Lost Passport While Traveling – Our Emirates Nightmare

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Have you ever lost your passport while traveling? Here's our Emirates nightmare.

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Picture this. You’re all set to go on the most amazing adventure of your life. About to board a plane to one of those dream destinations that tends to be a screensaver on most people’s computers (The Maldives) and getting there on what was voted the World’s Best Airline of 2017 (Emirates).

On top of that, it’s your 1-year wedding anniversary and you are ready to celebrate not being a divorce statistic. Go you! One year down!

On the way to the airport, you go over a mental checklist to make sure you have everything. However, just a mere 10 seconds into your checklist, you realize you left the most basic and important thing you’ll need for your trip. Your passports.

But it’s cool. You left early, so no big deal. At the time when you remembered, you’re only about 10 minutes away from your house. So you Uber back to go get your passports. Phew, that was a close one! Good thing you remembered BEFORE you got all the way to the airport. Easy peasy, right?

Nope. That 10 minute turnaround ends up being the difference between no traffic and bumper to bumper traffic. After getting your passports and another Uber ride, your heart sinks as you uncomfortably keep looking down at your app to see how much longer you’re going to be in traffic. It’s not looking good. A bad accident has just occurred and you see nothing but red.

Meanwhile, your OCD partner wants to make sure you got the right passports. He wants to see it, touch it, examine it. You hand it to him. He’s satisfied. You ask to take it back from him for safekeeping, but he insists on keeping his own passport. Ok, fine. Do you boo.

Anyway, you finally make it past that accident. Hooray! You’re cruising again! You get to the exit for your airport and come to a screeching halt. What is it now?? You see a long line of cars and they aren’t moving. It’s a green light though, WTF? As time passes and you inch your way closer and closer along the exit ramp, you start to see the flashing lights. There has been yet another accident. Classic Atlanta.

Your heart picks up speed just a tad. You’re literally two miles away. You see airplanes flying over you. You’re so close! Every minute that passes by makes your heart rate pick up just a notch. Eventually, you make it past accident #2 and you now have zero wiggle room for catching this flight. Okay Uber driver, punch it! Please 🙂

Moustapha, your Uber pal, was a world traveler himself so he knows the feeling and can relate. So he guns it and wastes no time helping you get your bags so you lovebirds can hurry up and catch your flight. He wishes you luck as you take off on your amazing race.

Time for your heart to sink one more level. You JUST missed the window for checking in your bags. Jet Blue, the airline partner of Emirates, is who you’re using to get to Boston so that you can then catch your connecting Emirates flight to The Maldives. You’ve never flown on Jet Blue, but you’re certain you can smooth talk your way into having them make an exception.

Come on. Just check the bag, you politely urge.

Nah. Homegirl is NOT budging. She’s not so confident in your abilities to catch this flight. She knows if you don’t make it, your bags are going to end up in another country while you’re still stuck in Atlanta. She wasn’t having it. Not on her watch!

Damn, what are you going to do now? No choice but to haul all that luggage to the gate. They can just check your bags at the gate right? Yeah totally, no biggie.

Alright! Solution in play, you know you got this. Nothing can stop you and bae from reaching the freaking Maldives! Oh wait. There actually is one thing….

So you were able to make it to your gate. Take THAT, Jet Blue lady! She doubted you and you proved her wrong.

But your thoughts of triumph are interrupted, as your partner starts frantically asking you to check your purse.

Huh?

“Your purse! Is my passport in there?”

Oh my God, you think. This has to be one of his classic bad jokes, right? There’s just no effing way this man has misplaced his passport. You know in your heart it isn’t a joke though.

You’re so cool, calm, collected, and confident though that you just automatically start thinking of worst-case scenarios and how you’re going to combat this. First thing’s first. Dump all your shit out and make 100% certain it really is missing.

Yeah. It was totally missing. You’re not catching this flight.

It’s cool. You’ve done this before. You’ll hop on the next flight out to Boston and you should still have enough time to catch your connecting flight to The Maldives. You just gotta find his passport by then.

Okay annnnd go.

You start retracing your steps. You also call Uber pal Moustapha for good measure, but he says it’s not in his car. You go back to the ticket counter. You go back to where Moustapha dropped you off. You go to the lost and found. Shit, it’s closed. Shit, this is getting real. You call Moustapha back. Check again Moustapha! It’s gotta be there. Nope.

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Was it lost? Was it stolen? Why is this happening?!?!

Okay Siri, “how do you get an emergency same-day passport?” You perk up a bit when Siri says there might be a way. Your partner looks defeated at this point, but you aren’t giving up. You’re going to get that same-day passport and you are going to get to The Maldives come hell or high water!

In the middle of your desperate, crazy-sounding thoughts, you get your first-ever Facetime message (you literally just bought that iPhone the day before your trip).

What on earth? Moustapha? Is that you, Moustapha? On…my….Facetime?

“You won’t BELIEVE this!” Moustapha smiles and excitedly points to your lover’s passport. It’s lodged deep within his seat in the back. So deep, that it’s actually stuck and he’s struggling to get it out (daaaanng that’s totally what she said).

MOUSTAPHA!! YOU CAME THROUGH!!

Okay, great! Book that connecting flight while your kind savior races back to give you your passport.

Pump the breaks. Jet Blue lady informs you that the next flight wouldn’t get you to Boston with enough time to catch your connecting flight.

