As I was rocking up to Perth Airport, I was talking about missing flights and ‘who does that?’
As it turns out, I do.
After talking to a ton of people about rocking up to NYC on the 13th – that date got kind of stuck in my head. The 13th.
So I rock up to the check-in counter and the woman looked at me: you’re not on the flight, she says.
I went cold, so cold.
My itinerary glared at me. The 12th. THE 12TH. WTF.
I was lucky The Mister was with me to check in. He immediately called the right people and within an hour, I was boarded on the flight I wasn’t supposed to be on. A 10-hour-straight haul to Abu Dhabi. I managed to have slept most of the way.
Abu Dhabi airport is big. Real big. And they have a pre-customs service which means you can get it done during your stop-over, rather than in the U.S.
It took me about 3 km of walking to find the pre-customs check in. Blister ensued.
So I began the process, which was all OK. Until I realised I was tipped as a person who was to undergo ‘extended process’. Far out.
I was taken to a bright, sterile-like room that was full of, curiously, women.
After a good 20 minutes and ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ under-breath mutterings, I heard an Arabic man butcher some poor sod’s name before I realised it was mine.
My carry-on luggage was checked twice and I was taken to a women’s frisking room where I was patted down.
I was convincing myself it was all random, which it probably was, but nevertheless it was concerning to me. I didn’t want to attract that kind of attention.
I finally got through all the hoops and hopped on the last plane on the route to NYC.
I dropped another sleeping pill but it didn’t work. The food, which I’m never that fussy about, was super gross. The availability of water wasn’t great and while I was on an aisle seat, my fellow row buddies were the type that needed to go to the loo every 20 minutes.
I was also used to nice hosties. Not on this Etihad flight. There was a fussy baby in the row next to me, and this crew member went nuts at the nicqab-wearing woman to stop the baby from annoying everyone. I feel really sorry for her, it wasn’t her fault. The hostie had another go at the woman’s small boy who was clearly tired, shaking his arm and ‘stop crying, eat your food now!’. It was pretty full-on.
So, finally, I land in America. I got a cab and took the 20-minute ride into Manhattan. I was excited. I was tired.
Got to my hotel and was psyching myself up for a shower and a couple of hours’ sleep.
If you miss a flight, expect a chain of events that are pure punishment. This next obstacle was named Martha. And she went out of her way to not help me find out what happened to my booking. I simply didn’t exist. She just said there was no record of me, at all. Not even the day before when I was meant to show up.
Enter my second call to Flight Centre to sort this. So we found the mistake: I was meant to be rooming with another traveller, Katie someone. The entire booking was under Katie’s name. WTF.
SO I FINALLY RE-BOOK A SINGLE ROOM.
I shower and get changed, and realise there’s no free wifi. So I sigh, sit on the bed.
I wake, 15 hours later.
So much lost time.
It’s now about 5.30am, I’m in a Starbucks, waiting for the shops to open.
I’m going to SMASH today. I mean, I have to, it’s my first and last day here before I head to Philly.
Lesson: read your goddam itinerary.