Yesterday, my daughter finished the last final exam of her freshman year in college. She checked out of her dorm room, clutching the e-ticket in her hand on her way to the airport to catch the plane home. Home for summer!

Suddenly, my cell phone started ringing off the hook.

“MOM!!!! The ticket has Dad’s name on it. Not mine!”

“No problem,” I answered, cucumber-cool. “The computer must have mixed up the mileage account with the reservation holder. Head to the airport and I’ll call to clear this up.”

An hour later, I was no longer as cool as a cucumber. I was furious! Ranting and raving like a crazy Swede. And I was getting nowhere.

This airline (I won’t say which one, because I try to be classy, but let’s just say it starts with a vowel and is in perpetual bankrupcy) insisted that the ticket had to be cancelled, a charge of $100 to return the miles to my husband’s account, $75 to re-issue a new ticket in my daughter’s name (despite the fact that it was the same mileage account and the same family name…and the same family!) because it wasn’t ticketed 14 days ahead.

“Oh, and by the way, ma’am,” explained the incredibly annoying customer service representative (which was an oxymoron), “there are no seats on that plane. She could wait and fly late tonight, or you could buy a full-fare first-class seat.”

My daughter made better headway at the airport than I did on the phone. We still spent a fortune, but they let her go stand-by on the plane and she arrived on-time just as my anger at this airline was starting to abate.

Good thing I didn’t know, though, that her ticket flagged security’s attention and she was targeted for a luggage search.

Because, after all, a 19 year-old blue-eyed blond college freshman is highly suspect.

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