J and I looked at each with a mix of horror and disgust. This was our first interaction with an airline since the disastrous 3 day epic escape from Quito last fall and it was headed in the same direction. We had just handed our boarding passes and passports to the ticket agent at Iberian Airlines.
“When are you leaving Spain?” she asked.
“On the 18th”, J replied.
“Show me proof,” she demanded.
“There’s our boarding passes and we are returning on your airlines. Aren’t we in your system?”
“No, the ticket agent said, that’s why I’m asking.” We suspected this could be true, since their website is fairly useless, so J dug through her pile of papers and eventually found a print out of the itinerary. This satisfied her temporarily but they were not done with us yet.
After they checked our suitcases ($55 each) and sent them down the chute, they asked if we any electronics in them. J had a laptop in hers, so they told us to wait for 5 minutes while they retrieved the suitcase. Half an hour later they returned with the suitcase so she could remove the laptop.
While we were waiting at the counter for the suitcase to be retrieved, the ticket agent asked the next guy in line for proof he was returning to the US. Except that he had no return ticket to the US: he was proceeding to other destinations after Barcelona. He begged and pleaded; he was almost in tears but she would not let him use a ticket her airline had obviously sold to him. Repeatedly he asked why and her answer was always the same – company requirement.
Anyway, the plane landed, we got a bus to our room and went out to wander Barcelona. Ate some tapas at Zian, pre-scoped the tattoo place and wandered La Rambla until bedtime. So far its a gorgeous city.