It's 7:24am and I am writing this from the PDX airport. I should be in the air right now halfway to Atlanta but as I should know by now, when it comes to flying, things don't always go your way. My flight this morning was supposed to be at 6am so I woke up at 3 and we got to the airport by 4.
All went well, I said my goodbyes, got through security no problem, and sat down at my gate thirty minutes before boarding. Everything was on time and set to go. The half hour passed and people started standing up for boarding. We were just finishing the pre-board when I heard my name called over the speaker requesting me at the table. I was terrified. I knew something must be wrong and I really didn't want to deal with it. Let me get to Dusseldorf in peace please.
Unfortunately things didn't go my way. After making me stand at the table with no acknowledgement whatsoever for 5 minutes the guy finally looked at me and asked for my passport. He saw that I was flying internationally and asked why I didn't have my visa. I calmly explained that I had the application but that I was getting my visa in Germany. He looked up his handy dandy Delta Airlines rulebook and stared at it for awhile (we were boarding zone 2 by then) and finally looked at me and said "Sorry you can't fly." SORRY WHAT? Yeah I wasn't happy with that but he didn't care. He calmly and I have to say rudely told me to go back to the ticket counter and get it worked out. Get it worked out?!?! Are you kidding me the plane was going to leave in 15 minutes.
I was forced to turn around and start all over again. I stood at that counter for half an hour trying to work it out and not burst into unstoppable tears and finally the nice lady made the right call and discovered that a student CAN in fact travel internationally without a visa. Thank you Delta airlines for taking me on that wild, pointless adventure. I then got the last seat on an 8:45am flight and here I am about to board. I have 40 minutes to board my plane to Dusseldorf once I get to Atlanta. Let's hope all goes well.
Wow! You handled a very difficult situation incredibly well. Glad you got it all worked out in the end and happy to see you are already doing so well in your new home.
David Noall, Chairman
Portland Rotary Youth Exchange Committee
I’m off to a great start even after the hard travel:)