Miami – Halfway to Costa Rica

Miami – Halfway to Costa Rica
Miami, FL

Miami, FL

We arrived in Miami at noon. After going through immigration we collected our luggage, went through customs, and made our way toward the American Airlines counter. That is when we found out just how large the Miami airport has become.

A nice gentleman in customs had told us to just get on the moving sidewalks and take them all the way to concourse D. Unfortunately, when we made it to concourse E we were faced with a detour. The sidewalks were under construction. We had to take an elevator down to the ticketing level. That mixed the arriving and departing passengers, making for quite a zoo-fest.

Even though we were on the right level we still had a very long way to go. Leslie’s hip was really bothering her so it was a painful excursion. Even so, she refused to get a wheelchair.

We finally made it to the ticket counter. There was an American Airlines employee at the opening to the rope line. She asked us our destination. Then she asked if we needed a wheelchair. I immediately said yes. With that answer, she opened one of the ropes and directed us to another line. That moved us from a cue of some 25 or 30 people to a cue of one couple.

The line in which we found ourselves waiting was a good 30 feet from the ticket counter. After about 10 minutes in line, one of the ticket agents yelled in our direction. At first, the couple in front of us thought she was addressing them. The agent made it clear her terse inquiry was directed at us. She wanted to know why we were in that particular line. Before we could answer she followed up with the question of whether or not we had been directed to that line. We told her we were “legally” there. With that, she turned her attention back to the passengers that had been standing at the counter during the entire interrogation. We were both struck with how terse and authoritarian the agent had been. We were also thankful we were ultimately served by a different agent.

The agent that did ticket us and checked our luggage directed us to the other side of the ticketing area to get a wheelchair. That ended up being very easy.

A very nice young lady wheeled Leslie to the security check-point. Again, we bypassed the main cue for a very short one on the side.

As we put all of our stuff in bins to go through the X-ray machine, the lady helping us told me to go ahead through the metal detector. She said she would push all of our thins through. That included Leslie’s cane.

Leslie had already gone through the detector. I went through with no problem and stationed myself near the conveyor discharge from the X-ray machine. My first indication there was a bit of a hiccup was when the man sitting at the monitor took the bin containing my tennis shoes and sat them aside. Then I realized what was causing the problem. It was Leslie’s cane. It had somehow gotten stuck inside the machine. That made all of the X-ray images run together. The TSA agent said they would have to run everything through again. But to do that the agent had to climb halfway into the machine to retrieve the cane and other bins. On the second try everything came through fine.

Leslie got back into the wheelchair and we were off to our gate, D2. After quite a distance, the lady helping us took us up a couple of floors in an elevator. We stopped at the train platform. It was quite nice having her help us through the terminal. That took away one small travel stressor; reading directional signs to get to the right place. I mentioned that to her. It is a good thing I did because she had “zoned” out and was just about to put us on the wrong train.

The remainder of the trip to D2 was without incident. It was nice to walk behind her through the crowd. Everyone made way for the wheelchair.

Very near the gate was the Islander Bar & Grill. After the lady dropped Leslie off, we stopped in for lunch. We split an Island Burger with cheese and fries. We also had two glasses of wine. It was very nice to have an American cheese burger; however, I am not convinced that meal was worth $31.21!!

After lunch we sat and waited at the gate for our 2:50 flight to San Jose.

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