You might remember my story from back in July about trying to pick up my bird from JFK airport. Well I decided not to get that bird, but wait for another baby to hatch. And I was scheduled to pick him up at JFK this Sunday.
Well, I refused to have that episode happen again, so Sunday the breeder called to make sure the bird was on the plane before I left. That’s why I got a call at 1:00 that he was NOT on the plane, right before I was getting on the subway. Man, was I upset. I had turned down having Ty model at the Knit Out, and I was so looking forward to getting the bird.
So, they were rescheduling him for a 6:06 flight that got in at 8. I was nervous about the whole wander around remote cargo area at night alone (it’s nowhere near the passenger terminals, or any taxis, etc.), so my brother was driving me. But again, I refused to get on the train to go to his house till I knew it was OK. I waited impatiently, and at 6:20 or so, the breeder called. She spoke to Cleveland Cargo, the bird was on the plane. Yay! I jumped on the #3 and headed to Alan’s, which took nearly an hour, and we go to JFK.
Once there, he makes a wrong turn in the airport because the signage is all crappy. We get a little lost - I had to get him back on the Van Wyck and try again, but we find it. We get there, the dismal office I went to last time, and get this - the SAME guy is behind the counter. The one that was really not so helpful last time. I tell him I’m there to pick up a bird and he says “I remember you.” I said “I remember you too. And that bird better be on the plane.”
So we sit, he’s looking things up, he calls me over. He’s being more attentive this time, at least. He asks if I got confirmation that the bird was on the plane, and I said yes. He showed me on the computer where it says he was pulled off. I said yes, that was earlier today, a different flight, and he said “oh, you didn’t tell me that”. So he nods, and disappears for awhile. We sit.
It’s about a half hour by now, if not more. I barely ate all day and I’m near passing out. My brother goes to the candy machine and buys a pack of twizzlers and shares it with me. We watch The Amazing Race on TV.
Finally they call me up to the counter again. The bird is not on the
plane. You can only guess that by now I am broken. I’m teary, I’m furious, I’m all kinds of things. A woman comes out and explains to me that they are going to hold him overnight, he’ll be fine, he’ll be on the first flight in the morning. I keep shaking my head. No, no - you don’t understand. I’ve been here twice with this. I have to work tomorrow, I don’t have a car accessible, I don’t know how to get to cargo by public transportation. I said, Nothing personal, but I don’t trust that he’ll even be here tomorrow. She nods. I go out and call the breeder who is as upset as me. We can’t believe this is happening - AGAIN. We discuss options. Does she go pick him up again, and we try a different airline? What do we do?
The woman comes out. I’m on the phone, in tears. The woman is asking my brother what time I get off work tomorrow. He doesn’t know. She interrupts my conversation and asks me. Why is that relevant, I ask? Well, she says, I’m going to do you a favor, because I can see how upset you are. I want to renew your faith in Delta. If you sign a letter saying it’s OK for me to sign for and accept your bird, I’m going to MAKE SURE he’s on that plane tomorrow, even if they have to remove a piece of luggage, and I’m going to bring your bird to you. She gave me her personal cell phone number and her name.
And that’s what happened. She called Cleveland first thing and gave them hell. She made sure that bird was on the 1:00 flight. She picked him up - and she drove him to my office personally.
That woman’s name is Rebecca Irby, at Delta Cargo, and she is a saint.
There’s more coming up. Pics of the new bird, a new blog design, and hey, some actual knitting.