My Bloody Romania: JFK unintended layover (part two) – further adventures into indignant curse words and wholly fact-based libel

Dateline: JFK Airport (yes, still)

Previously on My Bloody Romania: We re-lived, at length, how my four hour late flight ‘serviced’ by North-motherf*cking-west on behalf of Del-$hiteating-ta had delivered me to JFK four hours late. I had been brushed off by JFK’s Del-$hiteating-ta representative, who had failed to see a connection between screwing my trip to Iasi, Romania and proffering even the most infinitesimal crumb of assistance or compensation. After being ordered to calm down in a tone that could only be summoned by a guy who didn’t just have several hundred of his hard earned dollars flushed down the crapper and had a comfortable bed somewhere in his immediate future, I’d been told to take my case to North-motherf*cking-west.

Meanwhile, where was my luggage? Apparently, when a flight lands at JFK after your connecting Del-$hiteating-ta flight has already departed, your luggage is taken directly to Del-$hiteating-ta’s cavernous storage area and haphazardly tossed into a pile. So when, after you’ve stood in line for yet another hour at Del-$hiteating-ta’s baggage management office, you try to collect your bag, it takes two hours for them to pick through the mountain of carelessly strewn baggage to retrieve it.

It was 11pm by now. As I waited for my bag, I was confidently informed that all North-motherf*cking-west staff had gone home and that I’d have to call their 1-800 line to inquire about where I might sleep that night. I did this. Long story short, North-motherf*cking-west has seeming plagiarized Del-$hiteating-ta’s ‘It’s Never Actually Our Fault’ guide to covering their asses. Not only was North-motherf*cking-west reading from an identical Blame It on Pixies and Gremlins script I’d heard from Del-$hiteating-ta in regards to my three missed flights, but in the meantime they were quite content, indeed righteous, about the concept of me camping for the night in JFK’s Terminal 3 rather than providing a hotel room.

I argued. Then I pleaded. Then I drew on an battery of words, phrases and gesticulations normally associated with Tourettes suffers and injured pirates, causing the lingering passengers waiting for luggage to clear a ten foot circle around me. North-motherf*cking-west maintained that God and the ATC were entirely to blame and no they couldn’t provide phone numbers to said entities to learn their policies on providing reasonable shelter to people whose $hit they’ve f*cked up. I was eventually forced to hang up, with further expletives and moderate violence, and return to the unmoving conveyor belt that would, maybe, produce my suitcase before 1am.

Perhaps as a premonition to the misfortune to come, I had not slept well the two nights prior to leaving Minneapolis and I was fairly certain that if I spent a sleepless night sprawled in a JFK chair that I’d go insane from either fatigue or wrath or a lively combination of the two. Even though it was past midnight on a Saturday night, I took a chance and phoned an old friend in Brooklyn who was not only home, but almost completely awake, who advised me to f*ck waiting for my suitcase, jump into a unlicensed car service, travel the 35 minutes to his home and sleep on his couch.

The next day I returned to JFK, slightly better rested, though unshaven, teeth unbrushen and, though still irate about the injustices and eventual out-of-pocket cash outlay necessary to right most of them, I was at least finally on my way to Iasi, Romania.

POSTSCRIPT: The Del-$hiteating-ta flight from JFK to Madrid left over three hours late due to yet another series of utterly avoidable mechanical blunders, ostensibly closing my window of opportunity to catch my flight from Madrid to Bucharest.

Leif Pettersen, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, co-authored the current edition of Lonely Planet’s Romania and Moldova. Visit his personal blog, Killing Batteries, for further musings about the promiscuity of the mothers of Delta Airlines’ employees and why, if there’s a god, and there isn’t, the bastard loathes him so goddamn much.