Wednesday, December 01, 2004

12/1/04 We know why you fly

Happy December! I hope that either you enjoy the winter and snow (cuz it's here) or you managed to escape somewhere warmer.

Have you ever seen those "We know why you fly" commercials for American Airlines? I'll tell you why I fly - Cuz there's no other way to get where I'm going in less than 4 days. And if there were, I'd be using it. My story from yesterday goes as such. My dad's driving me to the airport, and due to the rain and slush and rush hour, traffic's pretty bad. We finally arrive at the airport just after 6pm for my 6:51 flight. By the time I swipe my card in one of those kiosks, it's 6:14 or so. I receive a notice that I needed to check in 40 minutes prior to my flight. Ok, I'm 37 minutes prior, but the flight's delayed at least 10 minutes already. So I'm really 47 minutes prior.

So I go to the quick line (I'm still a Gold Member or whatever from business travel last year), and they tell me that I can't board my flight because I was 3 minutes late. I begged to differ that I was actually 7 minutes early. She assures me that there's no way my bags will make the flight and prints me a standby ticket for the next and last flight, put tags on my bags and sent me on my way. I had a beer and a chicken sandwich thing to pass the time at O'Hare's Chili's. After the plane boards, this ticket agent lady looks at me. I let her know that I'm waiting for standby. The fortunate part is that I got on the plane and made it back safely.

Now, we're the last plane to land, and I walk to baggage claim. Guess what? My bags were already there. In the open. With a big piece of paper with my name written on them. Early. From a prior flight. The flight they wouldn't let me on because my bags wouldn't make it on board in time. How come this doesn't make their "We Know Why You Fly" campaign? And all I could think at that moment, at something like 1am Chicago time was, "If hate were people, I'd be China".

I guess what I learned is that I don't regret for a second quitting my 100% travel job. And that as old as I get, there's just not enough patience in my being to be lied to like the ticket agent did. On the bright side, I'm back, it's sunny, and today's a new day.

Oh, and I discovered "Cafe Ruba" in Costa Mesa, which has free internet. And lots of people who don't work hang out there to drink coffee and talk about genital piercings and lesbianism. At least that's what I overheard before I put my headphones on.

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