Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tickets, Please!

Okay, so, I wasn’t going to blog until after court on Thursday but given the events of today, Monday, I think it warrants a good venting of sorts. I am not superstitious by nature. Cynical yes, but typically I don’t think that things happen contrary to how their supposed to just because you mention otherwise. You know, the whole “knock on wood” thing.

Anyway, things were going very well. Everything our adoption agency told us has been exactly what has happened. Our support network at home has been stellar. Flights have been non eventful and on time. We finally figured out we don’t need 10 bags of luggage. Etc. So we leave for our second trip back to Kazakhstan just cruising along fat, dumb, and happy thinking everything is falling into place. That is until we belly up to the ticket counter in Orlando to check in. “Tickets, please” the nice lady behind the counter says. We happily hand her our printout of our electronic tickets and patiently wait for our boarding passes. After a couple minutes of pecking the computer keyboard with a puzzled look on her face she tells us that we do not have tickets on the flights. None of the flights. Fortunately, I have our travel agency number on my cell phone and call the agent and “calmly” explain that the airline does not have record of us flying anywhere this fine day. I won’t mention any names because, like I said, things have been great so far. So the agent is working on it and tells me he’ll call me back. “I did tell you we’re at the airport trying to check in, right.” I said. About 40 minutes later the phone rings and it’s our travel agent. He says, apologetically, that the transaction was never completed. Meaning the reservation was made but never ticketed. After looking at our options he was able to find another flight that still gets us to Frankfurt in time to make our final connection to Astana.

Just when I thought things were back on track the ticket agent says she cannot retrieve the tickets our agent just booked for us because she can’t “see” it in the computer. A couple phone calls later it was worked out that she would print a hard copy of our electronic ticket and check us in. But wait, she can’t check us in now and give us boarding passes because we don’t have a return flight ticketed. Of course we don’t because we don’t know our exact return dates yet so we only have the reservation. Nonetheless, she stated that since we need a visa to enter the country we need a corresponding return flight and not just a one way ticket. Part of a security thing as I understand it since, at least on paper, it looks like we are traveling one way to a country in which we cannot stay.

Finally, we were able to have our boarding passes issued after being told we would have to go through an extra pat down at security. If they only knew how many times we had to be fingerprinted for background checks just to get to this point. At least that line was short. It seemed as if the norm now was that everything that shouldn’t happen was happening. After a brief delay taking off in Orlando due to the United mainframe computer malfunction (the pilots couldn’t receive their electronic paperwork) we were able to take off.

Thankfully, we finally had some sense of normalcy in Chicago since we were now flying the transatlantic leg on Lufthansa instead of United. Here we are now as I am writing over the North Atlantic looking at the sunrise between an azure sky and a blanket of white clouds on our way to our next stop in Frankfurt. By the time we reach our final destination we will have been in four different time zones, on three different airlines, in three different countries, on three different continents, topped off with a four hour car ride to Kokshetau, all within about 36 hours. Hopefully our baggage will follow suit. Knock on wood.


Erica Wilson said...

OMG!! I can't believe you guys had that problem, but I'm thankful you were able to get it all worked out. What a hassle!! I miss you, and have been following your journey closely, but never have the time to respond! Your new baby girl is a beauty, and you two will cherish her all the more for the journey you took to get to her... I miss you both terribly, and know you are all in my thoughts and prayers! God speed, and I can't wait to see even more of her in your home in FL!!!
Love you,
Erica :)

Angela said...

When did you peel yourselves off of the ceiling?

Glad you are there safe and sound. Thinking good thoughts for court!

Dick and Carol Irwin said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you on the other side of the world! We can't wait to get to know the new addition to the family!

Love ya... Dick and Carol, Abby, Beth and Justin

Sandy said...

WOW! I am sorry to hear about all the travel hassle in Orlando. We would hope that our home state would have provided a smoother departure!

Good luck!

Tristan & Sandy