Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the worst (travel) day of my life

thursday, may 26th we awoke bright and early, finished packing and drove an hour north to zurich where i had, hands down, the worst series of flight and airport experiences of my life. 

i was that person who was checked - and double checked - at every point possible. i was that person who was patted down at security. i was that person who had their meticulously packed carry-on bag dumped out onto the metal table and then run through the x-ray scanner FOUR times. i was that person who was patted down and groped at zurich and jfk. 

in new york, when i was trying to catch my soon-to-leave connection to boston, i set off the alarm {who knows why - i got through that part fine in zurich!} and stood for 20 minutes while the rudest employee known to man refused to even let me try again. it wasn't until another employee came, assessed the situation {and was truly confused at the actions of her fellow employee}, patted me down and sent me on my way. 

when i arrived at customs in new york city, the man at the passport check did not believe the woman in my passport picture was me. granted it was five years ago {gasp!} and my hair was in a pony tail, not down like in the picture...and i had glasses on while traveling {which i took off for him}. i can see how one would be so confused. i'm sure it's never happened to him before. i provided my driver license but he still didn't believe it was me. the landing card i provided asked where i was going in the united states. because i was headed to boston {and my plane ticket said so}, i provided the address of the hotel in boston where i would be staying - per instructions of the flight attendant that day. when my california driver license and the address on my passport didn't match the address of the hotel in boston, he asked to see a third picture id. i'm not sure about you, but i don't know of many adults who are no longer in school that have a third picture id????

he questioned me about where i had been and who i had been traveling with. when he learned i had traveled with three others but they weren't here with me now, he got suspicious. and why, if i had a daughter and i was going to a conference specifically for her, was she not with me?, etc., etc. he questioned me for 20 minutes before my tears got the better of me and he let me through. 
so much for my much-anticipated "welcome home."

as for ed and lindsey, their connecting flight out of atlanta was delayed for a loooooooooooong time and they didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning. 

as for ryan, his flight was flat out cancelled. he thought he had a few hours at the zurich airport, but they got him on an earlier flight and he ended up running to catch it. but he made it safely to salt lake and to sweet little leah. 

i finally made it to boston, on time, and {barely} in one piece. and i went to bed early.


Shannon said...

Awe, Maren, this sounds awful! I'm sorry that you had to go through all of that. My MIL works for Delta, and she says that when they print your boarding pass, it randomly gives a certain kind of code/number on the pass that gives you a big target on your back for airport security. So, if they're looking at your pass and see the special code, they will search you. It's supposed to help prevent profiling, but it sounds like these people went above and beyond their duty to just plain meanness. So glad you finally made it to Boston.

Michelle said...

holy crap, are you kidding?!!!!! Could it have gotten any worse! I'm so sorry you had to go through that! Seriously, the post made me cringe. losers!

Jessica said...

This is truly frightening! I'm glad you survived and made it back to the country. What a way to end the amazing trip!