me (I made no trouble apart from needing a tissue to stem the flow of miserable mucus), a call to QANTAS HQ; "$1500.00, why? Because the flight is full and she'd have to upgrade? Hmm", and a fairly flirty call between my helper and the "Gate Guy" at the QANTAS Boarding Gate; I was able to get on tomorrows flight free of charge.
"How did he do that?"
"Don't ask! Don't think about it!"
I thanked the lovely people and hailed a taxi cab home, relieved that the flight would not cost any extra money, but disappointed that I would have to change plans with my friends and would now be arriving on the day of Tamika and Dan's wedding, which was the reason I was returning to Oz.
I did tweet that I missed my flight, but quickly deleted it realizing that I didn't really want too many people to know and @reply me with "Awws" and "Solutions", instead I texted my friends to change plans, then my roommates with 2 requirements only: pizza and some sort of alcohol.
That night turned out to be fun, there was pizza, my own favourite concoction of inappropriate drink - like the NYUers below our apartment don't dabble in inappropriateness every night anyway - then there was Hitch (shh, Will Smith is The Word!) and dancing and then well...yeah, it was fun.
I woke up the next day, my fairly tidy room glowing from the morning sun, and felt good about things. And left for the airport at 3pm.
*I always wear pigtail plaits when traveling internationally because not only does it keep your hair fairly appropriate looking and lacks the need to pack a brush, it also (and most importantly) makes you look much younger than you actually are. So instead of being a 20 year old idiot, I become a 16 year old idiot. People treat 16 year old idiots a lot nicer...well, at least those who have a vagina anyway.