So numbers matter.... and the adventure has begun!
A dear friend picked me up at 2pm for my 5:01pm flight. Now some of you know that I am not a fan of sitting in airports, but for some reason this seemed appropriate this time. Harbinger.
I wasn’t able to check in through the American app, and I assumed it had something to do with it being an international flight. Harbinger #2.
When the kiosk at the airport rejected me and directed me to an attendant, I still wasn’t alarmed. Kurtis, the attendant, welcomed me and informed me that the flight had not taken off from Phoenix, but since I had a 5 hour layover in LAX all should be ok.
After 30 minutes and multiple phone calls I was beginning to wonder what was up. He asked if I had an Australian Visa, and I pulled up the confirmation email in which it said that the Visa would automatically attach to my passport. He was talking to the third person on the phone, and my hackles were raised when he said, “oh, 894” and hung up the phone. He turned to me and told me I didn’t have an Australian Visa because I had transposed the numbers on the Visa application.
What???? I thought to myself, “I applied last October and had received an approved Visa. Wasn’t there some big data board in the cloud catching my stupid mistake!!???”
Now I was very aware of my racing heart, shallow breathing and flushed face. Who would I call to take me home? Wait, my home is now occupied. Where will I stay? Will I have to buy another airline ticket??
Geeez. What a sloppy mistake. Now what?
Kurtis scanned the confirmation Visa email with me and we found a way to edit the Visa. We toggled back and forth and for a mere $5 the edit request was made. He thought it should be a pretty quick turn around, and in fact I received an email stating they had received my request and that I should hear back from them within 24 hours.
I looked at him and he acknowledged that wouldn’t work. He then turned to his computer and began searching and found an international number to call for help. He asked me if I could make international calls. I said I thought so, and he read me the number.
I made contact with a very foreign sounding voice which really confused me because I thought I would be talking to an Aussie. It became apparent that she needed to talk to the attendant and within in minutes he whispered to me that it should be fixed in less than 10 minutes!
I almost instantly received an email with the corrected and approved Visa, and he printed out the boarding passes.
I hopped over the luggage scale with a huge smile on my face and gave Kurtis a big hug. Gratitude.
My heart rate was back to normal, and the flight delay allowed my mistake to become merely the first of, what I imagine will be, many stories...
22 lbs. = weight of my backpack
2.5 hour flight delay
894 = correct number sequence
$10 in international phone charges
1 hour of fearful angst
It’s all good.