SNAFU @ JFK

It is great if you live in NYC and can occasionally get away from NYC. Like we did for Christmas and New Year’s. We went to Akumal, about an hour south of Cancun.

12/24/09

Well, at the beginning, we had a little SNAFU (that stands for yes, Systems Normal All F’ed Up) at the airport.

See, Mom, in her inimicable wisdom and frugality made two separate reservations for the American Airlines flight to Cancun – one for she and Hayden with frequent flier miles and the other through Orbitz for Chris and the girls.

But when they arrived at the airport with an hour to spare (we would’ve had a lot more time but we had to drop off that stupid hamster in Washington Heights and we followed the GPS way to the airport instead of my favorite way the Triboro Bridge (now called the RFK bridge). Any way.

The passports were not accepted at the kiosks. We were vaulted to the front of the line and an agent named Precious came back after 20 minutes to inform us that she was able to ticket Chris, Char and Cat, but she could not find mine nor Hayden’s reservations. It was now 3:50. Our flight at 4:30. Those who had tickets had to go because the flight was boarding.

Here’s how we coped. Catherine said, “I don’t want to go without mom.” Chris said, “We’re going with or without Mom and Hayden.” I said, “I’m sure it’ll work out.” Hayden said, “I’ll go back to the city and stay with Nick for the week.” Char texted Kenna.
“I got a brand new phone for Christmas!”

Chris and the girls headed towards security. I said to Precious, “I was sure that I had a reservation. I just checked the reservation yesterday. I remember because I tried to get us seats near each other. No seats were open.”

Finally Precious located my so-called reservation. And guess what? Our flight was for day, indeed, but for the morning flight. And that was hours ago. But Precious and a few other agents found a way to re-instate us. But suddenly the computer was giving Precious and her colleague trouble. Time was ticking away. It was about 4:10.

“Good luck!” Precious and the agents called as they we handed us our passports with the airline tickets tucked in. We still had to get through security.

We only had to cut in front of one person – a kind, tall, blonde college student – to get to the front of the security checkpoint. Then we ran, dragging our rolling carts, up and down escalators to our gate. We saw Catherine at the top of the escalator.

Hayden described her stance as that of a relay runner, waiting for the baton – her body poised forward, her hand reaching back to grab our luggage. For Hayden, that was the highlight of the day, seeing Catherine ready to help us run our luggage to the gate.

When I saw Catherine, I knew we would make it. We were the last to board that flight for Cancun. We were grateful. Chris told me on the flight, “I was sure you wouldn’t make it.”

“But I knew we were on the flight. I had tried to get us to sit near each other and I couldn’t.”

“It’s hard to get seats near each other when you’re on separate flights,” Chris noted wryly.

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