The intimidatory shouts of the TSA "agents" are enough to make anyone squirm. Laptops out, liquids out, belts off, shoes off... wallets and cell phones out of your pocket. Oh cr*p. Where the heck is my phone? So there I was, standing there at SFO Terminal 2, at about midnight, realising that the phone I had just been using in the backseat of the cab was still sitting exactly there. In the back seat of the cab. My first thought was – never seeing that again. My second thought was: perhaps I can call it. So I went to reach for my phone... D'oh. For me, constant access to the intertubes is a necessity. It's not just "nice to have" - without it, I'm the human equivalent of a headless chicken. So really at this point I had no idea what to do. I remembered from our tour at SFO that there was a vending machine somewhere nearby that sold cellphones. I quickly purchased one of those, and made several attempts to call my phone without success. Fortunately a fellow MPer arrived in the lounge at this point and also let me borrow his phone. Still no joy. Hmm. About to start an SFO-DFW-BOS-DFW-SFO mileage run and not really wanting to throw the whole thing away, I thought I'd try one last call... And it worked. Someone answers. Fortunately, it is the cab driver, not another passenger that picked up my phone off the back seat. In his heavily accented broken English, I think I understood that he was going to drop the phone back to the Sheraton, where I had been staying. Great (and good thing I had tipped him well on the trip to the airport)... but considering I'm leaving SFO now and only have a 1hr connection here again on the way back to New Zealand, how the heck am I going to get that? I asked the lounge agent if there was any possibility of me simply doing SFO-DFW-SFO instead, so that I'd have enough time in SFO to go and get my phone (if the cabbie does actually take it back to the hotel). Well, the DFW-BOS flight is oversold... But it's up to DFW if they want to do that. Off to Texas I go. In Dallas, I arrive at the gate for my flight to Boston to find them calling for volunteers. I run up and explain my plight. She taps away, trying to avoid pesky change fees (and increased fares), to get me back to SFO. Not looking good. Then suddenly the boarding pass printer spits something out... and there it is. My standby coupon for the next flight back to SFO. Run down to that gate to discover a rather unhelpful gate agent is trying to ensure that all standby passengers only get middle seats. He calls every man and his dog to the gate, offering to move them out of middle seats into aisles and windows, so that these "standby people who didn't want to pay for the flight will have to sit in the middle instead." Whatever. I don't care. Just get me back to San Francisco, dammit. While waiting to board, I call the hotel. Did the cab driver drop off my phone? Yes, it's here, sitting on the manager's desk. Yay! Finally, after what seemed like an eternity being squished between two bulky guys that seemingly refused to take off their puffy jackets, we made it to San Francisco. Now... how do I get to the hotel without paying $100 r/t in yet another cab?! Hmm... I wonder if my National Emerald Elite status is still valid? Yes it is! But the rate is crap, over $100. Off to the intertubes I go (sadly, I have to pull out my laptop to do this instead of just checking on my phone...). I find the Flying Blue rate, which I figure I'm perfectly eligible to use as a Flying Blue member. New rate: $27 + $20 airport fee and a few minor taxes. Including LDW and unlimited miles. Sounds good to me! The ES aisle had a choice between… a Camry or a Camry. Seriously, where the hell are all the cars? Again... whatever. It'll do. I grabbed the newer one of the two, and headed to the hotel. I realised after I arrived at the hotel that I had miraculously driven there without GPS and really had no freakin' idea how I managed that, having only driven in SFO once before and gotten incredibly lost last time. But I digress... Leaping out of the car and sprinting into the hotel (ignoring the valet guy's prompts)… I get to the front desk and of course, no-one knows anything about any phone. Am I sure it's here? Yes, I'm sure. I spoke to someone at 3am this morning who had just taken it off the cab driver. Finally after about 15 minutes of searching, the manager comes out with an envelope with my name on it. Inside…. one cell phone. And it's even the right one. YAY! Obligatory trip to McDonald's, return the car to National, then back through security. This time around, I'd never been so pleased to comply with the "everything out of your pockets…." demand in all my life!