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So Deb flies in from Cali last night and her last layover is in Chicago at O'Hare around 8 pm. From thre it's just a 45 minute flight down to Peoria. So she calls me about 8:45 to tell me she's getting ready to board the plane. When I bought the ticket for her, I made sure she had a window seat in the front of the plane each time. This also meant she would always be the last to board, giving her more time if one plane was late getting in. I told her I'd leave the house and head out to the airport around 9:15 to meet her. So just before I am to leave she calls back and stops me. Seems she got bumped. They overbooked the flight, (makes me wonder what the huge attrtaction is to fly into Peoria, IL from Chicago on a Sunday night). She gave up her seat for an elderly handicapped woman. United said they would put her up at the Hilton for the night so everything would be OK. When she got ready to say goodbye, she was going back to the ticketing counter to get her reissued ticket and hotel vouchers and she would call me later from the hotel. So I go to the store to get ingredients for the Southwest Bean Salad for the bridal shower we are giving one of our employees today. I get back and no phone call. I wait until midnight and a little worried, call the Airport Hilton. I get hold of Deb and she's in tears. Seems while she was at the ticketing counter getting her new ticket, she set her shoulder bag and carry-on bag down behind her to fill out paperwork. Seems she was being watched because one of Chicago's finest scum sucking airport thieves grabbed her carry-on bag and reached into her shoulder bag to get her wallet.

After all the BS of talking to airport security and the Chicago PD, she finally gets over to the hotel. Of course she now has no change of clothes as there was one change in her carry-on and the rest was in her main luggage which was checked through and was on it's way to Peoria on the flight she should have been on. She tries to call out and call me but her calling card had been in her wallet along with credit cards, driver's license, $250 in cash , insurance card and any piece of ID she ever had. She has no cash to even get any food and the cheap worthless fuckers at the Hilton won't let her call out unless she can give them a credit card number to place her incidentals on. I immediately call the front desk to try and give them my credit card number. Of course they want an imprint faxed to them so they can verify ID and all. At this point, I was more than mildly perturbed and demanded to speak to the manager. I explained the situation maybe a little tersely and told him I was in Peoria and while it may be larger than a farm town, it was going to be virtually impossible to find a fax machine to get this done. In the meantime, my wife (hey he didn't need to know we are not married) had not eaten in hours and that would affect her medication so unless he wanted to deal with a medical emergency, he better find some way to accept my fucking card and learn to deal with it. Needless to say, he was able to get things done very quickly from that point on.

Then I spent the rest of the night tracking down phone numbers and calling all the credit card companies and AT&T and Social Security to get things cancelled and reissued. Other than the cash, I think we stopped them from using any of the credit or long distance. Unfortunately someone now has her SS# and a picture ID so I'm sure we will have to get a new SS#. The driver's license was going to expire soon anyway. Beside the change of clothes, the carry on had all the gifts she'd bought plus lemons and avacados. I hope some useless piece of shit shows up at a Chicago hospital with an avacado pit stuck in his colon.

She finally got home about 1 and her Mom was able to picker her up. I left work to go give her a hug and then get back to work. She's been making calls the rest of the afternoon to take care of the loose ends.

About an hour ago, the airport calls and they found her carry on bag. So the lemons are safe but the wallet is likely history. I suppose it could have been worse but she was looking for an adventure and she got it.

I think I'll make fillet mignon with portabello caps stuffed with crab and shrimp for dinner. Just to welcome her back home. She'll drive me to drink sometimes but I gotta love her.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2004 02:32 pm (UTC)
Grrr, the dark side of travelling. It's good she's safe and loved.
Oct. 4th, 2004 02:38 pm (UTC)
Just one of the many reasons I refuse to fly unless it's the only way. It's a lot harder for people to rip you off while you are going down the road in your car.

Oct. 4th, 2004 03:05 pm (UTC)
That is terrible!! I am so sorry for you both.

I cannot believe that people are so heartless......

Wait a minute. This is the year 2004, not 1804.

Yes I can.
Oct. 4th, 2004 03:17 pm (UTC)
Yep I can too and tonight we will be having the big discussion about how you shouldn't carry certain things on vacation unless you are willing to watch them 24/7.

Oct. 4th, 2004 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear what happened. With all the heightened airport security because of paranoia, you would think this would be harder to accomplish unnoticed. Wouldn't there be cameras capturing this sort of thing?
Oct. 5th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
There may be. I don't fly unless I really ahve to so I don't know. I guess it depends on how motivated airport security is to review the tapes and see what happened.

Oct. 4th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC)
That really sucks - I hate those experiences! Sounds like you were pretty supportive, and I bet she really appreciated the dinner.

Of course, now I'm starving and I blame you. :)
Oct. 5th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)
So tell John to go out and shoot something and bring it to you roasted on a spit. But he has to serve it in his kilt of course, right.

Oct. 4th, 2004 05:43 pm (UTC)
I can believe that happened in Chicago's airport. When my sister and her boyfriend from out there still lived here, his mom came to visit us here in NY. When she left, they too had a layover there in Chicago. And some freaking ass actually cut her purse strap and swiped her purse while she was carrying it!!

I'm just glad they only took her *things* things can be replaced. People cannot. I'd be alert because not only do they have her ID, they have your address. And that's enough to make me shiver.
Oct. 5th, 2004 07:41 am (UTC)
I'd be more afraid if we lived closer to Chicago. I have my doubts about petty theives wanting to make a 3 hour trip down to bother us.

Oct. 4th, 2004 07:11 pm (UTC)
I was lucky enough to travel to Europe and the UK and never have one item stolen off of me, though it happened to a lot of other people I was travelling with. People that steal from travellers are true bottom-feeding scum-suckers. And there ain't no hassle like losing a wallet, and having to cancel upteen different cards. It sucks, but I'm glad you were there to get her through it. And I guess it could have been worse.

Oct. 5th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC)
I think she was actually more upset about losing the bag of presents she'd bought for people than the money. She seems pretty calm about it, which is good. But yeah, I developed strategies a long time ago for travelling. i don't keep cash in my wallet at all and also take everything out I don't need that might benefit a thief.

Oct. 4th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC)
HA HA!!! YOU ROCK!!! That was some very VERY nice knight in plastic armor action there I do have to say!!! Sorry about the rest but yay for you saving the day and cooking up some love (in more ways than one by the looks of this menu!!)!
Oct. 5th, 2004 08:22 am (UTC)
I'm not at all above driving up ther and getting in someone's face about providing service. Particularly someone in a service industry. Thanks for the compliment.

Oct. 5th, 2004 07:00 am (UTC)
Oh, that sucks. It's a good thing she had you to help her out, as well.
Oct. 5th, 2004 08:35 am (UTC)
Yeah I like that she goes on her own adventures. But it does help to have a back up if you need it.

Oct. 5th, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC)
Note to self: do not put anything down in O'Hare ever.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )