Flying AA, rookie error - forgot my passport! (& solutions)

 
Old Jan 13, 11, 8:01 am
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Flying AA, rookie error - forgot my passport! (& solutions)

So I made the most amateur move one can make: I'm headed off on an international trip and realized last night I forgot my passport. I typically keep it in my suitcase, but lately have been warned by many that it's a bad idea to do that, so I put it with my important documents at home - where of course, it remains.

I'm in DC right now (home city is NYC), and couldn't manage to find anyone who was going from NYC to DC today and could just bring it with them. Tonight, I fly down to MIA, and then tomorrow morning I'm supposed to fly on the 9:15am flight from MIA to NAS. Unfortunately, the earliest overnight delivery option is guaranteed by 8am for $80 (FedEx), which is not quite early enough for me get from hotel to airport and through security in enough time.

After considering various options (same day courier service is about $270), I decided the best course of action is to have it regular overnighted to Miami ($30) to arrive at my hotel by 10:30am, and do same day standby for a later flight. Given that I have several conference calls in the afternoon (which I was originally planning to take from NAS but will now take from MIA), I'm going to try for the 5:30pm flight, with the 9:20pm as my backup. However, the 9:20pm is the last flight of the night, so if I can't get on that, in addition to not getting there, I also forfeit my ticket and will have to purchase a walkup the next day. The AAgent I spoke with said that both evening flights are wide open right now, but I know that can change. Still, with two flights as options - do you think it's worth it to pay the $50 to confirm it? Or should I take my chances?

Alternately, if anyone has better/creative suggestions for getting my passport to me, I'm open to those - have a few more hours before it's going to be in the hands of UPS
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:11 am
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Shuttle to NYC, get your passport.

N.B. Not airline-specific, so will move sooner than you get your passport.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:12 am
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Looks like I'll miss you by a day -- flying JFK-MIA on Saturday morning. Seems like you've come up with a good alternate plan...good luck!
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:13 am
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$50 is a small price to pay for relative certainty. I'd fork over the $50.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Shuttle to NYC, get your passport.

N.B. Not airline-specific, so will move sooner than you get your passport.
Stuck in meetings till 5pm today, and my flight to MIA is at 8pm - not enough time for the back-and-forth. I think the $30 mail option beats that so far.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:20 am
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Ouch...good luck in getting your passport on time.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 8:59 am
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You've got a plan.

Cold comfort to you, now, but for everyone else's information I have a habit of checking my passport when I first sit in the car after leaving my house for an international trip. I get in the car, say "Wait a sec", positively confirm that I have my CURRENT (not expired) passport in my purse, then say "Go".

My final check is in the car, not in the house, as it is easy to leave something on the kitchen counter or table near the door. I check when I'm actually in the car.

Back in the days of paper tickets, I did the same with the paper tickets.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
You've got a plan.

Cold comfort to you, now, but for everyone else's information I have a habit of checking my passport when I first sit in the car after leaving my house for an international trip. I get in the car, say "Wait a sec", positively confirm that I have my CURRENT (not expired) passport in my purse, then say "Go".

My final check is in the car, not in the house, as it is easy to leave something on the kitchen counter or table near the door. I check when I'm actually in the car.

Back in the days of paper tickets, I did the same with the paper tickets.
Problem was that I'm currently on a multistop itinerary - week in DCA, weekend in NAS, week in ORD, weekend in RUT... the fact that one leg of that was international escaped me when all I was thinking about was DCA. Besides, the Bahamas are totally touristy and Americanized anyway

Anyway, totally my fault and your advice is exactly right.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:19 am
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Alternately, if anyone has better/creative suggestions for getting my passport to me, I'm open to those - have a few more hours before it's going to be in the hands of UPS
If you have someone that can pick up your passport for you and go to the airport, they can go through any Airline's Parcel/Cargo service and have it fly on an exact flight where you would pick it up and sign for it at the baggage area. In terms of timing, its basically checked baggage, so getting to airport 30-45 minutes before flight time should work.

I had a friend do this in an almost identical situation a few years ago. In that case, a friend put the passport on AA flight from DCA to LAX arriving at 9pm the night prior to a 7am international flight. In your case, you could have it put on AA LGA/JFK to MIA arriving tonight - so that you can pick it up when you land in MIA.

