Mark and I talked my brother David and his wife Marietta into joining us in Bermuda to celebrate their 10th anniversary. They agreed and rushed to get their passports renewed. With less than a week to go, their passports arrived.
Early morning on the day of departure, we headed to the airport–tired, but excited. To “save time” we went to a cramped, kiosk-only check-in area. We swiped the first passport–no problem. Then the second… reader error. We had to type in the passport #, date of birth and expiration date. Done. We swiped the third… reader error… type, type, type. The fourth… reader error… ugh!
Check-in complete, Mark and I crowded into the two-foot gap between kiosks to check our bag while David and Marietta hung back. The attendant had obviously skipped her morning coffee or had gotten less sleep than we did (i.e. she seemed extremely cranky).
“You’re going to Bermuda?” she asked. Maybe she was just jealous!
“Yes,” we replied.
“D. Wachowski?” she asked Mark.
“No, Mark Crnarich–there should be two bag tags.”
“Who is D. Wachowski?”
Mark pointed behind us. “He’s traveling with us.”
“Okay.” She put the tag on Mark’s bag and grabbed the next bag tag from the printer.
“Where is M. Crnarich’s bag?”
Mark’s expression said all too clearly–Are you kidding me?–but he simply pointed to his now tagged bag.
“Well, where’s D. Wachowski’s bag?”
Mark pointed to David’s bag behind us and motioned for David and Marietta to join us.
The attendant switched the tag on Mark’s bag and shooed us away. She weighed and tagged David and Marietta’s bag, then asked for their passports. She opened David’s passport and after a slashing glance, thrust it back at him. “This passport is invalid.”
My heart sank. What could possibly be wrong with a government issued passport? After a stunned silence, we managed to drag the reason out of her.
“It needs to be signed.”
Are you kidding me?? Couldn’t she have said that in the first place?