Yesterday afternoon, I almost missed my flight to Munich despite arriving at the airport two hours before departure.
It’s a long story, perhaps too much information, but bear with me. Yesterday I was driving to lunch with my business partner and all of a sudden police lights starting flashing behind me.
I quickly pulled over and an officer ran over to the car, with his hand on his gun, and demanded my driver’s license.
We were on the street right outside the restaurant and I asked if I should pull into the restaurant parking lot since I was blocking one lane of traffic.
“And give you time to shoot me?! No way.”
I put my hands on the steering wheel: no need to take chances with this officer.
He asked me why I was driving so fast.
I told him I wasn’t driving fast. And I actually wasn’t. I was driving a fast car..a Tesla Model S…but I wasn’t speeding in it. Was this divine retribution for the Uber incident last week?
Handing my driver’s license to his partner, he asked if I had any outstanding warrants against me or unpaid tickets.
When I told him no, he said, “Well, we’ll soon found out.”
My record came back clear, he handed me back my license, and told me to drive safely. No ticket.
That still left my heart beating. It was surreal…what was that about?
After lunch, we returned to the office and I took Uber to the airport (no speeding).
After checking in for my Lufthansa flight, I was escorted downstairs to security and there, reached into my left pocket to pull out my wallet. What I pulled out surprised me. It wasn’t mine…it was my business partner’s wallet!
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I must have grabbed it by mistake in the restaurant or the office. They are identical in size, but that’s about it. His is Burberry, mine is just a cheap wallet I bought in Bangkok several years ago. I had my wallet in the other pocket. I must have been so “shell-shocked” from the police encounter that I inadvertently grabbed it.
Problem: it was now 1 hour, 20 minutes to departure and with afternoon traffic, it would take our personal assistant about an hour to reach LAX.
I called him and told him to start driving, then approached one of the Lufthansa agents in the lounge to ask for guidance.
They were quite clear: you’re on your own buddy, because we don’t touch wallets.
I was surprised by the response, but I guess it makes sense: I wasn’t comfortable putting it on a one-way Uber ride. They agreed to “try not” to let the aircraft leave without me. I knew I had to rush.
It took my assistant about 55 minutes to reach the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. I handed him the wallet at 5:00p and departure was at 5:25p.
I scurried downstairs to the “secret” security checkpoint, only to find long lines. When the lines did not move, I darted over to Terminal 4 and used the American Airlines’ Pre-Check line to quickly clear security, then took the secure-side bridge back to the Star Alliance Lounge in the Bradley Terminal. I arrived back at 5:10p, sweating. The agents were shocked I was able to get back so quickly.
After grabbing my belongings from the lounge, one agent escorted me to the aircraft…I was one of the last to board (and did not even have time to take pictures of the nifty new biometric boarding gates at LAX).
So much for a stress-free afternoon. I’m just thankful Lufthansa now participates in the TSA PreCheck program. That would not have been a good start to the trip had I missed the flight!