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Posts Tagged ‘JFK airport’

closeup photo of yellow taxi

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AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE’S A PROBLEM?

We got in the cab and if my blood pressure wasn’t high enough to start another nose bleed then, I’m fit to climb Mt Everest!  I was fuming. I just couldn’t understand going over the damn Verrazano Bridge – the most expensive crossing in The City.  We were on the road 3 minutes and we were in traffic as far as the eye could see.  Here’s the visual:  Sunday night in August on the Garden State returning from the shore, the   Bourne Bridge on Friday night in July, the Long Island Expressway two hours before sunset on Passover, in other words a frigging nightmare!

The driver is in the right lane and backseat driver that I am, I’m watching which cars are passing us on the left. We are literally inching along and as we approach the Goethals Bridge, I swear two more lanes merge in.

We have already missed our flight and connecting flight to Rome so we won’t be there on time to pick up the car I ordered. The car that I called about 3 times demanding I must have either the Fiat 500L or VW Gulf. So now in the taxi at about 8pm I am calling Kemwell the middle man car rental company in Maine to ask them to change the time of pick up.  Of course they can’t reach Rome now because the time difference is 7 hours ahead and I won’t know if we are confirmed because just maybe I will be in the air!

The driver told us it would take an hour; I guess that would be at 2:00am because now we are approaching the hour mark and we see our first sign of approaching the bridge. Giving credit where due and also he knew he had a crazy woman sitting behind him, the cab driver really put the pedal to the metal whenever he could and began to weave around cars to gain ground.  I have been sending prayers of intercession to St Jude constantly during the trip- well in between cursing the trip.

As soon as we got close to airport he asked what terminal and that’s when I sprung the surprise stop on him. CITI-MED!! Supposedly located in Bldg 75 in JFK on North Hangar Rd. I tell him I have to pick up something.  He puts the address in WAZE and says it’s the exit BEYOND the airport. See it IS part of the airport but the part where there are buildings and cargo offices. Way off in the distance you can see the lights of the terminals.  Look at a map and JFK airport is probably larger than the village we are in! It’s left, right, right, left meantime we seem to be very far from real airport.  There is Building 75 ALL CLOSED up by appearances. We drive around one side and back, there is one light on for a shipping company (it is 9:30 on a Sunday). I jump out of the cab and rush in asking is there a CITI-MED here? Go to the next door upstairs.

I raced out, waved to Peter in cab and found elevator.  It opens and I am in a lunch room. I am so frantic, I am crazy.  I find their telephone number and call and say where are you? I am in Bldg 75 and need to find you. Why? do you need a doctor? Yes I had a nosebleed and need.. Oh you need to go to the emergency room. No it stopped I need a release to get on my flight. Oh OK where are you? I don’t know in a room with a soda machine.. OK turn left and left again room 204. With phone still in my ear I turn left then right and say where are you I can’t find your room!  Hold on I will come and find you. I quickly backtrack and see a woman at the end of the other hall. I rush to her talking a mile a minute telling her what happened and she was aghast that we took a cab from Newark Airport to JFK.  Don’t worry I’ll give you the release, you’ll make your flight, sign here. Bless you bless you thank you!  Look Peter I got it.

I am not in the taxi one minute and my other nostril starts to bleed. OMG OMG  please God not now we can’t miss 2 flights. I am pinching my nose so hard all the way to the terminal. I am not looking down or picking up any luggage -it stopped.

We get to to desk to check in. The counter staff sees that our luggage is all tagged from  Newark and says the manager will take care of us. We wait. He looks at our tickets and says he is aware of our situation. I hand him the medical release. He says there is a problem. Oh no don’t tell me there’s a problem now, what? He explains that although Newark called us in for this 11:30 departure, they did not book us into the connecting flight from Lisbon to Rome which is fully booked. Well what followed in an interchange between the manager who stayed calm and me who became increasingly agitated will be hard to report but here is some of what I said not in any order now;  I didn’t miss my flight, they made me miss my flight. If the TAP staff in Newark made a mistake, you must fix it. Do you think we would have paid $150. (Driver wanted more$$ for second stop) to get from Newark to here if we didn’t expect to be on a flight thru to Rome? I am not leaving this counter till we straighten this out. Do you have any idea of the domino effect of changing flights? I have paid for lodging, a rental car, etc. We are not going back to Manhattan.  THEN he says, hold on I may be able to work something out.  AND WE ARE BOOKED on a connecting flight that leaves within an hour after we land in Lisbon and we will be able to get to the car rental on time.

To e continued…

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THE TAXI TO TICKETS – OH NO!!!

Didn’t have to wait very long for a taxi to come by, so we piled our bags in the trunk and hopped in.  “JFK sir, American Airlines terminal”.  There was a lot of traffic on 1st Avenue as we made our way to the FDR drive but our driver knew we were in a hurry (probably when he heard me in a high-pitched voice) say over and over again “OMG we are not going to get there on time”.  We were cruising along the Van Wyck Expressway when I received a text from my friend, Rosemarie asking me if I had my tickets and passport.  LOL – I wrote back to her in Italian that I had “i begligetti, il passporto e mid marito” – which translates to “the tickets, the passport and my husband.

