Dubai Consumer Mirror

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At JFK Airport - Terminal 4

I arrived 6 hours earlier than i supposed to be. I was told to come early because of the extra time it takes to do all the security stuff. Anyhow, I spent 3 hrs browsing the web and checking out every form of “I (HEART) NY” merchandise possible on the planet.

Never the less, I am relieved. Here is why:

About 1 hour ago, I walked up the ticket checking counter carrying 4 weeks load of shopping indulgence, courtesy of the malls of California and the streets of down town Manhattan.

Two major concerns were on my mind: (1) the excess baggage I am carrying and whether my virtual Levantine-charm can be leveraged with the checking counter young lady clerk.

I really need it to work this time as to save my heavily bruised credit card from further hemorrhage and financial humiliation.

The other concern (2) was the 15 hrs non-stop flight back to Dubai, which, knowing my luck, I will spend crammed somewhere in the back of the plane surrounded by farting snorers, back seat bangers and crying babies.

I crossed my fingers:

Airline Clerk (AC): NEXT!
ME: Helloooo... How u doin?

(I am doing the Joey!! ... what the hell am i thinking?)

AC: Ticket and passport please
ME: There you go ma'am. my e-ticket, printed using fine, high quality HP inkjet technology

(AC giggles!!….SHIT .... IT’S FUKCING WORKING!)

AC: How many pieces do you wanna check it?

(Oh boy .. here it goes)

ME: Two pieces ma'am.

(I swiftly and casually moved the heavy bags onto the weighing counter. I desperately tried to hide the severe pain caused by the potential back injury i might've just inflicted myself with.)

AC: You're OK ... you can take them off and drop them there for the scan before they take them in.

(YES!!!! Mission 1 accomplished)

ME: Thank you ma'am .. you are very kind.
AC: Do you wanna be a volunteer today?


ME: Sure ma'am. I'd love to volunteer.. err ..what for?
AC: We are extremely overbooked today. So, if you volunteer to stay behind for one day, we can give you a free ticket as well as a free night stay.


ME: Oooooh... that kind of volunteering. Ma'am, i swear i was in 3 community service clubs back in college and I donate money regularly... I love volunteer work and at any other trip, i would LOVE to stay behind to help those stranded travelers. But i have been here for about 4 weeks and i really miss my wife and 7 month old daughter…


AC: Oh, i see, its ok .. i understand

(Wait a minute.. this actually could be a good thing!!!)

ME: I WOULD stay one day behind if you give me an UPGRADE on tomorrow's flight!
AC: You know something ... we usually do that, cause its cheaper to give you a seat than to book you in a hotel, but tomorrow's flights are over booked as well.

(Darn... I almost scored that one! :) )

ME: Ohh.. that’s too bad...
AC: But thanks for considering .. (HANDS ME PASSPORT AND BOARDING PASSS) ...Have a great flight
ME: thank you!

Good news is.. i don't have to pay for any excess baggage. I can't say me not getting a free upgrade is bad news, cause i am already flying economy and I am not loosing anything anyways :)

Shoot! that PA system e-woman is calling for the EK flight .. gotta run.

See you in Dubai.


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