It's amazing what you can get away with with a smile, a little kindness, and better to ask for forgiveness than permission attitude.
Right now I'm stuck in L.A. I've been here for 10 hours, and I still have 7 to go. Miserable, no. With a smile and a few jokes I managed to use my expired free pass ticket to get into the American Admirals club. Free food, showers, make shift beds, and free beer!! Also, more serious haircuts, suits and ties, and computer tablets than I have ever seen.
One of my favorite travel stories is from my second year doing the PWA tour. I was coming back from Lanzarote in the Canaries to Maui. I had partied pretty hard the night before and woke up hurting. I spent the entire 3 hour flight from Lanzarote to London sick in the bathroom. Not fun. I was flying with the Prichards and a few other people and when we got into London they told me they were going to travel through Europe and that I was going to take their gear the rest of the way home. I was the rookie, so they weren't asking, they were telling me. We collected out bags and they set me up right in front of the check in counter. I built myself a bed out of the 27 pieces of windsurfing gear and slept there until my flight in the morning. 27 bags, how was I going to do this? Were they going to belive that all of this stuff belonged to me? How much was this going to cost? I hear about surfers and golfers complaining about traveling, they have no idea. I picked the nicest looking lady, smiled, and handed over my passport. I tried to get a few jokes in, and tell my story about sleeping on the floor. "Are you checking any bags?" The moment of truth. "Yes, 27 pieces, that pile over there." Luckily for me, she didn't freak out, she laughed and said I must be a windsurfer. Golden. She charged about half of what I was expecting, didn't weigh any of them, and then bumped up to business class the whole way home. To top it all off she made a note that I was traveling with so many bags, and when I got to customs in L.A. they pushed my bags through for me. The guys whose bags I carried couldn't belive it.
It's amazing with a little smile and kindness can do.