Area talk

A few days ago I was checking in for my flight at an airport, when a flustered lady pushed her way up to the desk where I was just being served.

‘I need to check in, I am late,’ she pleaded. I stood aside. The woman behind the desk asked, ‘where are you flying to?’ – ‘Toronto, Canada,’ she replied.

The check-in woman took her hand off the keyboard. ‘There are no flights to Canada from here. You are flying via where?’ The anxious passenger responded, ‘Via Area B.’

‘Where are you travelling to first, I mean?’

‘Nowhere, until you’ve checked me in. This is Area B!’

‘Yes, it’s Area B, but I that doesn’t help you. Can I see your ticket?’

The anxious passenger was now coughing madly. My eyes met those of the woman behind the counter, and you could see we were both moving back a little, thinking Mexican swine flu. Through the coughing fit the passenger tried to say ‘e-ticket’ (which she pronounced like ‘EEEEE-ticket’). ‘Look, I was told to come to Area B, or maybe another area, I don’t recall. But this is an AREA, right? You can check me in at this AREA, yes?’

‘I’m not sure you are at the right area, and I do need to see a ticket or an e-ticket number.’

“My flight is leaving, I am not going to any other area, please, you must check me in.’ Coughing lady now dropped her handbag and varied contents rolled out over the floor. I helped her recover her possessions. ‘Thank you, Sir,’ she said; ‘Do you think this is my Area?’

Just then the person at the next desk beckoned me over to check me in, and I do not know whether the anxious, coughing passenger made it to Toronto, or whether she was able to persuade anyone that one area is as good as another. One thing is sure, getting through airports can be a challenge these days. I hope she made it.

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