Bear with me, people. I need to tell you about some unfortunate stuff before I get to everything that was bright and good about a bad Thanksgiving Day. But I think you’ll find it as worthwhile as I did.
It was One of Those Days…
My early flight out of Vancouver’s YVR Airport was delayed about an hour. That meant, of course, that my connecting flight from LAX was going to be tight. Very tight. And that’s when things started to spiral out of control.
We landed with less than 30 minutes before my flight was to take off. As usual, I was escorted off the plane by an attendant, who wheeled me to the exit, where I needed to take a handicapped van to yet another terminal. My chances of making that connecting flight were dwindling – especially when the handicapped van pulled away just as we got to the curb.
Once I got to the next terminal, the van driver walked me in to find an attendant. A young man was summoned to try to get me to my gate. He shuffled up, got me into my chair and proceed to the gate, slowly. Very slowly. Then we came to another security checkpoint. And my hell truly bagan.
This wheelchair attendent in LAX didn’t know how to escort a blind person through security, was rude, and worse, actually used me and the wheelchair to push a cart of plastic bins out of his way. I was appalled. Then, he chose not to stay by me when I was retrieving my belongings – instead, he yelled at me to hurry up and get back into the wheelchair because he “wanted to go home”. I guess he had a turkey dinner waiting for him. Subsequently, in my haste and confusion, my purse was stolen right off the line. My iPhone, iPod Touch, Surefire flashlight, wallet, cards, keys, sunglasses and my specially made reading glasses, all gone in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, they did NOT get my passport.
But I didn’t realize that till about 10 minutes later, after we made it to the departure gate, found I had indeed missed the connecting flight, and was given a new boarding pass for the next available flight three hours later. We returned back to the security area, where the TSA folks did have an image of the purse being stolen, but despite the best efforts of the LAX police, neither the thief nor the purse was found. I was devastated, crying, and helpless. Meanwhile, the attendant slumped down on a bench near my chair and proceeded to flag down other attendants passing by and ask them to relieve him because he wanted to go home
OK, so much for the bad. I have a far happier story to tell in Part Two:-)