Welcome back to Feature Friday! Have you ever been to the airport and have everything that can go wrong, actually go wrong? I’ve definitely been in that boat, and it’s not a fun time. Talk about having your stress levels skyrocket! Today we have Kelly here with us, sharing a personal story of how things went wrong when she was at the airport.
Check In Chaos at JFK Airport
I knew I shouldn’t travel over the Christmas holidays, since the crowds are horrendous in American airports at this time of year. But when you work full time, you only get a limited number of days off and as a result, have to take advantage of any time off that you get.
So when my boss decided to go away for Christmas and New Years, I knew I had to satisfy my insatiable wanderlust and book an amazing trip. And I did, to Finland. But when I printed my tickets, the flight was bound for Stockholm, Sweden.
My first thought was, “Okay. This is fixable. Thank God I didn’t book any of my hotels because that would have been a disaster of epic proportions.” But my second thought was, “Hmm. Do I refund the tickets or not?”
Well, being the intrepid and spontaneous traveler that I am, I decided to go for it and travel to Sweden, even though I all I knew about Sweden was that they had IKEA and ABBA. I mean, how bad could it be? And seriously, who doesn’t love those Swedish meatballs at IKEA? Plus, no matter where you go, there is always something new to see and something fun to explore.
Because I was traveling during the holiday season, I knew JFK airport would have lines that stretched out as far as the eye could see. So, to save myself some time, I confirmed my flight with British Airways and checked in online. Only, I couldn’t check in online. Perplexed by my inability to check into my flight, I chocked it all up to my lack of technological prowess and resolved to suffer through the massive check in line at the airport the next day.
The following afternoon, I arrived at the airport about four hours early, and thank God because the length of the lines did not disappoint. Everywhere you looked you could see kids screaming, millennials updating their status as they checked into JFK on Facebook, parents freaking out about spending a week with their in-laws, and me. I just stood there in total awe of all the mayhem that was unfolding around me. I never imagined that an airport could be this crowded.
So even though I was a little perturbed by the line, my excitement won out and I let go of my anxiety because I had plenty of time to check in before my flight. Finally, after what seemed like a decade spent behind a couple that kept trying to suck each other’s faces off, I got to the British Airways ticket counter and handed over my passport.
I always get anxious when I hand over my passport, and this time was no exception. I don’t know why but I always innately feel like something will invariably go wrong and I won’t be allowed to board my flight. Well this time, my gut feeling won out because the next words I heard were, “I’m sorry, this isn’t your flight.”
Panic and anxiety quickly flooded through every cell of my body. A thousand thoughts swirled through my brain as I desperately tried to analyze the situation and come up with a viable solution.
Initially I thought I could just transfer to another terminal, but the representative assured me that if I did this, I would miss my flight since all the check in lines were quite long. That’s when my heart started to race and I began to feel a little nauseous. This was not the way I wanted to start my trip, but I would have to make the best of a cruddy situation.
I also felt like a total idiot because while I had traveled all over the world, I somehow couldn’t manage to check into the correct flight in my very own home state. Mentally, I prepared to book another fight. I mean, I am a traveler and there was no way that I wasn’t going to take advantage of my limited vacation time.
That’s when this British Airways representative gave me my own little Christmas miracle. She not only changed my flight and the time of my departure, but she also checked me in and even informed me that I was the fifth person to do this that day.
Thank God for her because without her, my holiday would have been totally ruined. I am indebted to her and will never forget her and how she made my vacation possible.
Thank you Kelly for sharing your story! I can’t even imagine what I would do if that situation happened to me. I’m so glad the representative was was so kind and so helpful. It’s so easy to forget to see them as human beings when things go wrong, as it’s so easy to point the finger and cast the blame; however, that’s not the way you handled things.
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Kelly currently lives in New York City and nannies on a full time basis. When she is not nannying, she is busy working on her travel blog. Any chance she gets, she travels the world because travel is in her soul. She loves to write and wants to use her blog to inspire others to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams. Connect with Kelly at the following: