Just not her luggage.
* * *
Oh but gosh, my friend J today told me a worse story. Her 16 year old goes to boarding school in the USA and had come home for Christmas. On Monday she put her child on the plane to return to school, but the child didn’t show up at the destination city. There was a plane change in another large midwestern city, and the mom was worried the child might have missed her flight.
The mom couldn’t get any clear word from the airline what had happened to her child. Turns out there was a snowstorm and the entire airport was virtually shut down. The airline told her there were hundreds of people camped out in the airport on cots. Did her child not have a credit card to book a hotel room, they asked? No, not exacty, the child is sixteen years old and therefore unable to book in her own name anyway. And of course our phones here don’t work in the USA and, unlike every other country in the world, the USA has allowed cell phone carriers and homeland security to make it virtually impossible to get quick access to non-complicated cell phone service. (In other countries you walk into the airport, purchase a SIM card and prepaid minutes, and pop it into your phone.) Okay. My friend called a buddy in the midwestern city to go to the airport and search for her child, and she called airport police to page the child and try to find her.
The personnel from the boarding school take the first batch of kids back to school, then return to the airport to await the missing child.
Ah. Three more hours later, and the kid calls the mom from the teacher’s phone. She has arrived safely in the destination city. The flight never went to the midwestern city because of the snowstorm, was rerouted to LA. Then the kid was routed on the the destination city. (Do you think the airline could have figured this out when the parent called, or even proactively let the kid use a computer or phone to let the parent know the situation?)
So all’s well that ends well, but in the meantime there’s a distraught mom wondering where her child is and does the child have resources to cope . . . No wonder we feel stressed?
Glad to hear from ya, Mac!
In the meantime, maybe in the future I don’t care if it feels insulting, I’m gonna insist that my 17 year old — or my 25 year old? — use the unescorted minor service?!!