The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Not My Fault; I'm a Lawyer

I got to JFK around 5 p.m. for a 6:20 flight. I was booked in business class and had checked in motsai Shabbos through the internet. I had a boarding pass in hand, a seat assignment and was all set to go.

I went straight to the business class lounge, bypassing security and check in (as instructed by my electronic boarding pass) since I had only carry-on luggage.

I hung out in the lounge until around 6 and finally walked downstairs to get to the gate.

They wouldn't let me in.

The security person said I needed a boarding pass. I said I had a boarding pass. She said that's not a boarding pass. I asked her to read the title. It said "boarding pass" in big letters. She still wouldn't let me in. I asked to see a superviser. She said the superviser wasn't around.

I shlepped back upstairs to the El Al check in line. There was literally no one there. No one.

I ran back to the business class lounge. Luckily, there were still a couple of people there. I explained my predicament. The manager asked why I didn't go through security at the check in counter. I told her that my e-boarding pass said to go straight to the gate and have a security clearance done at the gate. She was skeptical, I told her to read the boarding pass. There, in black and white, it said to do exactly what I was trying to do.

The manager (who was very pleasant and helpful) asked if she could keep my copy of the electronic boarding pass to show to her management because it was totally wrong. As I discovered, you cannot get through to the gate without a real boarding pass.

They printed out a regular boarding pass, arranged to have a security person meet me at the gate and sent me on my way. They apologized for the confusion. I apologized for causing such a kerfuffle. I explained that, sadly, I am a lawyer and I read documents for a living and therefor am inclined to do what the documents tell me to.

In any event, I got to the gate on time, got on the plane, sat on the runway for two hours because of weather related delays, had dinner, popped an Ambien, and got to Israel no worse for wear.



  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger Ben said…

    Beruchim haba-im. Call to say hi when you have a chance.


  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger uberimma said…

    It's good to fly business class. If you'd had an economy ticket, whatever had been printed on the boarding pass, you'd have missed your flight.

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    will do. I'm not sure I can actually last three days in a yeshiva so I might have to bolt out at some time!

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Uber. It is, indeed, and I am grateful that I get to do it (especially when it's for free). The manager told me that many people have missed their flights because of confusion over e boarding passes.

  • At 10:21 AM, Blogger treppenwitz said…

    I'm with Uber Ima... if you'd been among the eravrav in cattle class you would be telling us a sad tale of standby and a news stand 'dinner'.

  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bro! At least you had the opportunity to pop the ambien! I on the other hand was at the airport yesterday flying to a cousin's wedding, or so I thought. I arrived at JFK at 8AM for a flight leaving 9:30AM, except for the fact that the pilot never showed! The plane was there but no pilot! Now I'm thinking, assuming the pilot eventually shows up, do I want to fly with a pilot who may have been out drinking all night? There were periodic announcements that the pilot was still missing. The wedding was to start at 4pm in Chicago and no one knew when or if the plane would take off. At 12:45pm I had enough and went back to the main desk to "really find out what's going on." Well, they stuck to the story about the pilot. They didn't know when the plane would take off and said that it may be cancelled and we would have to take the next flight out. Once I heard that, I decided to bail, the next flight would have arrived after the start of the wedding. Well wouldn't you know it, I left the airport only to find out later that the plane did finally leave (1:44PM) and arrived in time for the wedding. I felt terrible that I left and probably would have stuck it out if not for the information I got from the JetBlue agent.

  • At 6:48 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said…

    ELAL treats its business travellers nicely.

    Actually, I've seen that printout before on my e-tickets and never belived it.

    I wonder if thats from the Virtual Peace Reality that never actually happened, but only exists in Shimon Peres' mind.


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