Fun Times in Puerto Vallarta: The Passport

I woke up very, very early on Tuesday, August 28th to fly to Puerto Vallarta Mexico. I had done all my last minute packing the night before. I had one bag to check and one to carry on. Normally when I travel I pack a small purse in my carry on bag so I don’t have to keep track of a purse and a bag. I keep my iPod and book in the front pocket of said carry on for easy access. This has worked very well for me in the past and I expected to work very well again.

As usual Alaska had decided to be douchy and oversell the first leg of our flight from Seattle to San Francisco. I was among the last people to be allowed to board. This was ok with me because I was travelling with friends and Erin was one of the last to board as well. We chatted and laughed while we waited to board the plane. I took out my iPod and put it in my pocket. Then took out my book as well so I could just toss my bag, quickly, in the overhead compartment when I got to my seat.

Finally we were on the plane. I looked up and saw that the vast majority of overhead bins were closed already, meaning “no room, find another place for your bag.” The ones that were open had only tiny spaces available. I bristled when I saw sweaters and purses jammed up there. (Rant: Seriously folks the overhead bins are for big bags not your stupid cosmetic cases, or coats that fit under your fucking seat. End rant.)

Erin couldn’t find a place for her bag either so we brought them back to the front of the plane and checked them. The flight attendant said they would be available to us at our final destination. We nodded took our claim stubs and went to our seats. I settled down with my book to read.

About halfway through the flight my stomach began to growl. I thought I’d grab some breakfast in San Fran. Then realized my wallet was in my carry on bag. “Oh well.” I thought. I’ll just wait, or have someone cover me. I read a few more paragraphs when the horrible, horrible truth dawned on me.

My passport was in my carry on bag…which was now a checked bag…that would be available to me in Mexico. Shit.

I pushed my call button and ripped my ear buds out of my ears. The attendant arrived and turned off the call button. “How can I help you?” she said.

I told her what had happened, the full bins, the checked bag, the passport inside, the fact that I was heading to Mexico. She assured me she would talk to another attendant and get things straightened out. She took my name, boarding pass and a description of my bag (black, of course it’s black).

After a while she came back and assured me my bag would be waiting for me on the jetway when we arrived in San Francisco. I apologized for being careless and she told me it wasn’t my fault at all, but theirs. Well I couldn’t argue with that.

Once we landed in San Fran I waited till almost everyone had deplaned before I got up. I hoped my bag would be there and it was. It stood waiting for me, I joyously grabbed my bag, thanked everyone again and took it into the terminal. Once inside I opened my bag. I took out my purse and put my wallet and passport inside then slug it over my shoulder. Good thing there was a stop in San Fran, otherwise I’m not sure what I would have done.

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