Monday, September 24, 2007

Southwest, Burbank, August 2007, Successful

Airline: Southwest
Airport: Burbank, CA
ID Offered: ?
Date: August 7, 2007
Reference: Colleen Cason
Reason given: Forgot ID
Result: Successful
Description: Kitty LaPolla, an 82-year-old Camarillo resident, didn't have to show any stinkin' badges when she went through security at Burbank Airport on Aug. 7. At check-in, the gregarious great-grandmother discovered she had left her wallet with her driver's license at home. The Southwest Airlines ticket agent offered several suggestions on how LaPolla might get her ID to the airport in time to make her flight. None of those flew. No one has a key to her apartment except the manager, and it was too early to reach him. LaPolla can probably talk the chicken off the bone. This lady, who was in fact the 1998 Camarillo Chamber of Commerce's Senior of the Year, has survived cancer and the loss of her son in the Vietnam War. She started college at age 62 and became a reserve deputy sheriff in Imperial County at 65. For years, she served as a teacher's aide at El Rancho Structured School in Camarillo. "Basically I'm feisty as hell," she shared. This strong woman's primary weakness is playing the penny slots, which is why she wanted to visit a friend in Arkansas. The two planned a road trip to casinos up and down the Mississippi River. So the ticket agent had a dilemma. Delay and inconvenience a little, old lady or play hard ball on the ID issue. She relented, scrawling "NO ID" on her boarding pass and sent LaPolla on her way. The agent followed the rules, according to Paula Berg, spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines. "There are circumstances where we make allowances, such as passengers whose purses or wallets are stolen on their way to the airport," Berg said.. Contrary to what most of us believe, TSA rules state passengers can travel without ID if they agree to have their carry-on bags searched. LaPolla did just that. Or as she puts it, "I had to go through all that bologna."

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