Transit in Los Angeles

I’m now at the Los Angeles airport (LAX). The time is 9.30am (yes, I called my relatives in LA just to make sure I got my time zone right). My flight back to Singapore, via Tokyo, is at 2pm. Therefore, I have some time to kill. I just signed up for a 24-hour T-mobile internet account. So far, so good.
After what happened to me between LA and Austin, I had another scare this morning when I checked in at American Airlines. I tried to use the self-service check-in machine. Firstly, my travel agent had booked my tickets but had put my dialect name in front of my first name. As my passport puts my first name in front of my dialect name, the system hung. It told me to wait and someone would come over to help me.
So I waited. After 1-2 minutes nobody came to help me, even though I was only 2 metres away from an American Airlines ground staff who seemed busy helping everybody else. I decided to join the self-service queue, since I had already printed out my e-ticket receipt. However, the lady at the counter told me that somehow the system did not register that I had a ticket! She told me to join the standard queue. I was like, “What!?” She apologised, saying it didn’t make sense but that’s how the system worked.
So I had to queue up again – and this queue was much, much longer. I prayed to God because I had just over an hour before my plane flew off, and I feared I would once again miss the deadline for checking in my baggage. Missing a local flight is not so bad, but when it causes me to miss an international flight, it can be traumatic.
Suddenly, the airport ground staff (the one who was busy helping everybody else) decided to open a new line and channeled almost all the people in front of me, to that new line.
So I was moved up to the front. Thank God!! However, the lady at this counter also told me the same thing – somehow she could not issue me a boarding pass, and the system did not register that I had a ticket. She called for help and we learnt that an agent had cancelled my ticket from Austin to LA! This was because I had not taken the originally planned flight from LA to Austin but instead went indirectly from LA to Houston to Austin. But that didn’t make sense – did they expect me to fly back to Houston to get to LA?
I protested that yesterday evening I had managed to log into the American Airlines website and the system had registered my choice of seat. I was just unable to print my boarding pass because the system told me that my account was linked to an international flight (which doesn’t make sense to me either – I only wanted to print my American Airlines boarding pass, duh!).
Anyway, after more intense typing and staring at the screen, the lady managed to get me onto the flight, and assigned me the seat I wanted.
Now I’m having trouble checking in at the Singapore Airlines website. Despite filling all my details in correctly, the system keeps telling me, “We apologise that we are unable to check you in. To ensure that you benefit from the true advantages of the check-in arrangement we have with our partner airlines, you will be through checked in onto your Singapore Airlines flight at the first point of embarkation.”
What does that mean?? I’m already checked in? What’s my seat number, then?
This is crazy, and I’m annoyed. This probably means I still have to queue up. I bet the good seats would have all been taken up by then. Not that I mind greatly about it – just that I actually feel handicapped depending on computer systems that are difficult to use.


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