AeroSur was odd. I made it through the lines and to the ticket counter. I asked if they’d take my luggage, they said no. I said I’d pay, they said no. I asked why, they didn’t answer. I asked again if they’d take my luggage, they conferenced. I said I’d pay, again, and they said no. Then, out of nowhere, this guy with badges and tags popped up behind teh counter and told them that they could. Then! I found out that it was quasi-yes but they didn’t tell me why it was a quasi-yes. Then they said they had to call Homeland Security to check my cat and the carrier. We waited. Guy in a uniform comes downstairs. Now, please note that there is no racism or nationalism involved in this one – the fact is that the Homeland Security guy was the first pleasant human being I’d dealt with all day, and while he searched my cat and the carrier we chatted pleasantly and calmly… and he was also the only American I’d dealt with in the entire fiasco. Captain Pausert was cleared.
One moment later, the AeroSur Boss with Badges and Tags reappeared and said, “Take her things. She’s the last one. No one else on the plane.”
My cash was swiftly taken and I was hurriedly given my boarding pass. I had minutes to clear through security, find the gate, and get on the plane. Mere minutes! I turn, I say goodbye to our Miami contact, and I move towards the security hallway…
Laughter. My head turns.
“What?”, I asked.
“I told you.”
I turned and took another few steps towards security. He actually reached out and touched my arm. I stopped and faced him.
“I told you it would be fine, but did you believe me? No!”
“No, you told me that I would have to leave my luggage on standby and sign away your airline’s responsibility for your failures. I’m flying tonight, but not because of you.”
He laughed again, in my face, and responded, “Oh, I told you what would happen and that you’d get to fly but you were too busy going ‘blah blah blah’!” His left hand was opening and closing, like a child mimicks a chatty person via gesture.
“Stop. That’s enough. You are being extraordinarily rude, and I’m leaving.”
“Look, please, just let me tell you how I was right!” (HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS!)
I channeled my mother. I gathered every ounce of Texan Southern Samurai Sweetness that could be found in my genetic code.
I smiled calmly, my stance softened. My voice was sweeter, slower, and darker than molasses when I replied:
“I’m sorry, sweetie, but I have four minutes before my plane leaves. I just don’t have the time to nurture your wounded pride. Bye-bye now!”
I ran to security. Not a single beep. I ran to the little metro train. I ran to my gate, and I was on the plane.
I was flying to Bolivia.