Trip Starts with a Bang

The line of people waiting to be appeased by the sole unexpecting Etihad customer service agent.

The line of people waiting to be appeased by the sole unexpecting Etihad customer service agent.

August 17, 2009: After an emotional goodbye in Boston I figured I was finally on my way. Slightly excited, and mildly anxious, I put my fears at rest in the short flight from Boston to JFK because I had done my homework: I had reconfirmed my flight, procured an aisle seat, and checked my bags, which only made it under the checked baggage weight limit by about an ounce.

That was until I arrived at JFK. After traversing the endless moving walkways, taking a chain of escalators upstairs and downstairs, and boarding an elevated train that can take you from Queens to Terminal 4 in a matter of minutes, I arrived at the checkin location for Etihad airways. I saw hundreds of families gathered around the checkin counters with countless bags and even more children milling about. I snickered to myself knowing that these poor saps hadn’t checked in online like I had.

Five minutes later I learned that my flight, the only Etihad flight, was cancelled, due to some mechanical issue. It was then that I realized that all of those ‘poor saps’ were ahead of me in line to get on the next available flight. By the  time I reached customer service, I could only get a flight for Wednesday, August 19th, two days later.

Instead of waiting on line for limited hotel vouchers and further frustration, I went to find the two bags I had checked in Boston. There was a line of bags in the baggage claim, but of course none that resembled mine. After several minutes of a creative discussion with the local baggage attendent, I determined that my best course of action was to forget about them, assume that the airline would put them in storage when they surfaced, and I would retrieve them two days later before my flight. So I hopped a cab to NYC with my two carry on bags, and met up with my friend Nick for a beer or three.

August 18, 2009: After several increasingly irritated calls to every possible JFK customer service number that I could find, I realized that no one knows where my bags are. I meet up with Nappy to hang out in the NYU library for a bit and surf the web and hope that my bags will surface tomrrow at JFK. Fingers crossed…

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