UGHHHH!!! You were so close! Okay, so on one hand, you randomly realize you need to give her props because had she not put her foot down to begin with, your bags would be in Boston, and well, it’s obvious at this point you’re not making it to Boston tonight. No way, no how.

Okay time for Plan B. Or C. Errr…D? Who knows at this point? You remember that you cleverly booked your flights using points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. So you call Chase. They’ll take care of you for sure.

Oh child. If only you knew. This was going to be the first phone call of many over the next 8 hours.

As it turns out, for some reason, their systems are showing that you are still checked in on that flight you missed. No changes can be made until you’re offboarded. So you go to Jet Blue lady.

Please offboard me from this flight, you politely ask.

She says her system shows you were indeed offboarded though. So there’s nothing Jet Blue can do. So Chase tells you to go to an Emirates counter. But there is no Emirates in Atlanta. That’s why you were going to Boston for your Maldives flight, duh! So what now??

You call Emirates. Emirates says call Chase. Chase says talk to Jet Blue. Jet Blue is now closed for the night. Oh wow. It’s nighttime. Have you really been there that long?

You call Chase back. So it turns out it’s only you that’s having the offboard system error thing, not your husband. So maybe you can at least get the ball rolling on getting him taken care of. So you ask them to lay it on you. What are the options here for getting back on track to The Maldives?

You’re thinking maybe just a $200 change in flight fee or something and you can catch an Emirates flight the next day.

Naw boo. Try a $400 no show fee + a $200 change in flight fee + paying the difference between your new flight and the old flight. Per ticket. UM NO. You’re not paying that! You call Emirates again to beg, but they tell you again: Call Chase, we’re not talking to you because you didn’t book directly through us.

Meanwhile Moustapha shows up with the passport. “You da man Moustapha, thank you!”

Your husband tips him $50 for his troubles and then gets charged a $15 lost item recovery fee by Uber on top of that. But none of that even seems to matter at this point. You got bigger problems.

Back to this Maldives thing. You come up with the bright idea of buying a 1-way ticket. Maybe you can just buy a 1-way ticket for the following night and just hop on the Emirates return flight you already paid for on the way back. That has to work.

Naw boo. Doesn’t work like that. In the middle of telling Chase your bright idea, something tells you to verify with them that this idea of yours will actually work. They sadly inform you that because you missed the first flight, Emirates has canceled your ENTIRE trip, return flight included. So if you buy a 1-way ticket to The Maldives, you’re not coming back.

At this point, we’re on our way back home in another Uber trying to work this thing out. So Chase says, how about this. You pay them a $500 fee per person, and they’ll refund you all your points so you can then use your points to book a new flight with another airline. Since Emirates has basically cut ties with you and you literally no longer have any other option, you gladly accept.

You start researching flights, and to your surprise, there is actually a flight on Turkish Airlines leaving the next day for around the same price/amount of points you paid for your original flight!!! WOW! You totally weren’t expecting that. You were certain flights would be double the price since it’s so last minute.

So you quickly try and make this deal before prices suddenly change. But to keep up with the consistent theme of one thing after the other going wrong, every time you get ready to seal the deal, somehow you get disconnected. And then each time you call back, you are kindly informed by a robot that the wait time to speak with a representative is 20 minutes.

For a moment, as you attempt to stifle a loud scream after yet another lost connection, you momentarily wonder: “Am I not destined to get to The Maldives? Maybe there’s a reason for this.”

Um….NO. You came this far! It is now 2:00 in the morning! You’ve been battling this since 5:00 in the evening! You call Chase back, give them your phone number and say LOOK. If this call gets disconnected, CALL ME BACK.

Of course, this time the call doesn’t even get dropped. Everything goes smoothly, and you finally have everything sorted out. You sink into bed and take a deep breath.

You’re going to the freaking Maldives.

So yeah. That just happened to my husband and me. Since we have time to kill before our new flight, I figured I’d write this blog post.

Oh and the moral of this story. Don’t leave shit in Uber.

PS. I still low-key want to fly Emirates one day. Sigh…one day.

HAVE YOU EVER MISSED A FLIGHT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

Stay posted on my trip to The Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Thailand by following along on Instagram, YouTube, and/or Facebook!

  • Oh man, sounds like you seriously deserve a nice cocktail in The Maldives. I’m so glad it all worked out!

  • Mel

    Wow! I have missed a flight, but it was a little different. Someone became ill on our flight to Greece, we had to stop in Iceland so the person could be removed, and everyone on the plane missed their connections in Paris. When we finally made it to Athens, the airport was literally closed. The only lights that were on were the ones for our gate, and our baggage claim.

    • Omg arriving at an empty airport is the weirdest feeling ever! I hate when that happens.

      • Mel

        Fortunately, the Air France representative placed a call for us to let the tour company know what had happened. So when we got there, a representative was waiting for us. I might have been totally freaked out, otherwise! lol

  • Ahtis Davis-Cloyd

    Wow! I’ve missed a flight or 2. The worst was Boxing Day (day after Christmas) flying home to NY from London with husband and 2 kids (one sick) and missed the check in by minutes…like less than 5. Paid $800 ($200 per ticket) to change and had a 5hr wait in the airport with a sick child.

  • Hahaha!! So glad you enjoyed reading my misadventures! And I will totally be taking a page from your book and holding on to Karl’s important documents from now on!