I was at the airport, and... I was on my hands and knees... crawling back and forth between my two open suitcases carrying various items from one suitcase to the other. I balance a bag of toiletries on my open palm. I carefully raise my arm up and down desperately trying to imitate the action of a scale, "How much do you think this weighs?" I look up at my uncle and my brother. My brother appears to be exasperated by me - or the situation - I can't imagine why? I am clearly the epitome of the perfect little sister. It must be the situation. My bro jumps in to help. He hands me sweatshirts. I think they can't possibly weigh that much, but I decide not to question him. Okay... I decided not to continue to question him after he gave me that "just do it" look.
Rewind 5 minutes: We were standing at the check-in counter at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The lady at the counter asked me what my destination was today. "L.A. Well, I'll be flying to Sydney after that... but just L.A. with this airline."
"Can I have your flight information to Sydney?"
"I don't have it right now.... Umm... lemme just... Oh, crap... I just signed out of my email on my iPhone. Lemme just... yeah, I gotta sign back in... It's gonna take a minute."
The lady at the counter then proceeded to explain she NEEDED the information and acted like I had the information but was just unwilling to give it to her. After a few failed explanations, I had to exclaim rather slowly, that I was going to give her the information... but, I had to wait for my iPhone. I had just signed out of everything as my lil cousin was about to inherit her very own American iPhone, as it would not be going with me to Australia. In the meantime, she weighs both bags, finding one bag to be overweight while the other remains underweight. Oh joy!
So, here I am, crawling around on the floor trying to balance the weight of my bags - so I don't have to pay an exuberant overweight baggage charge - while I wait to be logged back into my phone, so I can give the lady my Sydney flight details. This is how everyone "does" airports, right?
Rewind two hours: My brother is forced to help me pack at the last minute, because gosh darn it, I didn't want to do it before & now I am really overwhelmed and anxious. Ya know, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I can see why my brother would be exasperated with me. I am starting to get the impression that I can be "a lot of work."
Fast forward two hours & 5 minutes (back to the beginning of this story): The planets and stars align - my bags are both finally an acceptable weight. Sure, I am wearing about three sweaters, but it's all good. My phone has finally allowed me back in, and I can finally provide my flight information to the politely frustrated lady behind the counter. I gotta hand it to her folks. She was good at her job and thoughtful of me. She managed to check my bags all the way to Sydney. I did not have to stop to pick them up & check them again in California. Which for some reason - I always seem to have to do even though I am flying United the whole way on connecting flights. This lady - despite the fact the flights to LA & Sydney were booked on different days with different airlines managed to send my bags all the way to Sydney. I thanked her profusely, sure we got off to a rocky start, but I hope she knew I appreciated her.
Right, now that - that is settled, I have included this vlog from my original move to Australia. Spoiler alert: it contains exclusive airport footage. [The story I told was about my last trip back to Oz. Two separate occasions, but heck, why shouldn't I post it?]
Labels: Airport, Excess Baggage, Expat Blog Challenge