Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why airline travel sucks

Yesterday - August 27, 2007 - a day which will live in infamy. Karen and Hope endured a day of travel which was suddenly and undeliberately of the suck-ass variety.

I arrived at the Ottawa airport to find out that my flight was delayed by two hours. Oh well, we would just do a bit of shopping, eat our little dinner and I would let Hope crawl around.

Baggage check. The woman saw something suspiciously like a knife on the scanner when my bag went through. She unpacked part of the bag. Sent the bag through again. Still a knife, or to quote her: "there is definitely a knife in your bag." She was starting to sound agitated. Not as agitated as me, who very well knew there was no knife in my bag. Turns out that Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment looks suspiciously like a knife to this woman. Look for it to be banned fairly soon.

U.S. Customs (which you clear in Ottawa). Did I have a letter notarized by my husband allowing me to travel alone with this child? Um, no. Do I need that? Angry customs agent then decided to let me go through. Apparently the fact that my last name is different from Hope's sends these people into a right state. Never mind the fact that my last name is her second middle name and right there on her damn passport. I suppose his small pea-sized brain wasn't able to process the fact that having the same last name as your child still doesn't preclude you from trying to kidnap them. Just ask that woman in South Carolina. Oh well, at least he was able to unleash his venom on my socialist homeland by suggesting that "maybe you should take your husband's name instead. Gee, what a novel idea!" Seriously. He said that. Seriously, I wanted to beat him with my socialist passport.

Gate. I couldn't find my boarding pass. I had Hope's only. It wasn't an e-ticket so not having my pass was a SERIOUS problem. I looked everywhere. Either it was never issued or it was left behind at the site of the great de-bagging of 2007. And yet somehow Mr. Pickle Up His Ass Customs Agent somehow let me through without it. I guess he was too blinded by my feminist ideals. Woman at gate let me go through anyway because she didn't know what else to do and oh, because I was starting to cry. Just a little. Thought it might sway things my way.

Arrive Chicago with an hour to spare before my connection. Oh, actually 3 hours because the flight to Austin has been delayed until 10:30. I make my way to the gate with all my crap. I set it all down at one point to put Hope in the sling because I'm feeling like an overburdened camel. She squawks a bit causing Mr. Big Fat Cell Phone dude to shoot me a look that could kill. He's lucky my hands were full because otherwise his cellphone would be elbow distance up his ever expanding ass. What's with the low tolerance in the U.S. of babies crying once in a while? And I won't even begin to talk about breastfeeding in public....

Arrive at gate. Turns out flight is delayed to 11:30. This means I have 4 hours to sit in what has to be the crappiest departure gate in O'Hare. You'd think Hope would have lost it. I seriously didn't pull one toy out in 4 hours. She was captivated by the following: a water bottle, the planes landing and filling and luggage moving etc, the people around us, my marble cake from Starbucks, the gate attendants shoes, the pillar with the peeling paint, the chairs, the carpet, herself. She was nothing short of astounding.

Finally get on a plane at 11:20ish. Arrive Austin 1:45 local time.

Damn I'm tired.

Kate is so beautiful though and I'm totally thrilled to be here.


Anonymous said...

Aagh! What a ridiculous ordeal! You survived it though, kudos to you!!
Have a great time with your sister, brother-in-law and your wonderfully sweet niece (I saw pics on Beth's website...she is beautiful!). May Hope continue to delight in herself and surroundings and sleep for you too!

Shan said...

Sorry you had such a rough trip Karen. I can't believe that comment. That was uncalled for. At least you're there now and enjoying time with your new niece.