Cost for the shipping is about $80 (https://www.aacargo.com/shipping/rates.jhtml#PPS). Of course you'd need to have someone get to/from the airport for you...
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:20 am
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I totally feel for you. I've done my share of dumb mistakes, including showing up at the airport on Sunday for an award ticket flight booked for Monday. Stuff happens.

I'll just mention something else. I've gotten into the habit of taking my passport on all flights, domestic included. That means I have two official government-issued photo IDs in my possession during the trip. If my drivers license is lost or stolen, I can still use the passport to get on the plane and go home. I'm pretty good about watching my purse, and never in my life have I lost any ID document. Still... Stuff Happens.

It's redundant, I know, and I could lose the passport somewhere, but I figure that the cost of a new passport is roughly less than or equal to the cost of rebooking flights and other hassle if I don't have photo ID when I show up at the airport. Besides, I'd just as soon avoid the secondary screening the TSA has in store for those without photo ID.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:20 am
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+1 to cphurley; I would just check on flight status out of JFK today.

Good luck with your efforts.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
You've got a plan.

Cold comfort to you, now, but for everyone else's information I have a habit of checking my passport when I first sit in the car after leaving my house for an international trip. I get in the car, say "Wait a sec", positively confirm that I have my CURRENT (not expired) passport in my purse, then say "Go".

My final check is in the car, not in the house, as it is easy to leave something on the kitchen counter or table near the door. I check when I'm actually in the car.

Back in the days of paper tickets, I did the same with the paper tickets.


I do the same thing. I always check for my passport AGAIN once I am sitting outside in the car just moments before I pull away from the house.

Now, I keep my passport in my travel wallet in my travel briefcase 100% of the time, regardless of whether it's a domestic or international trip, so there's no reason for me to think it wouldn't be there. But I always check anyway, just to be sure. I also carry my Passport Card, NEXUS card, and PANYNJ credentials on all trips, so I have plenty of WHTI-compliant documents without ever needing to show my driver license except to rent a vehicle.

I also keep multiple iPhone/iPad 30-pin-to-USB cables in my travel briefcase 100% of the time. If there's one thing I often DO forget, it is the stupid chargers for my equipment. Thankfully, as of a month ago all of my personal devices use the Apple cables (iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.), so I don't need any extra charger plugs, just my laptop with charger, a DC/AC inverter for onboard use, and several 30-pin-to-USB cables for charging them off the laptop.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:43 am
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Given the OP's in meetings all day, this is the surest way of doing the trip without major changes.

Originally Posted by cphurley View Post
If you have someone that can pick up your passport for you and go to the airport, they can go through any Airline's Parcel/Cargo service and have it fly on an exact flight where you would pick it up and sign for it at the baggage area. In terms of timing, its basically checked baggage, so getting to airport 30-45 minutes before flight time should work.

I had a friend do this in an almost identical situation a few years ago. In that case, a friend put the passport on AA flight from DCA to LAX arriving at 9pm the night prior to a 7am international flight. In your case, you could have it put on AA LGA/JFK to MIA arriving tonight - so that you can pick it up when you land in MIA.

Cost for the shipping is about $80 (https://www.aacargo.com/shipping/rates.jhtml#PPS). Of course you'd need to have someone get to/from the airport for you...
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Old Jan 13, 11, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by cphurley View Post
If you have someone that can pick up your passport for you and go to the airport, they can go through any Airline's Parcel/Cargo service and have it fly on an exact flight where you would pick it up and sign for it at the baggage area. In terms of timing, its basically checked baggage, so getting to airport 30-45 minutes before flight time should work.

I had a friend do this in an almost identical situation a few years ago. In that case, a friend put the passport on AA flight from DCA to LAX arriving at 9pm the night prior to a 7am international flight. In your case, you could have it put on AA LGA/JFK to MIA arriving tonight - so that you can pick it up when you land in MIA.

Cost for the shipping is about $80 (https://www.aacargo.com/shipping/rates.jhtml#PPS). Of course you'd need to have someone get to/from the airport for you...

I did not know this, thanks for sharing. I will keep a mental note of this in case I ever run into a situation I need something from home urgently. I have enough people with access to my house and I'm close to IAD so it shouldn't be too much of a strain if I really need this service

gotta love FT just for this type of info
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Old Jan 13, 11, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by cphurley View Post
(https://www.aacargo.com/shipping/rates.jhtml#PPS). Of course you'd need to have someone get to/from the airport for you...
Thanks, cphurley, for the very good info. I just redacted your quote so as to not take too much space on this post.
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