LaGuardia Airport has been called many not-nice things, among them “a Third World Country” (former VP Joe Biden). But East Siders know LaGuardia as a quick ride, especially at pre-dawn hours. And this time of year, flights to Florida leave with subway frequency. We cannot ignore the shabbiness of the place, but out of the dingy gloom shine some of the most fabulous people on earth.
My story: I’m flying out early on a Tuesday and upon approaching the JetBlue gate, I note that my iPad is not with me. OMG!
So I run back to the security area to see whether I had left my iPad in one of the plastic bins. Several TSA people immediately rummage through all the bins in search of the iPad. Not there. I’m ready to give up, but their supervisor won’t let me.
TSA goes out of its way
John Link spent a good 15 minutes going through the video at the station to see my actions. He eventually found me, in part, because I wore pink that day (good thing). We could see me taking the iPad out of the bin and carrying it to the gates. It was clearly not lost at security. Link suggested I go back to every place I stopped on the way to the JetBlue gate. And he wanted me to come back and tell him if I found the iPad.
I marched down the corridor to a grungy Southwest Airlines gate where I had temporarily taken a seat. The women behind the counter said no one had turned in an iPad but urged me to check the airline website’s lost-and-found section.
Pedro and the boy hero
They also told me to check with Pedro, pointing to a distant figure in blue. On my way to Pedro, I stopped to ask a uniformed woman whether anyone had turned in an iPad. Her face sparked and she said, yes, talk to Pedro.
I talked to Pedro and he had the iPad. Apparently, I had left it at the Dunkin’ Donuts counter where I had stopped to pick up a coffee. A young boy (still in line with his family) found it and turned the iPad over to the authorities.
I told the boy that he was my hero. I thanked Pedro. And I went back to security to tell Link that the iPad was found and also to get his name so that I could tell the folks at TSA what a superb help he was. He handed me a card with all the info I needed.
You know, we who beef and moan about the sad condition of LaGuardia should really think more of the good people who work there all day, every day. The masses rushing through barely notice these workers — people who do difficult jobs with little recognition and never enough gratitude.
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