As you know, I travel quite a bit. Often, it is out of the country or on cruise ships where you need a passport. Every year at this time, my husband and I join my mother at her timeshare in the Bahamas for a week. This past Friday (that happened to be the 13th) was our day to fly down there. I was super excited to get a flight out of our more local West Palm Beach airport and not have to contend with the busier airport in Ft. Lauderdale.
As we were preparing to get ourselves ready and out the door, I received a phone call from the airline that unfortunately, the flight was cancelled. But, they have re booked us on a flight from Ft. Lauderdale. So much for my little airport. The agent told me to still come to West Palm Beach where a whole bunch of us would be shuttled down by bus to Ft Lauderdale. This was okay with me since the return flight would be back to West Palm Beach and I could still park the car there.
Once we got to West Palm Beach we asked about checking in but were told that would take place in Ft Lauderdale. So, after a half hour waiting for the shuttle, and then an hour plus ride down to Ft Lauderdale we were all excited to get on our way.
Out came the passports and the agent on duty started the process. A puzzled look came over his face and he asked me if I was Sarah. What? Sarah is my step daughter. He turned the passport around and sure enough, it’s not mine. My heart sank. How on earth could that happen? Sarah is back in London in the UK. Patrick quickly called her and verified that in fact, she has my passport. We realize that when Sarah and I had gotten off the cruise ship in the US just weeks earlier, the agent must have switched passports. Because Sarah also has a British passport, she travels back to the UK with that one so never had a need to look at her US passport. I simply couldn’t believe this. Of course, by now, it’s night time in London and no way that anything could get shipped out. Thankfully, the airline supervisor was very sympathetic and told us to just call when we had the passport and were ready to fly again.
We spent the next few hours making our way back to West Palm Beach to pick up our well parked car and then back home again. It was a true Friday the 13th.
Well, the next day Sarah spent hours trying to get any one of the international shippers to guarantee they could get it to me within a couple of days. Only UPS said they could pick it up on Monday and get it to me by Tuesday morning. This would be the best they could do.
Here it is, Wednesday afternoon and guess what? No passport! No package! Not even any tracking other than it was picked up from my daughter on Monday. So, I sit here, feeling helpless and annoyed and wondering how something like this could have been avoided.
I suppose my advice to all of you travelers is to check your papers and documents as soon as you make your reservations and check again before you head out to the airport.
I assure you my next travel post will be a happier one.
Cheers and all the best,