I sit right now in New York City’s lovely JFK JetBlue airport terminal with several hours to kill. Several things contributed to me missing my flight, but the most annoying one which served as the final blow is that apparently TSA security protocol has changed in the last month or so. My name’s officially Alexander, but no one calls me that. Even when I was a bad little boy, my momma never called me by my full name. So everything in the world has me listed as Alex, including my bank account, bills, airline tickets, whatever. Except my driver’s license. And now airline security has decided to crack down on all the Alexanders, Michaels, Jennifers, Johnathans, etc., who try to sneak on planes by daring to use tickets for people named Alex, Mike, Jen or John. So I’ve got 25 minutes until my plane leaves and the frickin’ security guard won’t lemme pass. Since my driver’s license and the name on my ticket don’t perfectly match, I need to now go back to the ticket desk & show them the exact same ID so they can then re-print the ticket with a different name.
Now I gotta go back to the ticket counter, wait on line, have them type away for twenty minutes to add an “ander” to my name, then get back on the security line where there are 4 security people, but 3 of them are chatting with each other rather than doing anything, leaving one guy to compare everyone’s ticket & driver’s license. I go through the metal detector, grabbing my belt, shoes & wallet with out puttin’ em on (& ferget the change in my pocket I tossed into the bin — I ain’t go time to scoop it up). I sprint through the terminal and get to it only 6 minutes before the plane’s going to leave. But at JFK JetBlue closes the door ten minutes before they’re set to leave. Now I’ve got 5 hours to wait until the next flight. The JetBlue dude says I need to pay $100 extra bucks for a ticket to that next flight or “risk” going on standby and not getting on. I ask how many seats are still available. He sheepishly replies, “20.” Somehow I don’t think 20 people will decide to buy tickets 5 hours before a plane leaves to go cross-country. I’ll go standby, thank you.
The one positive thing? Now that I’m waiting, I wander around the terminal looking for food and notice a big black man. It’s Emeka Okafor. He’s looking good. He’s heading for New Orleans, presumably for training camp for the New Orleans’ Hornets. He even posts up the ticket-taker and does a nice little up-and-under move on the flight attendant to dunk his luggage in the overhead compartment. So Hornets’ fans be excited: I think he’s gonna bring some new energy and a new post presence to the team that could help you guys take another step forward.
If only he wasn’t boarding the plane, maybe I could’ve cornered him for an interview and this annoying hassle wouldn’t be for naught. In the meantime though, all you Bobs, Rons, Bills, Sams, and more… make sure you now buy your airline tix under yer full names. Oh, and also that’ll mean calling up any airlines you have frequent flier accounts and having them switch names on that too.