Step 1: Have way too much fun the night before your flight.
Step 2: Remain calm. If you’re anything like me you’ll wake up in a haze with Fireball on your breath. Slowly shifting your weight to the side of the bed your phone will slip into your hand as you shut off that same alarm that always greets you an hour before you wish to rise.
Then it hits, your pockets are empty, as is the marble counter where you toss the contents of your trousers at the end of the evening. Breathe, you can still make your flight.
Step 3: Find a friend and get your hands on some cash. It is time to get resourceful, for most flights you will need at least $150 to make it home safely. Ball parking $50 for a cab to the airport, $30 for one checked back, and another $50 for a cab once you land, add in $20 for food and chockskies (just because you lost your wallet doesn’t mean you can’t purchase that “Don’t talk to me, I’m crabby” T-shirt before leaving Baltimore.) Keep in mind that some airlines do not accept cash for checked baggage. In this case, simply ask a kind patron next to you if you can give them cash and use their credit card!
Step 4: Prepare for the airport. You’ll want to tear through your luggage for any items that can be used to prove that you are who you thought you were. Below are some great alternative forms of ID that you may have on you:
- Prescription pill bottles
- Business cards
- Hotel receipts
- Electric or gas Bills
- School ID
Step 5: Find your coyote. Once you reach the terminal scan the area for a person with kind eyes, good vibes, and an air of authority. I keyed in on Carlos Monserrate, the lead transportation office for the O’Hare TSA.
Step 6: Turn on the charm. Tell your contact the true story of why you have no ID and the whole process will progress much smoother. Let them know that you realize you are making their job difficult and apologize for wasting their time.
Step 7: Prove it. This step is easier than it seems. With a helpful coyote they will ask you to fill out a form with information such as your full name and social security number. Be prepared to provide a phone number tied to your name, as well as a family member and your current address.
Step 8: Pass through security. Due to the fact that you are now John Doe, you will have to endure hands on pat down and a potential search of your entire luggage. Most TSA agents are now trained in how to conduct a proper and professional pat down, fully disclosing how they will approach the sensitive areas, “I will now pat down your buttocks with the back of my hand,” etc. You will be asked if you prefer a private room, I stupidly made the mistake of turning down this kind offer, so give it a go and let me know if you make it out alive.
Step 9: Get on your plane and cruise!