27 July 2006

Stumbling through the Big Trip, part II

[Posted by Colin]

In the previous post, I told you the story of getting to the airport. Today, our adventures at Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle.

After getting out of the cab, we loaded up two luggage carts with all of our stuff and had Didg hop into his kennel. While the kennel was still in the apartment, Didg had been surprisingly comfortable in it. [For those who don't know, Didg was claustrophobic as a puppy and every time we tried to put him in a kennel, he screamed like a three-year-old girl throwing a tantrum.] Outside the airport, with the kennel up on the luggage cart, he wasn't terribly excited about getting in his box. That, should have been a warning to us.

As we walked into the terminal building, Didg figured out what was going on and seemed to remember his flight to France. In other words, he started crying and whimpering incessantly. He honestly sounded like some little bird shrilly squeaking as loud as possible. As he tried to bust out of the kennel, he was shaking the cart terribly and making it very hard to steer. Amy, meanwhile, was on the verge of tears since her baby was sounding so upset.

Once we got into the ticket line, things got worse—everyone else wanted to know what was making that awful racket and kept peering in to look at him. Everybody felt sorry for him and cooed at him. Now, if you see someone hauling an unhappy dog in the airport, DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THE DOG!!!! Every time someone looked in and said something to comfort him, it only rewarded him for making all that noise and encouraged him to be louder and more incessant!

The line actually moved pretty quickly, so we got up to the desk after about 20 minutes. We walked up to the lady, handed her our paper tickets (with seats reserved in the 34th row), and I started moving luggage off of the carts. That's when she informed us that we were on the standby list. WH- WHA- WHAT??? How in the **** do you end up on standby when you have paper tickets, reserved seats, and an obnoxious dog who has a space reserved in the special, pressurized, climatized hold just for dogs?

[BTW, on a side note, if you have to fly with a dog, fly Air France.]

After pressing that lady for all the information we could and offering to pay to get onto the flight, we realized that this lady couldn't do anything for us. So, rather than killing the messenger, we set off to find who had put us on standby!

After saying goodbye to Didg and handing him off to one of the luggage handlers, it was time to pay the necessary fees for traveling with a large dog and for having an overweight suitcase. Naturally, this can't be done at the ticketing counter that actually accepts the luggage. So, we set off in search of the one counter that handles all of these fees for Air France. Once there, we paid in cash (come prepared...they wouldn't take credit cards...) and headed off for security.

[To be continued...]


At 3/8/06 03:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how Didge would do on a flight to Australia?



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