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.


Anonymous said...

I only missed one flight in my life but it wasn't my fault. I missed my connecting flight in LA because my Qantas from Sydney was over 3 hours delayed because 1. it arrived late and 2. the cleaners took their goddamn time.

Needless to say, missing a flight really, really suck.

Anonymous said...

oh-boy, inappropriate alcohol, does this mean Caitlin's back on the sauce?

JoMiMo555 said...

Isn't it awesome when some random stranger drops what they are dong to help you? Events like that are the only reason I still have some semblance of faith in the human race.

Normally I'm supposed to wear glasses, but I stopped wearing them a couple years ago as I got tired of looking at life through a window. I usually get nervous around airport people, as I often find them rude and unforgiving, so whenever I get on a plane I tend to exaggerate the extent to which I can't see. All of a sudden the attendants are the nicest people in the world! I suppose that's somewhat similar to your pigtails...

Pizza, good company, and alcohol? What better way to relieve stress :)

Anyway, I'm glad you got there and back safe! I trust the wedding went well?

Chris in the Studio said...

I see a private jet in your future.:)

Chris in the Studio said...

However, :) knowing what I no about you it will be running on empty and short a few cylinders so I would stick to Quantas because maintaining your vagina is probably a lot more feesable than maintaining a lear. (I could be wrong about that)he he! lol J.K.
P.S. your allowed to smack me when I'm a jerk. he he

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Missing an international flight sucks! I just can't imagine that. xD
Hope that never happens to me, haha. I've got to try the pigtail thing. People think I'm like, 16, when I'm actually 13. What is up with that??

Brent said...

There is one thing I hate is when you cry. I've felt that way ever since you posted the "Sometimes I Get Sad" video (long since been set to private) on YouTube, 3 years ago. The frustration of missing a very important international flight can trigger the tear ducts to flow. But this often private emotion was displayed fully to the public and it worked extremely well in your favour!

I can just imagine you looking like this (with red puffy eyes, of course) and winning them over with your "pigtail plaits". :D

Also, Simon (nomiSimple) will be pleased to know that you have kept your room "fairly tidy".

Dizzknee said...

The only flight I came close to missing was the last time I flew out of New York. Luckily I had a good (and fast) cab driver, so I got to LaGuardia with a chance of making it. I rushed to the desk and since I had no bags to check, thank goodness, that went quickly. I was actually told to "run" to the gate, so run, I did. I was whipping off my belt and shoes like a pro at security and made it to the gate in a flash. They were holding the plane for me...very nice, so it was all ok. I'm quite sure that that was the last plane of the night for Toronto, so if I missed that, it would have been very unpleasant.

Oh, I just remembered. I did miss a flight once. I was in London, and we missed our connecting flight to Manchester. I didn't cry, but my girlfriend certainly did. I'm talking full-on, sitting down amongst the pile of our suitcases type of crying. Not much to do at that point but to suck it up and buy another couple of tickets. Oh well.

jmarbas said...

lol " least those who have a vagina anyway." HOW did i miss these posts!?!... =//