Thursday, 1 December 2011

No better time for a morning jog than when you're wearing knee high leather boots, a leather jacket and pulling a carry-on wheelie suitcase

Time: Approximately 9:08am
Location: Dublin Airport, about to board my Ryan Air flight back to Memmingen, Germany departing at 9:30am
when this happened:
Girl at the Gate: "You havent got your passport check done" "You can't board this plane without getting it done" "You have to go back to the check-in"
Me: "WHAT! I got pulled out of the check-in line by Airport staff and sent straight through security, she looked at my ticket!"
Girl at the Gate "It's not their responsibility" "You have to go back"
Me: "Am I going to be able to make this plane?"
Girl at the Gate: "I dont know, it's at least 10 minutes back just to security"

The story. It clearly states on my boarding pass that all persons that are not members of the EU must have their passport checked prior to entering security. This is literally having someone look at your passport for 30 seconds and putting a stamp on your boarding pass.
I had it done when I left Memmingen on Friday, along with an official checking and stamping my passport after going through Memmingen security, and again when I arrived in Dublin.
I was dropped off at the airport at least 2 hours before my flight departed. I stood in the line, only to reach the lady trying to assist people print their boarding passes. I had already done the check-in and printing online. I told her I already had mine, she LOOKED AT IT and despite it saying, requires passport check, says no this is everything you need, you can just step out of line here and go straight to security. You can get your gate number at security.
Through security, boarding pass looked at, bought a bottle of Jameson Whiskey, boarding pass looked at, made the 10 minute walk to my gate only to discover there were no good shops down there and I had lots of time so I actually made the 10 minute walk back to purchase a hoodie, boarding pass checked, and get a coffee and muffin from Starbucks.

Finally the flight is boarding. I did think, its really strange that no one has looked at my passport today. I mean, I kept trying to show people and no one wanted it. But I figured they would look at it before I got on the plane and I had so many friggin stamps on the way to Dublin that maybe that was enough.  Nope. Here's where that fun little interaction occured.

So here I go, making my trek back to check-in. Thinking to myself, will I make this plane? This is ridiculous. Then it hit me... that the next flight may not have been for another few days and that I had to one, work the next day and two, was not about to be shelling out more money for a new ticket. Time Check: 9:11am. Shit. Start full out running, back towards security. I had on jeans and a 3/4 jacket, knee high leather boots, a leather jacket, a heavy purse, and a carry-on wheelie suitcase dragging behind me. Run, run, run. I should mention that I am no runner. I swim for work and exercise, but I never run, and the breathing is not nearly the same.Get to security and spot someone who isnt doing anything. My throat feels like its on fire but I manage to yell out and ask for help, "My flight is leaving in just over 10 minutes, I need a passport check and I now have a bottle of whiskey in my bag". He was very friendly and escorted me through the back door and I explained how I had been pulled out of line. "I dont know why they do this" he said. Clearly this has happened before. Within minutes, he had someone stamp my boarding pass and have the flight held. He escorted me back through security ignoring the beeping that my belt, coat and everything was now causing and I high tailed it back to the gate.
Time check: 9:25am
Girl at the Gate: "Oh, you made it"
Luckily, there were still a few people on the tarmac waiting to board the plane. Ready to jump on, but oh wait!! The other girl at the counter says, "excuse me, you have to put your purse in your luggage"
I didnt have to do this on the way there, and I threw my souvenirs in my bag not really leaving room. On top of trying to figure this out, I am dying of heat exhaustion and lack of hydration. Finally, one of the airport men stood in front of her blocking her view and told me to forget it and go. Thanks Sir!!!!
Finally on the plane, soaked in sweat, and throat on fire. It was an excellent plane ride home and drinks were not free.

Luckily, everything went well after that. I figured out the bus and all the trains to get home and was home by 6pm.

This post was really just a rant, although I think I really earned it.
The moral of the story, if your boarding pass says, passport check required, you better make sure you get it BEFORE you go through security and argue when you are told otherwise.

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