Monday, June 29, 2015

Some Angels Wear Airline Uniforms

Last Thursday I dropped my just-barely-17 year old daughter off at the airport. She was scared and excited; traveling by herself for the first time and headed for Peru. The first leg of the trip was a short one - San Francisco to Los Angeles. From there, she would have to get over to the international terminal and get on a flight to Lima. And once in Lima, go through immigration and customs, go to the domestic terminal and find her flight to Cuzco. We went over it many times. I kissed her good-bye and waved as she headed off through security.
A few hours later, she called. She was in tears and just beside herself; filled with panic. She was in L.A. and had lost her wallet, which contained her passport and boarding passes. I tried my best to calm her down. She retraced her steps a bit, convinced security to let her into the international terminal to try to talk her way onto the Lima flight with her drivers license and copy of her passport. No go.
She called again; more panicked then ever because the clock was ticking and she knew she wouldn't make her flight. Just as I was trying to calm her down, the other phone rang. 
It was Laurie from American Airlines. They had found her wallet. She said she would leave it at the American Airlines ticket counter. Laurie stayed on the line while I tried to get Clara to calm down and go get her passport. By this point, Clara was so upset she couldn't find her way out of the international terminal. Laurie heard me on the line with Clara and said, "Tell her stay where she is, and I will bring it to her." Laurie imagined Clara - a 17 year old with a brand new passport, on her first trip, panicked and about to miss her flight - and went out of her way to cross LAX, convince international security to let her in and find Clara. All of this was above and beyond what she had to do. She was truly an angel, sent to help Clara in her time of need. 
Clara still ended up missing her flight and had to navigate her way to an airport hotel at 2:00 a.m. But she managed. And the next day, she returned to the airport, boarded the plane to Lima and then on to Cuzco, Peru.
I'm so proud of my girl for sticking with it and not giving up. And so grateful to Laurie, an angel in an airline uniform, who helped Clara on her way.

18 comments:

Abi said...

Oh what a sweet sweet lady. And well done for Clara for persevering. I would be in tears if that happened to me now. Airports are scary places, especially on your own. Can't wait to hear more about her adventures.

Mommy2CVC said...

So glad she made it safely to Peru and you are right, Laurie was an angel in disguise!! I can't even imagine this happening to me let alone my precious niece! Hugs and kisses to you all!

Sian said...

Such a great story! There are definitely some very good people out there and I'm so glad she found one at just the right moment. The photos look amazing..

debs14 said...

Doesn't it just renew your faith in human kindness? What a lovely lady, and well done to Clara for dealing with the rest of her journey and the start of her biggest adventure.

Eileen T said...

What a lovely lady to go out of her way to help Clara. And as for Clara ... she's one brave young lady, travelling to Peru on her own at that age. I don't think I could have done it.

My not so simple life said...

Oh no how scary! So glad there was a nice person there to help, makes such a difference :)

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

That is such a horrible feeling to have your girl on the other end of the phone, upset and stuck at an airport. (Been there.) I love the story of the airport employee helping Clara in her time of need! As scary as this whole thing must have been, bonus points to Clara for figuring it out and getting through it. She will always have this story to tell.

Maggie said...

Oh Rinda I feel for you and for Clara and what a lovely lady. Thank goodness for mobile phones!

Karen said...

I can't even imagine Clara's panic, and yours as well. Thank goodness for angels in uniform! But it will make for a great story some day soon.

Gail said...

Oh how wonderful of that lady. You must have been beside yourself not being there to comfort her in person. Glad she was able to finally get to her destination. I'm sure it's something she will always remember.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad that it worked out well in the end. I know that must have been tough for you not to be there to help her! How awesome that someone stepped in & made an extra effort!

scrappyjacky said...

Such an inspiring story....I can imagine how panicked C must have been....thank heavens for the good people out there.

Alison said...

I'm so glad it worked out and that there was an 'angel' on hand just when she was needed...I can only imagine that telephone conversation, having had several similar ones with Kirsty...bet you needed a stiff drink once you knew all was well! Xx

Miriam said...

What a wonderful lady. I can imagine your girl in a panic, one I have felt myself when travelling long distance for the first time with my young child. There are truly beautiful angels in this world.

Jo.C said...

That is so kind and I can imagine just how that conversation went and how helpless you would have felt. Good to know there are people who care. Fantastic photos x

Lady Ella said...

Thank heaven for people who take pride in their jobs and know how much a small kindness can mean. Really glad to read this!

Sharon said...

Hello, I'm taking part in the fun Scavenger Hunt that you've created and have just had a look at your lovely blog. what a brave young daughter you have. I have a 20 year old and a nearly 16 year old and I can't imagine for one second even my 20 year old having the courage and initiative in doing what your daughter is doing - I don't even know if I could do it! What an amazing life experience for her and I really admire her courage and independence. I can imagine the panic that must have ensued - there's nothing worse than not being able to be there to help. I'm glad it all ended well. I wish her well with her journey :)

nancy y said...

oh my gosh - she was an angel! Not sure I could've handled it as well as Clara did! WTG Clara!! what an adventurous trip and story of a lifetime! (just catching up on all my blogs after 2 weeks in the valley)