We made it to Nosara on Friday after a long day of travel. Our flight was at 6am out of Charleston so we got up around 3:45, woke up the kiddos at 4 (both of which were surprisingly happy) and left downtown at 4:45. I had suggested to Dewey that get to the airport a bit more than an hour in advance given that it was international travel but he poo pooed my idea reminding me how easy it is to sail through our airport. Jokes is on us.
We had a bit of a strange scenario with this trip because Fields turns 2 while we are here. So he travels as a lap infant on the way down but he will be a ticketed passenger on the way home. I had called the airline back in May, spent over an hour getting it sorted, paid with a credit card over the phone for a one way ticket and was given a separate confirmation number. Two days before we left we got an automated call from American Airlines saying that they needed some additional information to get us checked in so I waited to be connected to an agent. Once I got through I gave them the info they needed (passport numbers and such) and asked them to double check on Fields and his separate confirmation number. After a brief hold they let me know that the record locator I had given them had been cancelled due to non payment. I explained that they had taken payment over the phone when I booked it in May so I was not only confused but starting to freak out a bit. They came back on the line to let me know that the good news was there was plenty of room on the return flight but the bad news was I would need to purchase a one way ticket for him which was now going to be $1100. This is when I almost lost my cool. We spent the next hour hashing through the notes with supervisors and I eventually got little man a ticket home for the backdated amount of $170. Insert sigh of relief…
So we show up to the airport with 56 minutes until our plane departs only to find out at check in that after all my efforts on the phone they failed to finish the final step. The woman at the desk was incredibly kind and apologetic but it did take us 20 minutes to sort through. We wrap up and round the corner to a very short precheck line and I’m feeling ok about making the flight. When my bag goes through it gets pulled aside so Maris and I decide to wait with the bag while they bring someone over to “test” it. Dewey and Fields continued to the gate assuming we were going to be just a minute. 15 minutes later and 2 alarms on my bag Maris and I are RUNNING to the gate to make the flight. We had 1 minute before the doors were closing and we wouldn’t have been allowed to board. We had packed a small roller with my camera and computers so we wouldn’t have to lug them on our backs but when we got to the plane they were out of overhead storage so in a total cluster we handed the bag off thinking it would be available when we got off in Miami. We shlepped our stuff back to the only open seats (we were definitely those people) when the gate attendant came back with a claim check for our roller that had just been checked all the way through. Internally I was totally losing it but I think I looked like I was holding it together. Surrounding passengers may have had a different story. The flight attendant came back and offered us an upgrade to first class due to all the chaos which we gladly accepted. I was a little gun shy after our crazy passenger encounter on the flight to Colorado but the honeymooners in front of us were incredibly kind.
The flight to Colorado went something like this:
We landed in Colorado thinking we nailed it. Fields did some happy yelling but maybe 6 minutes of tears the whole flight. Good right? Wrong…
The woman in front of us stands up while we are getting ready to deplane and turns around to us and quietly says “terrible parents” while shaking her head. I am SO shocked I don’t even know how to react so I start to gather our things while simultaneously gathering my thoughts about what it is I am going to say to her when I see her in the airport. The family next to us had just finished commenting on how well the kids did and I was totally caught off guard by the crazy lady to say the least. So I have a million things running through my head that I would like to say to her if I see her only to find her waiting for us at the gate exit to reiterate her feelings. We board the moving walkway together and while we all move towards baggage claim with her 8 feet behind us the rest goes something like this…
Crazy Lady: Your children were terrible on that flight. The screaming was out of control.
Me: Really? I thought we crushed it…
CL: You need to have a talk with that little boy
Me: With all due respect ma’am he isn’t even two so I’m not sure he would totally understand but I welcome you to give it a go
CL: try a cracker
Me: have you seen my snack bag? do you think I was just relaxing back there with magazines?
CL: I travelled with three children and they NEVER acted like that
CL: You should be ashamed of them
Me: Choose joy today. (I really wanted to say f*ck off but since my kids were watching I took the high road)
We drifted off to find the restrooms and saw her back at baggage claim where her bag seemed to be the only one that didn’t make it. I wanted to walk past one more time and quietly mention that Karma’s a bitch but instead I just gave her a wave and big smile from across the empty moving belt.
It was a learning experience for all. While our travel may not always be seamless we are doing the best that we can. Is there really any other option?