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Well. That sucked! August 1, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in travel.

Paula and I fly. A lot. Between us I think we usually rack up about 150,000 miles a year. Some years it has been over 200,000. With the glace of an eye we know which line to get in. It takes us less than a second to decide if someone in front of us knows what they are doing, if we should switch lines. We know exactly the right amount of clothing to take off to get through security without hassle: not one item more, not one item less. And how that can vary from airport to airport (and in time). We know exactly what to remove from our bags to get through security. And how that is different in Europe and the US. Though we try not to, I’m sure we’ve rolled our eyes or breathed heavy sighs when someone in front of us says “Are you sure I have to take off my shoes?”

Today we got turned away from the airport at the ticket counter. We didn’t even make it to the security line. Though I’m sure it would have been a disaster for all those frequent flyers stuck behind us.

We are attempting to get from Seattle to Ottawa – to show off Julia to all the grandparents and family. Julia was not official enough to leave enter Canada let alone return to the US! So they couldn’t even let us board! A later visit to the Canadian consulate revealed that our hospital printed birth announcement (yes, that is what they call it) was actually enough to get into Canada and return to the US. Had we driven the 3 hours from Seattle to Vancouver we would have made it into the country in all likelihood. The airline, however, read a set of rules that said “only official government documents.” And check this out. The consulate told us that if the airline gets someone to Canada from the US without proper documentation they (the airline) are fined $25,000!!! No wonder the airline didn’t want to discuss options with us!

We’d not attempted to get a birth certificate because the hospital told us it would take two weeks for the state of Washington to even know about Julia’s birth, and the certificate request form claimed it could take two months to find the certificate. Eager to get to the east coast as fast as possible, we decided to pay the Vital Statistics
(the chief from Asterix, anyone!?) office a visit in person. We had the official document in 10 minutes. Sigh. Talk about wasted stress!

Tomorrow we will make another run at the airport. Thank goodness for miles: flexible tickets. And thanks to Mike & Grace who will have gone to the trouble of ferrying us to the airport. Three times!

One interesting thing. When I walk into an airport and am greeted by one of those ticket agents directing people they often first ask me what line I’m looking for. With the kid and all the extra baggage the woman directing us made the assumption we were going for the economy line. Heh.



1. Dave Bacon - August 1, 2006

Yeah, i realized I was traveling a lot when I started optimizing the order of the items that go through the x-ray machine (shoes, laptop, laptop bag, luggage!) Better luck tomorrow.

2. Nate Bottman - August 1, 2006

Yay for Asterix!

3. gordonwatts - August 2, 2006

Yes, Dave, we both do that! We were talking about your comment last night and we realized that our order of items through the x-ray machine is basically the same except for the shoes. Since her shoes are “slip-on” she puts them first. I usually wear tie-up lace sneakers and so I put them last…

Nate, I think I have the complete set, some in French and some in English. Julia will definately be reading them!

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