Saturday, January 5, 2008

Flight #2: The airport riots

First, a fun fact: Try and guess how much $$ was charged on Poker Chick's credit card for in-flight movies. For background, the card was passed around several times between the mini's seat, PC and her entourage. The person who guesses closest receives a special treat.

The flight home. As Poker Chick's luggage did not arrive on the way over (it was delivered 12 hours later), all made sure to check in over an hour before our flight. Except for bathroom trips it was a relatively calm flight. The mini slept and so did Poker Chick's arm underneath her. We finally saw Superbad. We drank milkshakes. We landed on time. It was good.

Hey you! You didn't think it'd be that easy, did you?
We got off the plane and waited for a while at baggage claim, but figured it was no big deal because there were 2 other flights on the same carousel and their luggage was still coming out. We saw many other people still waiting for luggage from our flight so figured bags from our flight just hadn't come out yet. 30 minutes later, Poker Chick began to think something was amiss.

She got in a relatively long line at baggage services to see what was up. Before she got to the front, there were ten times the number of people behind her as there were in front of her. Everyone had pretty much figured out that if the bags weren't coming out yet, they weren't coming out.

Guess what happened?
That's right. Virtually all the bags on our flight never made the plane. No explanation. They even admitted "LAX dropped the ball on this one." You think? They said it was on the next plane. So we asked what time that was, figuring if we left 6 hours earlier the next plane was already in the air.

Guess what happened?
They admitted the bags were still in LAX. They promised we'd get them "in a couple of days". That was it. No voucher, not even an "I'm sorry". Not even an admission of the fact that instead of "Welcome to New York, your bags are on carousel 3" perhaps the captain might have wanted to confess "Good news! We arrived early at gate XX. Unfortunately, your bags did not. See baggage services at [insert directions] to file a report." Sucky, but it wouldn't have been an outright lie. Frustrated and disappointed, we couldn't accept this response as DinDin and Linster were continuing to Europe the next day and needed their bags ASAP. We needed a drop dead date and a contingency plan. Unfortunately, "Lloyd" (as he called himself) was not only unhelpful but also an utter jack*ss. So we asked to see a supervisor.

Guess what happened?
That's right, he said no. We asked for the name of his supervisor and his working hours. He said there was no one and we should call the Delta 800#. We asked for the direct dial of the desk he was at and who would be there the next morning. He said you had to go through the Delta 800#. We asked how the heck his wife contacted him and he replied she had to use his cell phone. We asked for a direct phone # to file a report and were directed only to the 800#. Outraged, Poker Chick declared she was not leaving the desk (and moving along the now redonculously long line) until she got someone to speak to other than an 800 with a 45 minute wait time and an electronic operator.

Now pay attention, peeps. Here's where the story gets interesting. Here's where the passenger unrest began. Poker Chick was making a stink. She wasn't quite at yelling range yet, but it was close. People knew exactly what was going on.

After 20 minutes of saying there was no supervisor, "Lloyd" finally made a mysterious phone call and said if we stepped aside a supervisor was on his way down to talk to us about our "situation". This is where PC made a huge mistake. She stepped aside.

Guess what happened?
20 minutes later, there was no supervisor and the passenger at the desk was even angrier than Poker Chick. Also, he was a very very large, muscular man - and probably from somewhere in Africa judging by his accent and appearance. He did not look like the kind of guy you want to get on the bad side of. Neither did his very large and also very angry friend. He saw Poker Chick was still waiting and refused to move until a supervisor actually appeared. He was now yelling. He was pointing fingers. Everyone was afraid but also chering him on. Unfortunately, he also used the "f" word. Apparently this gave "Lloyd" license to call security rather than his boss. This triggered anger in our large friend and led to his telling "Lloyd" to "do your mother f-ing job!". The F-bomb was used a lot after that, like a machine gun. It was awesome.

The cops showed up. Chaos ensued. Everyone was yelling at once. PC and DinDin led the other passengers in immediately telling the cops "this guy didn't do anything wrong!" At the same time, everyone vented their individual stories out loud, throwing them out as if they were tickets on a trading floor. "I'm traveling alone with two kids!" "I'm going to a funeral and can't go in jeans!" "I've never been to New York and don't even have a toothbrush!". And so on and so on. It was a huge riot. Seriously. Everyone let it all out.

Guess what happened?
We wish we knew. When a supervisor finally showed up, the only thing Poker Chick managed to obtain was a free cab home and a direct address to file a report and how to get an actual answer (Note: it was now 3am. All the other passengers had either given up, or were taken into custody. We're not sure which). The next day, she spent 5 hours on the phone to find out the luggage had arrived in JFK a few hours later and was sitting in a warehouse where it would sit for 12 more hours before being delivered. This was too late for the European flight.

Guess how the story ends?
Poker Chick and Linster took a cab to Queens and back to get the bags themselves. They are sending Delta the bill, along with a claim for significant damage to two brand new suitcases.

Stay tuned for the nail-biting conclusion....two years from now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. I only watched 1 movie! It's the mini I tell ya! Give her a card an she'll go wild!!

2. I forgot to tell you but it was soooo smart to go to the desk b4 everyone else!! Go PC Power!!