Joys of Travel: Bicycle Chapter

Knew all of our organization was too good to be true. Ralph loaned me his fancy bike



box…especially kind of him since HE is off on a ride in Spain and didn’t have a say so.  Lou swears she has his proxy. Jeff got the bike rack put on the Prius last night.

Hotel reservation. Check. Extra bike tubes. Check. Pump. Water bottles. Check. Check.

I’m at the skycap desk this morning at LAX, outdoors at Southwest counter. The woman runs the charge slip. As I go to sign, I notice the amount.

“When we called they said it would be $50.”

“The fee for a pet is $75.”

“It’s not a pet, it’s a BICYCLE.” Of course I had SAID “bicycle”, or maybe “bike.” And the box, since gone, was maybe four feet high and totally enclosed hard plastic.

“Oh wow,” she said. I looked for a name badge, but there wasn’t one.

Nothing so simple of course as refunding me the $25. She actually refunded my whole TICKET price. And then reissued my ticket. And then charged me the $50 for the bike fee. Typing those little sentences took maybe a minute, but DOING it took fifteen or twenty minutes.

“The security queue is awfully long,” I said at one point.

“Don’t worry,” I’ll escort you to the front.

“Okay.” I may have been looking and feeling doubtful….

Finally, finally, finally, sure enough she finished and had me sign the charge slips….new ticket, and $50 for bike fee. And true to her word she walks me up to the magic lane where there is no line and just as she is about to be rid of me I notice my new boarding priority….

Which allows me to get on the plane before the goats, but after the chickens.

Amazingly, I’m smiling through the whole process. Really. Sometimes you just have to go with it. But I do point out the nasty boarding priority.

“Oh wow,” she said. I’ll call up to the gate and tell them to let you on first.

“Thank you,” I said, “and what’s your name please?”

“Kerry,” she said, and pointed at where her name badge would be if there were one.

“Thank you, Kerry,” I said, “And you remember my name?”

“How could I forget?”


About Karen Ray

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