A Rozy View on Life

I am John Rozelle, hear me ROAR like a dinosaur!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The airline gods must be crazy

I show up to the airline counter to find a line of angry customers. The cause of their frustration: multiple delayed flights to and from Chicago. I joined them in their concern, as my flight to Croatia was originally intended to go from Wichita to Chicago to Frankfurt to Zagreb, Croatia. Recognizing that my initial flight was to be delayed, I employed a particular strategy that I learned while studying at Wichita State University. It is called logic. Based on my deduction, I realized that if I were to miss my first flight, I would in turn miss the rest of my flights, thereby arriving in Croatia long after my team.
I approached the counter with my 95 lb bag, 75 lb bag, and two carry-ons (standard for those overseas travelers). The airline employee at the desk concurred with my deductions and readied herself to help me in my dilemma. I asked if there was a possibility of flying out of Denver instead, and she looked into the situation. During her search, she recognized that I purchased my ticket through a travel agent, to which she stated, “Never do that again.” Upon realizing I had a paper ticket (due to the travel agent), she stated, “Never do that again.” So, we’re off to a good start.
To save time (an American value called “multi-tasking”) she asked how many bags I would be checking and how much they weighed, while she still worked on my connecting flights. She was not impressed with my answer, and consulted some international guidelines. It would cost me and additional 300 some dollars for the heavy bags. In her near-infinite kindness, she continued to look into regulations and discovered I could get by with only paying $120 if I could transfer enough of the weight over to a third bag. Lucky for me, I had packed my army duffle bag.
While transferring my skivvies from one bag to another and continually weighing the bags to achieve proper weight distribution, many frustrated customers watched as I publicly handled my base layer of clothing. At this point I am also holding up the rest of the line, but luckily did not receive any verbal abuse.
The kind employee then asked me if I had a visa to Croatia. Upon heartily laughing to myself, I stated, “No, but it is in process.” Oh, how many times have I made that statement? Way too many. She then question my period stay in Croatia to which the response was, “One year.” She replied, “Well, it says here that you cannot enter the country unless you have a visa or return ticket for within six months.” Cleary I had neither.
Once again, in her near-infinite kindness, she made another call to see what could potentially be done. While on hold she apologizes for the wait, but mentions that there could be a $20,000 fine for the airline for letting me on the plane.
I also ask her if it is a big problem that my last name is misspelled on my ticket (only one letter off). Her reply, “Yes, that’s a big problem.” “Uh-huh, I see…..” I think to myself. She says that all that will happen is that I will be double searched at all the checkpoints. “Yippee,” I sarcastically think to myself.
Eventually the conclusion comes. She says that it would suffice to give me a formal warning that I could be deported from Croatia. Like this is the first time I have heard that. I feared something worse.
She states that is one seat left on the flight to Denver, then also one seat left on the flight from Denver to Frankfurt, then proceeds to book them both for me. It seems that everything is going to work out just fine.
Then, once again in her near infinite-kindness, she says that she will not charge me for exceeding the weight limit on one of my three bags, and also will not charge me for my extra bag. What once seemed grim turned into a quite pleasant experience. Thank you, my unnamed near infinitely-kind airline employee. You have made my life much more enjoyable, and to you I salute.

The airline saga continues……..


  • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Taylor said…

    So how on earth did you end up in DC? John, we are never letting you fly alone again. :) We're glad you're safe though, and not stuck in some random country with an overcrowded airport and mean airport employees (Frankfurt).

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger zoran said…

    Hm, having worked everything out, how is it that you are coming here a day late? Hang in there :)

  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Emily said…

    You are a real kick in the pants. And I always appreciate someone who's really worked on the spiritual gift of sarcasm. Glad you're on your way-ish.

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger The Fritz's said…

    I have had a similar story about me and a light bulb. I will have to tell you about it sometime. Besides that, I am glad you made it to the other side.

  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Carolyn said…

    OK so I made the reservation, got the paper ticket and spelled his name wrong... I think I owe John...

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Matt Mikalatos said…

    Carolyn... I think you mean "Jon".



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