We’re back in New York after a three-day visit to Washington, D.C. Compared to our trip two years ago, the trip was painless. The plane to DC waited on the ground for 90 minutes because of bad weather along the way, but the stewardess kept her sense of humor: “If you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer. If you are going to complain, I’m going to move on down the aisle.”
My foot is all better, thank God, and I was able to walk around without a problem. We spent a whole day at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. An exhibit on Jewish immigration included a painting of a breastfeeding mom—more on that another time. And my son complained that the museum’s descriptions were only in English.
On our return, a two-hour power outage at Reagan National Airport meant long lines. My brother who had accompanied us tried to find out what we could do. (Answer: not much, and next time I’ll remember to print out boarding passes in advance.) We finally got to the front of the line and a harried yet friendly agent.
Agent: How many are in your party?
Agent: Do you all have the same last name?
Agent: You made my day. [Into the phone:] Here are four passengers with the same last name. [She reads the names, writes out the boarding passes and turns back to me:] Do you have any bags?
Agent: Same last name and no bags. I’m loving the Katsman family. I could give you a hug. Here are your boarding passes. The 3:00 flight is canceled and I have you on the 4:00. Go to gate 41 and talk to the agent to get printed passes.
The agent at the gate said I had not paid for the tickets, and couldn’t get us on a flight until 8:00. Fortunately another agent managed to manipulate the computer, locate the correct reservations, and print out passes for the 4:00.
At least we avoided special security this time, and they no longer warn you not to go to the bathroom within 30 minutes of DC. But I did have to give up my sunscreen, rather than pay $18 to check a bag.
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