I have not yet left the country but today, I have travelled further than any man has before – not necessarily in miles but in pain, frustration and stress. Shortly after I last left off I made my way to Qatar Airlines check-in desk where I was able to do the usual thing and chuck on my hefty suitcase; they check my passport and tickets etc. As I mentioned earlier I forgot my e-booking flight details, however this was in no way an issue – I had been told that all I needed to do was show them my passport and I’d get sorted.
As the serious blonde punches in my details and scans my passport, she asks me for the debit card I had used to book the flight. Not a problem, I take my wallet out of the back pocket, and give her my Lloyds TSB bank card. She gives it a swipe. After a short pause:
“Excuse me sir… this is not the card that the flight was booked on.”
“Errm… there must be a mistake… are you sure?”
“Sir… this is not the card that the flight was booked on.” she tells me again, in an annoying matterofact way.
“No…err…wait…errrm…I have my flight’s booking code number thingy?”
“Sir… this is not the card that the flight was booked on – I need the card so I can swipe it and validate your order.”
“Is there actually anything I can do?”
“You need to go to that ticket office under the yellow sign please.” she tells me smuggly as she rips off the tags that she had just placed on my suitcase a few minutes before.
So there I was. The time was 05:33, from that point the race was on. The mission was to get a bank card to the airport before the 08:15 deadline. The payment could go through onto the other card and then get refunded as soon as the other missing bank card shows up. I called my Dad and told him the score; he was on his way. I more or less spend the next two and a half hours pulling out my hair, biting my nails, scratching the skin off my arms, gouging out my eyes and generally being the most stressed I have ever been in my entire life.
- 6:00 – No Dad.
- 6:30 – No Dad.
- 7:00 – No Dad.
- 7:30 – No Dad.
- 7:45 – No Dad.
- 8:00 – No Dad.
- 8:05 – No Dad.
- 8:10 – No Dad.
- 8:12 – No Dad.
- 8:13 – No Dad.
- 8:14 – “RHOOODRIIII!” He made it. He couldn’t have cut it finer. One of the things that slowed him down was the fact that he thought I was in the South Terminal but I was in the North. Qatar Airways had helpfully moved their base one week ago, contrary to the information on my e-booking. When I walked through those departure gates I felt like the most blessed man alive. I’ve never appreciated something so much. I’d given up on this trip, and was dreading the long journey back home. Praise God that he does answer prayer, though he chooses to keep us reliant on him by doing things in his own time.