October 18, 2007

Airlines are the devil. Now gimme my window seat!

I had a conference and a couple business meetings to attend lastweek in Texas, for which I bought plane tickets weeks ago. I was over zealous when buying the tickets, and decided I could tough out a redeye flight, which would save me a night in a hotel, but also get me to my destination city early enough to not feel rushed and deal with anything that went majorly awry before it was, as they say, "showtime".


The night before the flight, at about 10 p.m., I got my handy-dandy Orbitz flight alert with that perky lady who proceeded to tell me my flight, scheduled to take off in 2 hours, was delayed. Yes, a red eye flight, delayed. So I called the airlines in an attempt to catch a later flight out -- like one when, I dunno, the sun was up.

And do you know what the nice lady with the southern accent told me? There was a flight at 11 the next morning which I could get on, but I would have to call back at exactly 11 p.m. to claim the ticket, as there was some sort of 12 hour rule. And there was no amount of convincing I could do to get some leniency on this rule, I discovered.

Well, shit. That meant I had to get in the car and start driving to the airport while calling the airlines at precisely 11 to hopefully snag the last ticket on that flight. So i did. And 20 minutes later, guess what I discovered? No ticket left. But there WAS, I was informed, a flight at 12:30 the next afternoon, and if I wanted to wait until 12:30 a.m. -- or 3:30 a.m. for the 3:30 pm flight, I could do that.

What the fuck? This is a bullshit rule. I was ON THE PHONE, with my CREDIT CARD IN HAND, dying to buy a ticket, and they told me that on a technicality I'd have to skip my flight, cross my fingers, turn around in a circle, and stay awake until 3 in the morning to MAYBE buy a plane ticket for 3 in the afternoon!

This made no sense to me. So I hung up and continued to the airport, where my flight was further delayed. By almost 1 a.m. I was finally boarding, looking forward to my window seat, when I discovered seating had been rearranged, and I was now on an aisle.


I hate aisle seats. I hate them because I can't ever fully relax in them (relaxing is imperative on a redeye flight, as you simply cannot be the one asshole with the reading light on in a pitch dark plane for 4 hours). I can't relax in them because I'm always afraid someone in the middle or window seat is going to need to pee and I'm going to have to get up so they can get out, because if I'm asleep when they have to go they might feel uncomfortable waking me up.

Now, I'm the ideal window passenger because I'm like a camel -- I get on planes and no matter how long that flight is, I NEVER have to get up to pee, or primp, or puke. No sir. I am asleep in a window seat before takeoff, ipod in place, and wake up right about when the plan touches down, sometimes slightly after.

So maybe that actually makes me more like a sloth or hibernating bear than a camel.

No matter, you get the point:

1. Redeyes suck
2. Airlines are the devil (albeit with very friendly voices in customer service)
3. If you're the person who has to pee once an hour on cross-country flights, you might remember me. I'm the person in the aisle who politely lets you out and then sticks her foot out to trip you on your way to the tiny cube potty -- for the THIRD TIME. Nice to meet you.

1 comment:

UBH said...

You do realize that you might be the only other person on the ENTIRE FUCKING PLANET (besides me) that cares if the other two people in your isle need to pee or not.

Seriously. You and I. The last of a dying breed.