Family Episode 3: Protecting kids from the Jodi with an I Army

At the end of 2013, American Airlines and US Airways announced they were merging.  After the merger, it was announced that both airlines would be operating as American Airlines.  That was a good move.  US airways is filled with many versions of Jodi with and I.

Family Travel (my family traveling) week continues with a nightmare tale of a Jodi with an I US airways employee, causing major problems for a minor traveling internationally.  Doesn’t everyone love those stories.

Today’s tale features a Jodi with an I, who doesn’t know the correct rules, but insists she is right.

Last December, my 15 year nephew was traveling to England for a sporting event.  He was on the US national team.  He was departing from SeaTac airport, with a plane change in Philadelphia, where he was meeting up with the rest of the delegation.   The national association booked his ticket, and he provided a copy of his passport to them.

My nephew went to check in, and there was a Jodi with an I of British decent, who was checking him in.  She proceeded to tell him he could not board the flight, because he did not have a valid passport, because it was expiring in February.  She informed him he could not travel England if his passport was not valid for 90 days, even though he had a return ticket in 1 week.

The British Jodi with an I refused to check him in.  Told him he had to get a new passport.  The Jodi with an I army doesn’t care if the customer is a minor who was not set to travel to a foreign country alone.  They just go by their rules, don’t care about the damage they cause.  Or check to see if they are following the correct guidelines.

Now, my nephew is 15, and unfortunately believed British Jodi with an I.  And this was going to be a complete disaster for him.  He was going to miss meeting with the team, would lose a day of preparation for the top international junior event for his sport, and would have to find his way to Sheffield from Manchester.  And this was his first time to England.  Oh, and he had to apply for a new passport.

He went home and called the passport office and had an appointment made.  He was accepting this devastating traveling bump.  He did not know any better, because he was 15.  His mother was assisting him, and also was not very educated on the traveling process.

I caught wind of this, an hour after it happened, and knew this was wrong.  I have traveled with a passport that was full, which is no-no.  I have gotten back into the country with an expired passport with a copy of my current one.  (I was applying for a visa to Brazil, did not get it back in time).  So when I heard about this, I knew it wasn’t right.  I contacted US airways, and it was not correct, Jodi with an I had struck again!

There is a treaty between the US and England which allows travel to occur, even if the passport expires within 90 days.  You would think an English person working for an airline would be aware of this.

I tried to find out his options.  Then I contacted my mentor, my sister the travel expert.  The big guns were needed.

US airways did not have any options for him to meet the team that day, it was going to be over 24 hours.  British Airways had a flight, that night that was direct, and had seats.  I informed the travel expert.

The travel expert told our nephew to meet her at the airport.  She went to the US airways counter, spoke to a manager.  He admitted that the British Jodi with an I was incorrect and made a big mistake.  The expert had him book our nephew on the British airways flight.

When my nephew arrived at the airport, he was all set on the new flight, all he had to do was check in.

British airways was very accommodating, the expert was allowed to accompany our nephew to the plane, and made sure everything was set.

Major traveling bump was overcome, because an expert was brought in.  But for those of you not related to one, you too can get over this.  If something does not seem right, or if your dealing with a member of the Jodi with an I army, ask to speak to a supervisor or manager.  There is also a recent online article about rights passengers are not aware of.  Check it out.

To American Airlines, you have a Jodi with an I infestation from US airways.  Good luck.

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