Air France had a special ticket price of $250USD round trip fare from Houston to Paris! Who would not just absolutely jump at the chance to go to Paris? For me, it was my second trip. But, literally I left less then a week after I saw the fare.
A friend who I had known through the culinary world had lived in Paris for many years previously and she wanted to go as well. Yippee! Off we went.
We landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport. I always reconfirm my flight home upon arrival at my first destination. Since we were flying home out of Brussels, I really wanted to reconfirm. So, Janelle and I got in the elevator to go to the ticket counter. I always stand right in the front of the elevator cab so as not to get jostled. Janelle however had gone to the back between two men. I kept checking on her in the back of the elevator. When we got downstairs to get off the elevator, it took quite a while for Janelle to get out of where she was and get off the elevator. The men were kind of in her way.
So we get to the ticket counter and guess what...........she had no ticket and no passport! I knew IMMEDIATELY what had happened. I left Janelle there with out luggage and said, "Wait here". I jumped back on the elevator, went up to the floor, saw some gendarmes, and in English told them I had been robbed and that the men were probably still on the elevator. (Of course I didn't know that). They came with me!
When the elevator doors opened, THE MEN WERE ON THE ELEVATOR! I think I remember yelling something like "Get em", being from Texas and all. Gendarmes do NOT wear guns.
I did have the presence of mind to ask the gendarmes to wait for me while I got my friend and our luggage.
We really hurried because I did not want them to let those men loose. I just wanted Janelle's ticket and passport.
When we got up there, the police vaguely searched the men and their fanny packs. One of the guy's packs was full of passports. The other one was full of tickets and money. Oy vey.
Off we all marched through the airport. Quite a long way. I looked calm but was totally freaked out, I must admit. What I didn't know at the time, was that the men spoke perfect French and were telling the gendarmes that we were racist Americans.
When we got to the police office, one of the men there spoke English and he told me what the men from, it turned out Senegal, were saying. Yikes! Were they going to hold us too?
No, they discovered the two men were in France illegally. They saw all the stuff they had, including Janelle's passport and ticket! They returned them to us. Held the men and we scurried out of there as fast as a cat in a room full of rockers. I remember saying to Janelle, "Let's get out of here before they let those guys loose"
Whew, it was an episode. Of course, afterwards, I thought of several other scenarios. None of them pleasant!
What that lesson taught me was to ALWAYS carry a copy of my passport in a different place and to carry my ticket in my bra. Hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!
I have never lost either my ticket or passport, thankfully.