Saturday, August 28, 2010

Add It Up

Somewhere in the midst of my personal drama my uncle decided to use his mileage to go to Lithuania. He was inspired by Mom to get a free flight so his itinerary was as follows: Chicago to Detroit, (7 hour layover!) Detroit to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Vilnius. It was going to take nearly 24 hours to get there and he was leaving a week after scheduling this flight. The trip was set for August 2.

A couple days before his trip Grandma was agitated because the airline hadn't set him any tickets.

How he goin wizout ticket?

I'm sure he has a confirmation number.

No. You need it ticket.

Grandma, you don't need tickets anymore. A number should do it.

They said they send him.

Ok well I'm sure he'll get them in the next few days.

In few days he leaving!

I can look up his seat on the computer.

So my uncle came upstairs the next day and showed me the confirmation number. I found his flights and printed his itinerary, only they had everything up to Amsterdam and back. No Lithuania. He said that they were putting him on a small plane for that leg and he was sure it was ok. I told him that he better get the info so at least he knows when and where to board and I also said that he should do something about that 7 hour layover in Detroit.

He was going to visit and stay with family which is both stupid and exciting. Mom said over and over what an idiot he was for doing this. She said that he is gullible and they will coax him into giving them a bunch of money.

Uncle doesn't have any money to give them so what difference does it make?

They will give him a sob story you'll see. They've been doing it to me for years and believe me, they are better off now than we are.

I know but still. Just be happy for him. I'm sure it will be an interesting experience. I wanted to go a few years ago. I wish I could have met all of Grandma's sisters.

It's totally crazy.

Mom. We were in Israel a week and a half ago. Crazy is a relative term in this family.

The day before his flight Uncle walked up to me in his pajamas and handed me his phone.

Tell her to fax you the itinerary.

Hi. Ok well. Um hi. Yes I'm his niece........Right.........Yes we have a fax...Could you just email it to me instead?........Ok it's........

This interaction was beyond my uncle. He has nothing to do with technology whatsoever and was expecting tickets in the mail like it used to be. Grandma made him paranoid that he wasn't going to be able to get on the flight. He couldn't believe that it worked this way and blamed the airline over and over for being unorganized. I told him that he should probably get an email address.

It's ridiculous. They were supposed to send it!

I know but it will be fine with just this. This is all you need. You have a confirmation number and you know what your flight numbers are. You're fine.

What am I supposed to show them?

Nothing. You only need the number and your passport. You'll see when you check in. There are these kiosks and....

Aviva. You have to show them tickets and your passport.

Uncle, trust me. You have everything you need.

I want two copies of everything.

Then Grandma interjected that maybe I was right about how things worked in the airport here but things are different in Europe.

Grandma, listen. They have everything we have and once you check in for one flight they check you all the way through.

No. You're vrong. You no know what it's like zhere. He has to have ticket!

Grandma, I travel a lot remember? He is going to be fine with just the confirmation numbers and his passport.

How can it be? Just a number? Is ridiculous. When I trabel wiz your mama we have to show papers!

Yes I know. But you went to Vilnius in 1974.

I know you have to have it. Papers.

Sigh. This family is lost without me.

The "tickets" arrived after Uncle had left for his trip. Grandma asked me if she should send them to her niece in Lithuania but I convinced her not to.

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