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When I booked an October flight to Ireland for my son and I last summer, I believed that by planning far enough in advance I would eliminate any chance of a screw-up later on. After all this was not a last minute best-buy on the Internet. I had a real live ticket that said Minneapolis - Amsterdam - Dublin. One connecting flight, two carriers: Northwest and Aer Lingus. What could go wrong?
My son and I arrived at the Minneapolis terminal more than two hours ahead of our scheduled flight. I looked at the thin lines and thought, “Man, this is going to be easy.” It wasn’t until the ticket agent handed us our boarding passes with, “That will be Amsterdam, London, Dublin. Enjoy your flight,” that I thought, “Oh, oh, we’re in trouble”.
“What’s London doing in there?” I asked. “If I wanted to connect in London I would’ve skipped Amsterdam.”
“Hm,” she said, and escorted us two blocks down the terminal to another agent. Agent 2 did a clickety clack on the computer and said that the problem looked to be in Ireland.
“Flights are being re-routed from Amsterdam to Ireland,” Agent 2 said. “They’ve got you going through London.”
When I asked why, she mumbled, “I don’t know, but maybe its a terrorist thing. You know they have problems in Northern Ireland.”
I thought, “Wow, what a thing to say to a would-be-traveler to Ireland.” But before I could even get a “What are you talking about?” out of my mouth, Agent 2 asked Agent 1 to take us two blocks back to meet Agent 3.
Agent 3 looked like he moonlighted as a SWAT commando - flat top haircut, pale green eyes and a stern, no-nonsense disposition.
Agent 3 clickety clacked on his computer, paused to look at our tickets, then clickety clacked some more.
After what seemed like 15 minutes of clickety clacking, number 3 looked up and said , “There’s an Aer Lingus strike.” It turned out that the Aer Lingus cabin crew members went on a 24-hour wildcat strike on the very day my son and I were flying into the bloody country.
A half hour later we had our new tickets, but the SWAT guy warned us about our bags.
“When you get to Stansted you’ll have to get your bags and put them on the Ryan Air plane,” he instructed.
“Where the hell is Stansted?” I asked. I had been to Heathrow and Gatwick in London, but Stansted? And what was Ryan Air?
Eight hours later, we arrived i .....
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• Driving After Revocation - Aric Vernon Wold, 30, Peterson, MN. Sentenced Jan. 24, 2001, fined $365.
• Underage Consumption and Disorderly Conduct - Jeremy James Berg, 19, Eyo .....
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Come discover 185 acres of lush, bountifu .....
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