Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My hero, the porter

I've never been one to use the porters at the airport. I prefer to flex my muscles and carry everything myself. However, when I arrived at the St. Louis airport last Friday I knew full well that a porter was needed. I had 3 BIG suitcases, all of which I suspected of being overweight. I was definitely right about that. Jeffrey, the lucky porter, helped me carry the bags into the international check-in where I expected to pay my overweight dues and be done with things. Whoops - what I hadn't realized was that there is an abolute maximum weight limit of 70 pounds for a suitcase to Europe. On a constant diet of shopping with Mom, my suitcases had packed on the pounds recently - two of them were over that limit and all three were packed to the gills. Definitely no room to move things around to make up the difference. No worries. Jeff offered to stay with my bags while I ran downstairs to buy another suitcase. Not only did he wait for me, but when I returned and started pulling things from my bags he ran with them back and forth to the scale until we got the big guys down under 70 pounds. Not even then did he abandon me. Finally after I had all 4 suitcases checked to Madrid and he had carried them over to the TSA crew for screening did we say our good-byes.

My overage on the luggage cost me $335 - including $40 for the new suitcase - but the most valuable money spent was the tip Jeff earned. I simply couldn't have done it without him. Or perhaps I could have but never so calmly and efficiently. My peace of mind on the roughly 12 hour trip was saved by that man.

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