Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Airline Humour. Not.

When traveling abroad it's usually a good idea to have this with you...

Less than 24hrs after getting back from the week in LA/Las Vegas, I was back at the airport, flying to Dublin via Amsterdam. For once I was not rushing - which means I got to the airport almost 2 hours ahead of departure time. The line through security was nice and short so I figured I'd have time to have a coffee, check some emails etc. As I approach the check-in kiosk I see the guy in front of me take out his passport to swipe it. PASSPORT. Shit! I couldn't believe it. It took me at least 30 seconds to recover from the shock and scramble for my phone. The check-in staff were all busy and anyway I knew they could do nothing for me so I tried to think who to call. Who has keys to my house? Who has keys to my house and is actually in town? Valeria - Birkie this weekend - and had a great race!, Pam - on her way back from San Diego, Eric - not even sure if he still has a key, he kindly cut my grass a few times when I was out of town - before I gave up altogether and started paying for a lawn service. But anyway, he's in Nepal! Does Bronwyn still have a key? And she lives close to me - so I call her and she finds the key almost right away and very kindly offered to get it and drive to the airport - even though she was about to leave her house for dinner with friends. It was 6:15 at this point and I ask the check-in guy if it's worth it - that it will be close to 7 when I get my passport... he actually seems quite positive and says something like, well it doesn't leave until 7:45. He could see my huge bag that had to be checked in and all. So Bronwyn goes to my house, gets the passport and drives to the airport - I raced back over to the desk with it and the same dude who appeared to be the supervisor said "Sorry, the gate won't allow me to check you in after 6:45". Well, THANKS A BUNCH YOU ASS**** Oh I was so annoyed. I mean, mostly annoyed with myself but if he'd just told me that 6:45 was the absolute cut off it would have saved Bronwyn the journey and delay to her plans.

I wouldn't mind but I'd actually started to feel quite sorry for the check-in staff. They are completely understaffed and have to deal with no end of complaints and arrogant travellers. One guys in particular was a total ass - I don't know where he was from but I am going to guess northern Europe... he was trying to use the kiosk but was having problems so one of the staff took his passport to scan it and as she started to flatten it out the guy grabs it off her and starts shouting about how she is going to damage his passport. A few minutes later another lady starts to help him, same thing, then a guy come over to check him in from the desk rather than the kiosk - he hands over his passport and the guy still needed to open it and scan it and again the German dude (I've decided by now that he is German) grabs it back and starts shouting about how it's an official document and they are treating it like a scrap of paper! I was stunned at how rude he was. And I was jealous he had his damn passport. I don't know if he ever did check in as he was still walking around - cooling off - an hour later as I was leaving.

I was bummed not to make the flight as I had made plans to visit friends this evening and tomorrow before getting to Galway for work Tuesday. With limited time over there I won't get a chance to see them this trip. But at least it's a business trip and the ticket was booked through our work travel desk so I was able to re-book for tonight with no fee. And I got to see Susan and Pam who landed back from San Diego just as my flight was taking off without me. Susan kindly gave me a ride home so it was great to catch up with the girls and hear about their 'spring training camp' - running trails in Torrey Pines State Reserve (Susan ran her first trail - YAY!), swimming in an open air 50M pool... and meeting a rather eclectic group of Minnesotans who were there to swim a qualifier for the Channel Swim. I guess if you can do a few hours in the 50 degree Pacific Ocean you are heading in the right direction for the frigid English Channel!

And since I was in town... I made it out to Lebanon Hills this morning for a nice long run. After the week of pavements in LA and along the Strip in Las Vegas (6AM is definitely a better time than 6PM to try that!), it was so good to be out in the woods. And what a beautiful morning. Better still great company for the few hours. I started out at 7AM with Bill and Steve who had both ran long there yesterday so were just doing 1 loop. I headed back out for more and ran into Sonya, Kurt, Tony, Paul, Adam and Rick! It was great to meet up with the gang, doubled back as they finished that loop - some were done then and the rest of us did another 2 loops so I ended up with 23 which takes me over 60 for the week. I'm guessing next week will be an easier one. Hoping to hit a yoga class in Galway as I can definitely feel having missed it all week - found a studio in Las Vegas but couldn't make it having to do the work-dinner thing more often than I would have liked...

Last of the Winter Olympics today - watching the Mens Classic 50K - I can't imagine that repeat motion for 50K! The Womens race yesterday was awesome. 0.3 seconds between gold and silver! I was thrilled to see the Polish girl win - I think it was their first gold medal at the Winter Games - or possibly their first in skiing. The hockey game starts in an hour - should be a good one.