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Travel itinerary- always check the fine print

Travel itinerary- always check the fine print2012-01-13T18:28:44+00:00

The Forums Forums Most X-treme! Dumbest Thing I've Done Travel itinerary- always check the fine print

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    Post count: 18

    My wife flew home to Washington State last night after spending 5 weeks in Texas caring for her aging parents. She had forwarded me her itinerary several days ago, and I saw she was scheduled to arrive at 8:00pm. This was great because it left me enough time to run a few errands, grab dinner, and still make it to Portland, Ore. from Olympia, Wa. – a two hour drive.

    Just as I arrived at the airport I received a text message saying she’d just landed and would call when she’d picked up her luggage. I congratulated myself for impeccable timing, and looked forward to getting home and catching up.

    She called a few minutes later and I headed the terminal to pick her up. Arrivals was pretty busy- lots of people and cars juggling for position- and I don’t see her in the area for her airline. As I leave Arrivals to circle back (TSA frowns on parking there), I call to ask where she’s standing-

    Her: I’m right under the Frontier sign. Where are you?

    Me: I just passed there and didn’t see you. I’m coming around again, so watch for me.

    I creep through Arrivals again, scrutinizing everyone there- no wife. I call again-

    Me: I just went by Frontier again and didn’t see you.

    Her (now slightly exasperated): I’m right under the Frontier sign, how can you not see me?

    Me: Did you see me?

    Her: No!

    Me: Are you sure you’re in Arrivals and not Departures (tip here: never patronize someone who’s spent all day traveling)?

    Her: I know where I am, Do you?

    Me: I’m in Arrivals! I just went by the Frontier sign again and didn’t see you. Tell me precisely where you are.

    Her: I’m between the Frontier and Virgin Airways signs

    Me: I’ve been by there a zillion times- no you!

    Her: I’m at the same place I always am when you pick me up!

    By now I’ve gone through Arrivals six or seven times, and Departures twice -just because, and haven’t seen a sign of her, or for Virgin Airways. This is getting very surreal. I’m thinking thoughts like “is there another Arrivals area I’ve missed?”, “this feels like a bad movie- something involving time-warp, or a 5th dimension (not the 60’s group)”, “is this what early onset Alzheimer’s feels like?”. I’m seriously thinking about stopping a policeman to ask if there’s another Arrivals area. While I’m circling the airport for the….??? time, she’s on the phone in tears. I’m stymied. I’m at a loss for a plan. Finally, in utter exasperation & frustration, I say (in my NOT indoor voice)-

    Me: Let’s start with the basics. I’m at the airport in Portland.

    Her: PORTLAND ?!?!

    Me: Portland

    Her: I’M IN SEATTLE !!! Didn’t you read my itinerary?


    Me:……………(insert period of silence while I digest this)…Seattle?

    Her (now fully engulfed in tears): YES, SEATTLE !!!

    Me (now thinking “sh*t, this is bad on so many levels”): I’ll be right there.

    In play and film dialogue scripts there’s a term for “insert a period of time here”. I’ll just say

    “three hours later…”

    I arrive at the Arrivals area at Sea-Tac airport (the airport the does have a Virgin Airways sign after Frontier) in Seattle to collect my exhausted- emotionally and physically -wife, and her six pieces of luggage she’s been schlepping around the airport for 4+ hours now.

    We arrived home a bit after 1:30am this morning.

    This will be funny some day…I’m thinking today may not be it.


    Post count: 1096

    Oh Gary that’s priceless!! You’re right – it WILL be funny to you both one day – in about 10 years or so. But at least it’s funny for US now! Think you need to buy her some flowers, dinner out somewhere nice…etc….etc….



    Post count: 18

    Agreed, these are best retold over a bottle of good wine…and a few years.


    Post count: 303

    Get flowers, wine, chocolate, make dinner and clean the house. If you do that today, in a month, if you’re lucky, it’ll be funny.

    My brother and I left my mom at Seatac once. She was sooo mad! She left us, two of her MANY ADHD kids, to pick her up. Well, we get it from Dad. He wouldn’t have done any better. However, nothing made it better. That was 20+ years ago. I’m not sure it’s safe to bring it up with Mom, yet.


    Post count: 18

    OK- update:

    My therapist wrote to ask if I made this up (!?!?). Truth IS stranger than fiction and, while I can certainly create some interesting fiction, nothing could touch this. Every word is true.

    Rick, Pat, Dr. J-

    If you guys read this, I’m available to tell this in the (hopeful) sequel to the video, complete with a testament to authenticity by my wife. She’s actually a pretty good sport about this stuff, and I’ll be surprised if it’s not already on her FaceBook page.

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