"HAIL MARY" IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON HTTPS://WWW.AMZN.COM/1684334888
"This is not your flight," said the lady at the boarding gate, studying the boarding pass that had made the scanner emit a loud, hostile beep.
"What?" said I.
"This ticket is for the 8:45 PM flight to Portland. Not the 8:45 AM flight.
"But, but.." said I.
But there were no buts. My boarding pass clearly stated 8:45P, the P meaning PM.
"Come back tonight," said the gate agent, though not unkindly.
I slunk away in shock and mortification, yet still sure this must be a mess-up on somebody else's part. I couldn't possibly have made such a dumb error.
I opened my laptop and pulled up my flight info. Sure enough. My flight was for 8:45P.
In truth I was less dismayed that I was staring at a twelve-hour wait for my flight to Portland than that I had made this ginormous mistake. How could I do this? When booking a flight I always check, double-check, and triple check the times and dates against making just this kind of goof.
I lingered in the boarding area in funk. Was I losing my ability to book a plane ticket? Was this my brain's first step heading out the door?
Then, just like that, in that area of my cerebral cortex that I feared was going dim, a light bulb snapped on: I didn't make this reservation!
I had a credit from a flight I'd booked last year to attend my son-in-law's niece's quinceañera in Arizona that I had to cancel because of the COVID epidemic. In order to cash in my flight credit I had to call the airline and make my reservation through a booking agent. I now remembered that I'd found online an 8:45 AM flight from Los Angeles to Portland and I asked the agent on the phone to book this one for me. I remembered, too, that the agent was having some trouble finding this flight that I wanted. She offered me several other flights, but I was quite insistent that the 8:45 AM flight must exist as I was looking at it on my computer. Finally she found - or claimed to find - the flight I wanted and booked it - supposedly - for me.
Now, I admit, I guess I should have realized when looking over the reservation confirmation I received from the airline that 8:45P (which, for all I knew, the "P" could have stood for "Portland") meant 8:45PM, though, in my defense, if the time had been written 8:45PM I would surely have caught it. So I'm willing to take half the responsibility for the mistake. Which is a whole lot better than making the mistake.
I was still rejoicing that my brain wasn't yet bidding me adieu when I was hit with another cause for jubilation: I have another day to spend in Los Angeles!
My daughter and son-in-law were thrilled when I told them about the extra eight hours I'd have to spend with them and the girls. However, as they were working I told them not to worry about coming to fetch me at the airport, I'd Uber it home. They warned me that I might find snagging an Uber at the Los Angeles airport a little challenging. I jauntily told them that I was up to the challenge.