Did you know that your airline ticket and passport need to match EXACTLY?
My son and I are booked to go to Spain in June with his Spanish class.
I have been paying on our trips for over a year.
They are finally paid off.
And this morning I went to confirm our flights and found out that the tour company had my “Romeo” married name on my tickets. It was the name that was on my bank account.
THAT WAS NOT THE NAME ON MY PASSPORT.
Fast forward to calling the tour company. They claimed no responsibility and said they would call me back to let me know what could be done.
They called me while Romeo and I were out to lunch. I took the call hurriedly and went outside.
She started the conversation with saying, “I have bad news. Our airline is charging you $989.00 to change your tickets.”
I could barely breathe.
And then I could breathe. It just sounded a lot like this………….
I was devastated.
The “unfeeling” tour operator did not know what to say or how to react with my unexpected outburst.
She immediately softened and said, “I’m sorry. I know this is awful.”
I said….”No, it’s financially devastating.”
This trip for us was a sacrifice. A time for my son and I to create memories and bond.
When I said the truth…that it was financially devastating, the tour operator went from “protect the company” mode to “help the client” mode.
The options weren’t good with the tour company and then I asked what would happen if I just went ahead and tried to get my passport expedited and my name changed.
She said it was worth a shot and gave me the state departments phone number.
Ok…..fast forward again through tears, prayers and disbelief to the state department saying it would be $185.00 to get my passport expedited and I had a CHANCE of getting my passport in 3 weeks.
WE LEAVE IN 3.5 WEEKS.
I had no choice. It was better than $1,000.00.
We were given a list from the state department of things to gather and were rushing around this afternoon to get them to the post office and overnighted by 4pm. It was like a bad dream. One thing kept triggering the next and slowly the time with my son was falling apart around me. I would lose the trip. Lose the time with my son. Lose the money I had spent OR spend almost $1,000 more.
I went to Walgreens to get a passport photo while Romeo went to the courthouse to get an OFFICIAL copy of our marriage certificate.
It had begun raining and as I was driving into Walgreens, I just said a light prayer ofÂ “Lord, I need a breath. I need something here. Please…..”
That was it.
Nothing special happened……
I went on in Walgreens to get my passport photo made.
As I was rushing by the photo counter with a tear stained face, a well dressed man said, “How fast do you need your passport?”
He had been talking with the Walgreens sales lady and showing her his vacation pictures one by one.
I appreciated his friendliness but I was in a rush and HAD to get to the post office and still meet Romeo.
I said, “Very fast.”
I was paying the Walgreens lady and he said, “Did you know that you can take your info to your local congressman’s office and they can get it done quicker?” He went on to say more but the Walgreens lady was talking, my husband was calling and I thanked him and paid the sales lady.
He turned back to the sales lady and was literally going over every single vacation picture with her. He was friendly but I didn’t have time.
As I was leaving he said…..”Here, take my card. Call me if I can help you.”
I was trying to be polite and took his card not knowing what he would be able to help me with and read his title……
“Certified travel consultant”.
The “breath” I asked for.
Sorry about that Lord.
When I read his title I said, “You are what I prayed for.”
He didn’t even act surprised.
I asked him to explain again what he had told me about our congressman.
Fast forward to……
Did you know?
Did you know that if you “google” your local congressman, you will find their website.
On their website there are constituent services offered.
One of those services is help with expedited passports.
You heard me…….
Breathe Rebecca, breathe……………
Fast forward to a less expensive fee for expedited passports and tomorrow it will be sealed with a letter from our local congressman and taken to the state department……through their “channels”.
Guess how long this DISCOUNTED and EXPEDITED passport is going to take?
Remember that I was going to take a chance of getting it in three weeks sending it off myself.
Now…for less money….I get it back in three days.
Life is hard…….. but God is good.
There are all kind of neat “constituent services” offered on our congressman’s website. Even tours in Washington D.C. of their offices etc.
Check yours out but more importantly….
When life feels like it is “taking you under”….. remember Who controls the tide.
I was reminded today AND I almost missed it.
I am so thankful that a gentleman, with a sweet spirit, obeyed the “nudge” to assist me. I hope that I canÂ be as helpful to someone else in need. I would hope that I wouldn’t hesitate to “listen” to the whisper to maybe be the “breath” someone needs.
What about you?
Ever needed a reminder?
Needed a breath?
Had a travel experience like this?
I would love to know……
PS. This post will be placed in my “because it is true” posts. You can find that series of posts underneath the “labels” to the right of this page. If you are new to this blog, please check them out. Just keeping it real! : ) Love, Me