Thursday, September 5, 2013
Nicco to the rescue (AGAIN)........
We arrived at the airport around 5am and were greeted by several of our friends. Megan and I quickly headed to the counter to get her tickets and check her luggage. She was very proud that each bag weighed right at 50 pounds as the porter placed them on the scale. Tell a 17 year old girl that she has 100 pounds for three months and I promise she will use up every ounce of it!
As if the emotions of the morning were not running high enough we had a major issue at check-in. The US Air clerk at the counter explained that Megan's ticket and her Passport names did not match and he could not issue her the ticket. At first we thought no big deal because Megan realized this a few weeks ago and had called Ethiopia airlines to have it changed. The gentleman then explained that he could not change the ticket that someone at Ethiopian Airlines would have to make the change in the reservation. He explained that we would need to contact them to have it changed. I started to dial right away only to get a recording that said to call back at a later time.
About the time I ended the first call the man realized the look of panic on our faces when David arrived from parking the car. The US air representative then went to get his supervisor to help with the situation. Long story short after numerous phone calls (and being hung up on by an Ethiopian airline representative) we found out that the Ethiopian Airlines office in America opens at 9:00am for business. Megan's flight was scheduled for 7:30am and the agent told us that we needed to have something figured out by 6:30am in order for her to make the flight. He then offered for us to purchase a new ticket to Ethiopia with the correct spelling of her name....I am not kidding! Sure we have a few more thousand dollars to purchase another ticket because Henderson was spelled without the first N.
The supervisor returned and he explained that there was nothing that could be done. He said that he could talk to homeland security to see if they would allow her to fly to DC with a misspelled name and then hope that once in DC the matter could be resolved. At least at that point we knew the Ethiopian airline office would be open and we would have a better chance of being helped. Within a few minutes someone from security came over and agreed to let her fly to DC yet they were unsure of what would happen at that point. Megan was more stressed out than I was at this point. The thought of being in the DC airport with the wrong name on an international ticket did not sound good to her.
I then thought about our dear friend, Nicco. In Ethiopia it was afternoon and maybe he could get a hold of someone at the Ethiopian airlines office in Addis for us by phone. I called and he answered on the first ring which doesn't always happen. I quickly explained that Megan was having issues with her ticket and questioned if he could help us contact the airline there in Addis. He responded that he was three minutes away from the Hilton hotel where an Ethiopia airline office is located. Within five minutes Nicco was speaking with an agent (who happens to be his cousin) face to face in the Ethiopia airline office and was having the issue resolved.
I think the US Air clerk thought I was crazy when I said the issue would be resolved in five minutes. He waited a few minutes and refreshed his screen to see some activity. The activity was that Megan's ticket was completely canceled and he said, "Oh no. If they don't get it back up in a few minutes she will have no ticket to get to DC." At this point I knew we had only a few minutes and I continued to pray. He then said, "Unbelievable! It is here and ready." Within thirty seconds he handed the tickets to us. We had just a few precious moments to spare.
Megan was then able to quickly say goodbye to everyone and she headed to security at 6:28am...God is so good and we are so thankful for good friends like Nicco!
A quick update: As many of you know Megan hates to fly. She loves to travel the world but the flights stress her out. I have been praying that someone kind would be sitting beside her on the LONG flight to Addis. She just texted to let us know that an older lady who is traveling to Uganda for 2 months is sitting beside her. She said that she is a very kind lady who has been a missionary most of her life. God really has gone before her and I love to watch Him work! Excited for my girl as she is on her way to serve the least of these.
How Beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news! -Romans 10:15