I came home from work early today and found a confirmation e-mail about the flight - there was no mention of the dog. I called the airline....."'ello, 'ello" - the voice was rather tinny in my ear so I said I am calling to confirm a flight and all I hear is "'ello, 'ello". After this goes on for a minute or two we decide that he can hear me - I ask where he is located - India this time. Gosh - I have talked to Manila, Jamaica and now India - just to get a flight to North Carolina!!!
Okay - he can hear me sort of and I tell him why I am calling - I get more "ello"s and he asks for the confirmation number. I give that to him and ask about the dog. He puts me on hold again. He comes back on the phone and asks for the number again - I spell it out to him using the Alpha, Bravo codes. He asks yet again, so now I use the animal codes, A is for anteater, B is for bison etc. The next time he asks, I use fruit and finally I regain some brains and ask to speak to someone at San Francisco airport. After 12 minutes he comes back on the line to say he cannot help me but would now transfer me to someone who will be better able to help me.
Minutes go by, I am almost seething now and then a very nice voice says Hi, my name is Sandy how may I help you - I ask "Where are you located?" and she laughs and says Georgia - I thank the powers that be - she can not only speak English - she can understand it too. So I tell her my sorry tale of woe.
She says not to worry let's see what they have here - oh, she says brightly - and in English - I see you have a psychological problem - gulp! goes me - really? - but I brightly say: "Don't we all?" She says well they have here that you have a mental problem that requires a support dog that you will carry in a bag on your shoulder. I kindly tell her that there is no way this side of the warm place that I can stuff Makeetah in a bag and put it on my shoulder - she is 75 pounds and by the way, nope, I have not yet been certified to have any mental issues. Sandy (whose name has been changed to protect the helpful), laughs, and suggests we start from scratch. We finally get it all sorted out, I now have the flight not only confirmed but the seating arrangement for Makeetah is not only reserved but I can download and print all the errors that we "fixed" in the hour and a half this phone call took to complete. Ahh, the joys of travel....