Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wrath of Newark (or my incompetence)

I hate a few choice people who work at the Newark airport. I don't mean hate as in, "Gee whiz! That lady just ticked me off." I mean hate as in, "I wish upon her what I would not wish upon my worst enemies." For all that know me, I am not a hateful person. I more or less try to get along to...get along, so to 'hate' someone is a pretty big step.

After a blissful weekend in New York, I set off toward the airport to go back home (dear Salt Lake City). My sister's roommate was kind enough to drive me the ten minutes to the Newark Airport from Hoboken. Here is where we hit the first snag. It had been raining that day. Not debilitating rain, but a fairly good amount. Apparently, rain in New Jersey means that you plan an extra hour to your travel time regardless your destination. OK. Recap. I left an hour and a half before my plane was scheduled to depart. I was maybe 10 minutes away from the airport. We hit a brick wall of traffic. Damn.

What should have taken five minutes turned into 45 minutes. Yikes, I thought. I should probably call the airport! I found the number for the airport via trusty 411. I spoke with a very nice lady and explained my situation:

"I am sitting in traffic on the New Jersey turnpike. I will not make the 30 minute check in. I need to know if I should reschedule my flight now or if I should try to make it."

"This happens all the time. You should be fine. As long as you're there...have you checked in?" asked the cheery airport lady.

"No, I haven't." This was a HUGE mistake on my part. Dummy Candace. I definitely should have checked in before leaving the house. "I don't suppose I can do that over the phone?"

"No, I'm sorry. But find a representative as soon as you get to the airport. No problem. It really happens all the time."

After checking and rechecking with the airport lady, I hung up the phone with a new found determination. I can make it!

I got to the airport 20 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. I found the first representative I saw and asked for her assistance as my plane was leaving very shortly. The woman told me to stand in a line. "Please," I said. "I can't wait in a line. I have been stuck in traffic and my plane is leaving soon." The woman was annoyed but complied to my state of panic. She pulled up the flight on her computer. "Your flight has been delayed. You have plenty of time. Go to the line for the curbside service. It shorter than the line inside." I thanked her and stood in line outside.
After about five minutes (which seemed like an eternity) I reached the front of the line. I handed the man my ID and he handed it back to me saying it was too late. "Someone sent me out here to check in with you," I pleaded with the man. He shook his head and told me to go inside and wait in the line inside. "They can help you in there."

Angry, annoyed, and frustrated, I ran inside and stood in the line. When I got to the front of the line I explained, yet again my circumstance. The woman at the counter told me that she needed to go get someone else (her manager, I assume). I waited and waited knowing that I was screwed and that it was no one else's fault but my own. I was angry and panicked. The manager approached the desk and asked to hear my story. I started again and told her about the traffic, the phone call, the lines, and the advice I had gotten up to this point. The woman was apathetic and told me that my seat was given away a half an hour ago. She told me that whoever I had spoken with did not know what they were talking about. Also, if I had spent an hour in traffic, maybe I should have left an hour earlier. Good bye.

I was FUMING MAD!!! I understand she probably gets these sob stories all day, but for the love of God. Show some empathy. Even if you can't help me, don't be a total bitch about it.

So, I left the next day after a penalty for missing the flight. I love that airline. I will fly it ALWAYS! Arg. What a Bitch.

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