…to Baltimore

Posted by in Travel Nightmare

OK, so this one was my fault.  A miscalculation.

I live about half an hour from my local airport, and typically wake up about 90 minutes before the 6am flight leaves.

Except this morning the alarm rang 30 minutes before departure and I set a new record : bed to gate in 20 minutes, boarding pass in hand.

I’d called ahead and the amazing front-office personnel at the airport fast-tracked me through security, only to see the gate shut in my face.

If you live in a country for any length of time you learn to recognize the look of that bloody-minded, despicable creature – the jobsworth.

This one was facing slightly away from me as I skidded to a halt. In conversation. I could hear his radio :

“Confirmation that Mr. Orchard has a boarding pass. Hold the flight. Over.”

He ignored the radio and ignored me for One Thousand, Two Thousand, Three Thousand, aaaaaaand….

“Yes? What?”

“I’m Mr. Orchard”

“Good for you”

“I have a boarding pass for Munich”

“That’s nice”

“Can I board the flight?”

“The gate is closed”

“But I can still see people walking to the aircraft”

“The gate is closed”

“But I will lose my connection to the US”

Aaaaaaand… Conversation over.

As I said – you can’t win against someone who delights in placing official obstacles in your way.  The exchange had already given  the guy a boner, so it was time to quit and go to Plan B.

After thanking the guys out front who had done their best, I jumped back in the car and hit the highway to Milan, already on the phone to United.

In the end, the flight from Milan through Newark gets me into Washington half and hour earlier than before at half the original ticket price.

You have to factor in 4 hours additional driving in a 48 hour round-trip, but I have to grudgingly admit that that smug bastard probably did me a favour.