So my wife and I planned a little trip for last weekend. Just a few days in Quebec City, Canada. See the sights, have some great food, and kick back for a while.
I was already used to the take the shoes off shuffle, no sharp objects, etc, having flown in 2003 and again in 2007.
All of this due to the price we've paid since that terrible day in September, 2001.
At least this will ensure our safety a little more.
Or so I thought.
Join me below Ville De Quebec for the loopholes in airport security that apparently still exist - almost eight years later.
View from the Citadel - Hotel Frontenac
The first part of trip was great. Seeing the sights - eating great French-Canadian cuisine, and just relaxing.
We had a great meal at Aux Anciens Canadiens -
went sight-seeing on Ile D'Orelans - the beautiful Église de Ste-Famille -
saw some cool all-electric mini buses - free to ride - seated 21 people, that the city was trying out in a pilot program -
and in general, had a great if brief three days in Quebec City.
As the good things must come to and end, the good disappeared as we arrived at the airport on Sunday.
My wife put her credit card in the boarding pass machine - just as we had done in Newark, NJ.
Oops. Only one passenger showed for printing a boarding pass - my wife.
We just figured there was some silly glitch.
We had purchased flight/trip insurance from an online travel agency - not going to mention names - so all would be made right, right?
According to the airline records - I was listed as a "no-show" for the first leg of the trip, so my reservation to return was cancelled! We spoke to the online travel agency, who asked us questions like - "were you late for the flight?"
Pointing out that we both had passports stamped by Canadian customs apparently fell on deaf ears. We had chucked (or so we thought at the time - found later in our luggage) both our boarding passes from Newark to Quebec City. Without these, I was going to spend more time in Canada than we had planned. So without the boarding passes or our luggage checks (we DID throw these out) - I was not flying back with my wife.
We hung up on the not so helpful online travel agency ($60.00 for trip insurance - for what, I ask you?) and told our story to the airline ticket agent. She immediately escalated it and was able to check another record which showed that I had gotten a boarding pass. She issued both of us new boarding passes and it was au revoir, Quebec! Merci beaucoup, Mme. Gagne!
Seriously - my thoughts were - how can this occur? What flaw allows the flight record to be deleted or altered - of someone that received a boarding pass, boarded the flight, flew to the destination, and checked through customs?
Couldn't this same loophole be exploited by someone who wanted their record of traveling erased?
I do not travel often, and so this may be more common than I know. If any kossacks can help me understand how this can happen, I'd appreciate it!
(BTW - all pictures taken with an iPhone - complete set can be found here.