Enroute to Spain… the only thing missing is a passport

The “Amazing Race” season premiere may have just aired, but we have us our own little “Amazing Race.”

Let’s step back for a second. I’m taking two mileage runs/mini-vacations to Spain this month with a friend from Oklahoma (yes, that fact is thrown in there so he gets some sympathy right off the bat) who’s also an Executive Platinum member with American. You’d think that would translate to an experienced traveler, right?

So two weeks ago we’re enroute to Spain, flying from Miami to New York to Barcelona. We board Miami to New York and are enjoying our pre-departure beverages when my friend remembers he left his coat (containing his passport) in the Admirals Club. To make matters worse, the Admirals Club he left it at was the one furthest from our gate. With 20 minutes till scheduled departure time (theoretically 10 minutes till the door closes) he darts off the plane. Hmm, looks like I might be going to Spain alone.

Sure enough he shows up literally a minute before scheduled departure with his coat and passport in hand.

Let’s completely forget the fact that he left his laptop bag (containing his passport) behind on two occasions in the three days we were in Barcelona, once at Starbucks and once at a restaurant. You’d think he would have learned his lesson.

Last night he flew from Tulsa to Tampa so that we could start our trip this morning.

I made it to the airport about 15 minutes before him and headed straight for security and got some work done in the US Airways Club. As soon as I sat down I got a text from him saying he was just checking in and would be through security in a few minutes.

Fast forward an hour or so. I was focusing on my work so it hadn’t occurred to me that he still didn’t make it. I headed down to the gate figuring he had already boarded, though he hadn’t. He texts me and says he’ll be aboard in a minute.

Sure enough he’s one of the last people to board, and the first thing he says is “I left my passport at home.” You’ve gotta be $*&%[email protected] me!

Yes, he left his passport at home in Tulsa and didn’t realize it till he pulled out his travel wallet this morning at check-in, only to find it missing.

But he doesn’t give up that easily, so he booked a ticket for one of his roommates to Dallas to deliver his passport. Unfortunately it’s all bad news from there. The ticket was $600 (that’s over a dollar per mile), we only have a 40 minute connection in Dallas, and his friend was 20 minutes from the airport 30 minutes before departure without a boarding pass in hand last he spoke to him.

So yeah, this should get interesting…

Filed Under: American, Mileage Runs
  1. Ben–just reading this post while TRYING to consume my morning pastry and latte—so hard to swallow heehe….tooooooo depressing

    @mike choi: you wouldnt happen to be Marks brother would you?

  2. He needs to have his passport stapled to his shirt like a kid in kindergarten with a note from home.

    His experiences sound like the nightmares I had when I was travelling overseas regularly for work– waking up in a cold sweat because I either missed a flight or had no documents!

  3. People like that I don’t fly with or do much of anything else with. Being on time and organized is a priority with me.

    Rushing around at the last minute is too stressful for me.

    The only priorities in traveling are ID, money/CCs and be on time. Everything else you can work around or buy.

    Good Luck.

  4. Out of all the things I triple check, days before international travel, is where in the hell is my passport! Especailly morning of, I am like someone with OCD, always checking to make sure I can lay my hands on my passport. Still, Lucky’s story is funny.

  5. I know it’s not your responsibility, but why wouldn’t you call him 3x times to ensure he has his passport? It seems that there is no safe assumptions with this friend!

  6. If you continue to travel together, I think your friend needs to let YOU keep his passport…especially if he only uses it for international travel with you!

  7. Could he if just seen a consulate to get an expedited Passport replacement?

    Before you pick on him too much, my family is originally from Oklahoma, and I promise most Okies aren’t dumb!

  8. @oscar N. negative on marks brother

    @james I was being sarcastic, I guess it’s hard to convey that here in this setting

  9. Been in this boat sort of.

    I once got a call from a friend a little before 6 am (very early on a Friday morning when you are in college). He somehow managed to drop his passport while getting into a cab outside our building, someone found it, brought it inside and call security called him right as he was checking in and about to realize he no longer had his passport. I had to drive it to the airport because there was no way he would make it back and forth in a cab with traffic getting worse and worse and make his flight/check-in cutoff. I did at least get a couple free drinks the next time we went out 😉

    Hope it worked out.

  10. I once actually flew to London and back without my passport in a comedy of errors. I had my passport checked at the airport when I checked in, but then came home briefly to pick something up and somehow left the valid passport on my coffee table. I managed to get in to the UK using IRIS and didn’t know at that time that I didn’t have the passport with me. On the way back, I checked myself in so nobody actually looked for my physical passport. At boarding, I presented a cancelled passport that I had with me and nobody checked its validity but just the name. When I got to Immigration in Ghana, the officer was a bit flustered by a long line and just stamped me in on the cancelled passport (which did contain a valid Ghana residence permit it should be noted, even though the passport itself was now cancelled). I didn’t even realise that the valid passport was missing until I got home and saw it sitting on the coffee table! Very lucky series of events and I now ensure I have the right passport with me everytime I leave the house. 🙂

  11. And as a follow up, I’m happy to report that everything worked out (minus serious inconvenience to his friend and a $600 ticket to Dallas). We made it to Dallas just in time, met his friend in the terminal, and made our connection. It was certainly a close call, though!

  12. Sounds like a Seinfeld episode. Ever notice that in every Seinfeld episode, someone loses a large sum of money (or something worth a lot of money) due to foolishness…. think about that next time you watch.

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