Saturday, June 27, 2009

where's eric?

I better start from the beginning.

Our flight was scheduled for 8:30pm take off time to Calgary from Toronto.

I have needed to see the doctor for the past month because my allergies have been devastatingly bad this year. I've upped my Loratadine intake to 20mg a day, but it has not helped in the least bit. I wanted some prescription eye drops from the doctor, but being the consummate procrastinator, I decided that I didn't need to go see one until 4:30pm. That's 4 hours before flight time.

I drove out to the local walk-in clinic that was 3 minute away driving time. Arriving, I found the doors locked. As luck would have it, there was a note stating that June 26th was going to be closed and they were sorry for the convenience. That was today.

Heading over to a nearby pharmacy, I ask the pharmacist to recommend eye drops. She said my best bet was to see a doctor, and that there was another walk-in clinic right next door.

"Bonus!" I say to myself, and walked over.

I registered and waited. Lots of people ahead of me. One and a half hour later, I saw the doctor for all of 30 seconds, and he gave me a script for eye drops and more oral medication.

Walking back to the pharmacy, the drugs would take 15 minutes to dispense. So I left after submitting my order, because I had to pick up Cankles from her work so we could get Captain Obvious to drive us.

I picked her up, dropped her off at my place, went back out to the pharmacy to retrieve my meds and I went back to my residence to rendezvous with Cankles and Captain Obvious. we arrive at the airport by 7:55 pm.

Since we had e-tickets and had already online checked-in our luggage, everything else should have been simple. Standing in front of the automated kiosk, we printed out our tickets. The helpful lady told us to keep walking to the end and enter the security line.

We queued up and finally when it was almost our turn to pass security, someone behind us noted, "You're not going to be able to carry that huge luggage onto the plane."

We looked at our bag. We had totally forgotten to check it in.

Running back, we ask the counter help to assist us. Scanning our tickets, a "Too late to check in luggage" error message popped up. All three ladies didn't know what to do. They talked on the phone in French for a bit, shrugged, and then finally announced, "You'll have to book for another flight. Go over there and re-book your flight."

Dejected, we slink over to another counter person. He looked, then scanned our ticket and said, "Sure, you can check-in your bag. You better hurry though, the plane is about to leave."

We left our luggage and bolted to the security line again. When we got close to the screening process, I looked at my ticket in my hand. To my chagrin it was the luggage receipt. The counter people didn't give me back my boarding pass!

I run back alone, and asked them for help. The lady told me I didn't need a boarding pass, because they already have me "in the system."

I run back to the security line, and when I finally got to the security persona handling the carry-on luggage, she asked to see my boarding pass, which I didn't have. She explained that I needed one and wouldn't let me pass without it.

So back I ran, once more. By now, all the people that were "helping" me had suddenly disappeared. I looked behind the counter and spot my boarding pass on the ground.

I asked another guy working there to pick up my ticket for me, and I swear, I've seen garden slugs work faster. He really just had to bend down and pick it up. Instead, he started talking on his radio, and was fiddling with the computer in front of him.

I waited as patiently as I could. I knew that being rude would not help my situation, so I kept my mouth firmly shut, eyes pooling with a bit of desperation. He finally picked up the boarding pass off the floor, but it wasn't mine.

Cankles at this time had already passed security and was waiting for me on the other side. I was still stuck trying to get a boarding pass printed, through security and then making a bee line to the gates.

Finally with boarding pass in hand and queued up, I thought I'd have a chance to make it. I told Cankles to run ahead first, and I'd meet her at the gates. I get stuck behind a person who was arguing with the security people because they wouldn't let her pass with a 50ml bottle of water she refused to throw out.

I remove my belt, emptied my pocket and threw my camera bag into the tray to pass through the x-ray machine.

On the other end, I grab all my belongings and begin to run down the escalator towards the gate. I didn't bother to put my belt back on.

I have no idea what gate we were supposed to go, so I just kept running until I saw Cankles. And wouldn't you know it, I ran to the end of the airport, pants falling, and still I didn't see her.

Finally, a page comes on, "(me) please come to gate 142 for final boarding."

I run as fast as my little anemic legs would allow, with my pants falling, camera bag flailing.

We barely make it on the plane.

I've never been paged before, but now I know what that sounds like.

We made it to Calgary, our luggage? Not so much.

So 2 firsts, being paged at the airport, and having to wait for my luggage to be delivered the next day.

At least I've still never missed a flight.

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