My life, Travel

My wife, masterful in her assertiveness

Alicia flew in from Medellín yesterday. I drove over to Orlando after work to pick her up.

She had to get up very early to catch a 7:30 a.m. flight to Bogotá on LAN, claim her bags and turn them in at Delta, take a five-hour flight to Atlanta, go through Immigration and Customs, recheck her bags, and fly to Orlando.

Everything went well until her last flight. At the gate in Atlanta, she was in group 3 and was the last to board. The Delta rep grabbed her carry-on, tagged it, and gave it to a baggage handler at the door to the plane. “No!” said Alicia. “I’m carrying that on. It’s fragile.” (It contained several buildings from a Christmas set, and after the fiasco with my carry-on that got sent to the wrong country, we had made sure it wasn’t overfilled so it would fit in the test rack.)

The baggage handler hesitated, looking at Alicia and the Delta rep as they argued. The rep insisted it had to be gate-checked, and ordered her to board the plane. Alicia refused. “I’m not moving until I get my bag back,” she said.

No one within earshot spoke Spanish, but it was obvious what she was saying. The rep got more and more furious, finally yelling, “Get out!”

“You get out!” Alicia responded in accented English.

Finally one of the pilots came out to see what was going on. “Do you speak English? Italian?” he asked Alicia.

“No English. Español,” she said.

The pilot said something, and the rep, clearly irate, took the bag from the baggage handler and gave it to Alicia, while the baggage handler grinned ear to ear. It appeared to Alicia that he was delighted to see the pushy rep get her comeuppance.


17 thoughts on “My wife, masterful in her assertiveness

  1. g. says:

    HA. Good for her! Also, what the hell “ordered her to board the plane?” Why can’t people just take a deep breath stop acting like everything is the Most Important Thing in World? (Very few things actually fall into that category.)

  2. Ha! Way to go, Alicia! 🙂
    I’m convinced if you don’t speak up for yourself, people “in charge” will always do what is easiest or best for them. (Sometimes you are not even in their thought process.) So, we gotta’ speak up! 🙂
    Has she begun the decorating?!
    I’m glad she his home with you now! 🙂
    HUGS to you and HUGS to Alicia! 🙂

    • Alicia has been cleaning and decorating like crazy, and today is tackling the living areas. We finally bought a tree last night so she’s putting it up and unpacking the creche set we brought from Colombia.

      People with a little bit of power often have trouble recognizing common sense. Their pride gets involved if anyone challenges them.

    • Yes, I had packed the Christmas things very carefully, but the bag wouldn’t have protected them enough in the baggage compartment. Besides, last time I let Delta have my carry-on, they sent it to the wrong country.

  3. i’m glad alicia stood up for herself. incidents like this are why i really try not to bring things with me when i travel. some people who work the airports are so absolutely nasty and they know they can get away with it because if i do something back, i’ll get in trouble. i hate it – but reading this is a consolation for me. kudos to alicia!

  4. I’m impressed that despite the language problem you imply that Alicia was not about to be bullied – just needed a sensible person to come by at the right time. After my mother died I was transporting some fragile items in the center of my suitcase( from Colombia BTW) that I had carefully wrapped. I watched security open my bag and pull them out and I called out for him to be careful, but of course I was not allowed to re-wrap and one arrived broken.
    P.S. Tell her the heroine my novel set in Colombia – in the cafetales near Medellin- is named Alicia! You are still entitled to the free eBook you “won” if you want it. I’m hoping to publish it in Spanish next year.
    Feliz Navidad.

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