We were about 15 minutes away from JFK and Peter and I were talking about taking photos and I told him I planned on using my iPad.  “MY iPAD! OMG I forgot to take my iPad :(.  OH NO! I forgot all the folders too”  Peter says, “What do you mean you forgot the folders”?  ” I mean the folders with all of the information I need AND the airline tickets! 😦 .  From that point on I was a total madwoman, I must have gone through my handbag 5 times and of course they were not in there.  I already knew that. I’m frantically grasping at solutions. 1) let’s call an Uber car and have them bring me the iPad and folders and meet us at the airport. N/G we would have to check in before the car could make it through the rush hour traffic. 2) What if I ask Jade to take the stuff to FEDEX and have it sent to the B&B. N/G I called FEDEX and found out it would cost around $600 to send an iPad. 3) I call Jade and ask her if she  can to Manhattan Mailroom and have them fax the paperwork to the B&B, she says yes she can now that she has located the folders in the kitchen!!?? N/G In order to fax, I need a fax number.  I hastily attempt to reach Pasquale through WhatsApp under the title URGENT.  He writes back saying why don’t I scan them and send to him through WhatsApp. WHY? Because I don’t have a scanner and Jade who is at my apartment doesn’t have WhatsApp!!  Pasquale sends me a phone number but never says whether it is a fax or not. I call Jade and give her the number, the store tries but it won’t go through. I write to Pasquale again and he reminds me that is very late there and the office is closed! 4) I have an email from my cousin Kathi with some of the documents. N/G That’s not going to work since I don’t have a printer. 5) I ask the taxi driver if he thought a taxi would take the stuff to the airport N/G Being worked up to frenzy is probably the reason why I a) forgot we had to check in and b) the taxi would never make it now that is was full blown rush hour traffic. A few more calls back and forth with Jade and I finally say Thank You and resign myself to NO iPad, NO documents and NO Airline tickets.  Peter remains calm as I have gone from upset to crazy-mad – Naturally.

American Airlines Terminal JFK Airport

We’re Here

The driver drops us off at the American Airlines terminal and out of guilt and embarrassment I give him a good tip!  We go into the airport and the American Airlines counter are NOWHERE to be seen. I am sweating because I’m still the aforementioned frenzied, wearing a jacket and long sleeve shirt because I’m sure the plane will be cold.  I find someone with a dangling badge and she points to the far other end of the terminal and says that’s where the American Airlines check-ins are located.  When we finally reach the area, it is a madhouse of people, suitcases and check-in kiosks that have a line of impatient passengers waiting.  

la-blm-thanksgiving-travel.jpg-20121217

Where’s My Boarding Pass?

We’re planning on checking in two bags and carrying on two.  After a while I get to a kiosk that’s working and begin to fumble around in my bag for a credit card to try to login and get the required check-in stickers.  Seriously I must have answered about 10 questions and after each answer the screen told me to wait while they processed my transaction.   Got ’em!  We get in line behind a woman who is literally standing 15′ back from the counter and there is one guy up there and he is futzing with his bags and shaking his head no and the American Airline clerk is also shaking her head – you just know this isn’t going to go well.  The clerk leaves her counter and is assisting the young man with the kiosk!!  The woman in front of us stands patiently.  THEN, the American Airlines person walks away and does not return to the counter.  I tell Peter to wait in line and I’ll go after her, but she disappears into the crowd.  When I return, Peter is already in another line and he is up at the counter.  He’s waving me to hurry and when I get there he says, “She needs the Boarding Passes”.  WHAT Boarding Passes?  OMG I never got them from the kiosk.  I race back to the kiosks and you know what they say, “they all look alike”.  I can’t remember where we were so I start reaching in front of people and looking into the trays.  I don’t find them but I found someone else’s.  Back to the counter and the woman tells me I can go through the process again on the kiosk get 2 more Boarding Passes – REALLY? Why didn’t she say so in the first place?  

After all that we’ve been through, it was a pleasure to board the plane even though our seats were way in the back which meant negotiating business class, then the first economy section, then to the back, literally.  When I booked the tickets I knew we each had an aisle seat but I thought they would be across from one another – NOT!  My seat was a double and Peter was 2 rows in front of me in a triple on the aisle. I planned on asking my seat mate if he or she wanted Peter’s aisle seat so he could sit with me.  Well, as it turned out, my seat mate turned out to be a young woman with her husband and she wasn’t too happy that he would be sitting behind her next to a very good-looking Italian man.  I decided to take charge and see if I could negotiate a settlement.  I politely ask this man (in Italian) if he spoke English and as he did, would he mind switching the seats with my husband who will switch seats with the young woman and then everybody will be happy.  He smiles a most charming smile and says he will.  

                                                                                                           to be continued…

 

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