Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bad Luck With Good Journeys

While I was on my way to the airport to board a flight to Chile, my brother called me and said, "I can't board my plane. I'm stuck in Dallas. My passport expired."

Scott was in Vegas, and he asked me to book him a flight with my miles to South America. (I've accrued millions of miles in my youth.) We were supposed to meet in Dallas, Texas and then fly out together to South America. That wasn't happening now.

He didn't know what to do. He was stuck in Dallas with a boarding pass to Chile, but he couldn't get on board. I said I'd meet him in Dallas, and we'd both figure it out together.

I boarded my flight. I napped. The nap was longer than expected. I thought to myself, This flight is taking a long time to depart.

The Captain switched on the speakers and said, "We're having difficulty departing. The door isn't locking. It shouldn't be much longer until we fix the issue."

One hour turned into two. That's when I knew I missed my flight from Dallas to Chile.

A number of us got off the airplane. We had to rebook our tickets.

While waiting in line for the customer service agent, I noticed an effeminate and tall male hogging up all the time with one of the ticketing agents. There was a line. He was complaining about how he couldn't get into Chile. He was so demanding asking the agent to check every route from Dallas to Miami to partner airlines. He uttered, "Oh my God" every other sentence. He was hogging up time.

He also had the worst fashion sense. He wore these ugly neon blue pants that hugged his butt too tight. Not a pretty sight.

When I got to the agent, she re-booked me on another airline for a direct flight to Santiago. I was torn as to whether I should layover in Dallas to see my brother, who told me he was thinking of flying back to Los Angeles to get an emergency visa - only to fly back to Dallas - or go to Chile.

The good news was that American Airlines, without a fee, rebooked my brother to Chile from Dallas a few days out. In the end though, I made the decision to not fly to Dallas because he needed to sort out his passport and me being there wasn't going to help or hurt the situation.

In five minutes, I had everything sorted with the booking agent. The airlines gave me a hotel by LAX. I suppose I could've went back home, but this would not have been an easy feat. Without a car, it'd be a hassle to get home and back. So, I'd be staying in a hotel in my own home city. It felt like a vacation without really being one.

The diva was still on the phone. So, I decided to give him a piece of my mind. I think all the stress of litigation had just winded up in me, and I needed to vent. "Hey - " I said, "you know how selfish you are? There are people waiting in line. You've been at this for thirty minutes."

He said, "Excuse me?"

I said, "You heard me. You know how selfish you are? Just take whatever they give you. Or, just come back later when everyone is done. There are 15 people waiting."

"How dare you?! Just mind your own business."

"It is my business because you held me up in the line - just like you're holding up everyone. Now get real and grow up." The diva was in his late 40's and 50's, which to me showed he wasn't acting his age. It seemed like he came from a family where he got whatever he wanted.

He turned his back to me and said: "Humph."

I called my brother and told him everything. He said he didn't know whether he should cancel the trip and return. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know if Dallas could handle his passport request.

A woman tapped me and said, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. I work for the State Department. Tell your brother to get an emergency passport in Dallas at the post office or Federal Building."

"Well, I didn't know they had a Federal Building in Dallas."

"They do."

"The Post Office won't work for a same day passport. It hasn't since nine eleven."

"I didn't know that."

"But the Federal Building - now that might work."

I called Scott and told him to get a same day passport at the Federal Building. He said he would try.

I walked into the Admiral Lounge. I have a pass. There, I saw the diva again. He couldn't believe someone that looked like me in casual clothes and at my age had access to the premium lounge. I met his scornful stare with words: "I see the selfish person is back."

"That's right."

He turned his back to me and humphed again. What a diva, I thought.

I got a little food. I took out my computer. I started writing, thinking, and wondering about what laid ahead.

Scott called and told me to save money, he'd stay in a sleazy hotel in Dallas.

After finishing my writing, I went to my hotel. There, I ordered a Micheleda (a Mexican drink of beer and tomato juice) and a steak on the airline's dime. The bartender was Mexican and appreciated I ordered a Michelada. We talked in Spanish. I told him everything that happened. He gave me a free drink and extra beer. The steak was a little better than average.

Scott called me the next morning. He got his passport. I boarded my flight too.

I watched four movies on the flight. The new X-Men movie impressed me. All the flight attendants on LAN were very nice to me, especially because I could speak Spanish. One flight attendant asked if I was an exchange student going to Chile to improve my Spanish. (Only if I was really so young.)

I sat next to a Brazilian couple. I didn't know how to feel about them. I think they were newly weds. And they were very kind. Except, the airline comped me my own row because of my troubles. Since they were originally seated apart, they took the rest of my row. I could've used that row to sleep more. I mean was it going to kill them to sit apart for 15 hours. I didn't know how to feel about them.

After the long flight of 15 hours, I waited another four at the airport - waiting for my brother. I sat at a cafe, using my computer and the internet. I wanted to sleep. I had not slept on the airplane. I saw that my brother's flight had arrived. I met him at the arrival gate. We made it to Chile together - finally.

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