A reader’s perspective on finding the humor in airline travel.
You know those silly things that happen in your life, good and bad, that proceed to dominate all aspects of your life? I’ve been trying to learn and train myself not to let it interfere more than it has to but I admit, it’s hard! I had one happen recently and instead of letting it fester in my brain and mess with all my emotions, I’ve decided to share it instead. I has to do with air travel. I know, that means of travel RARELY insights any type of frustration and is usually very calming (that’s me being sarcastic!). So here is my experience, but first, I invite you to watch this video (click here) to share in the humorous aspects of the events.
I was returning from a cross country trip, a trip that was very emotionally fraught as it was for a funeral of a loved one. The airline that I was flying is known for its very reasonable tickets, at least on the surface, but I had not flown with them previously., how bad could it be? When it came time to check-in online I was surprised to see that there were charges for all their seats. Yes, all. Not just the special coach seats where you get extra leg room, but every single seat had a price. Bump that cheap ticket up a notch. Next, when I checked in at the airport, I was met with a fee for baggage. Nope, not just a checked bag. Baggage. If I wanted to carry my bag on, it would be the same price as if I had checked it. Bump the cheap ticket up yet another notch! Finally, after an hour delay for mechanical issues, we were in flight and guess what. If I wanted any drinks or snacks there was a charge. Not just for alcohol, ALL drinks including water. So my reasonably priced ticket has now ranged into the price level of all the other airlines. Sneaky!
That wasn’t the worst of it though. The hour delay ended up causing problems. Initially not for me since I was not going to have to change planes to my final destination. However, 30 minutes from landing I get a notice from the flight attendant that they have decided to use another plane, everyone is already loaded on it to my final destination, and I’ll have less than five minutes to get to the gate which is 10 gates away. Oh and they won’t hold the door, company policy and all. I’ll add in here that the connecting airport was Denver. Have you ever tried to make a 100 yard dash at altitude? I was dying! And of course I missed the plane. Options? Well their customer service offered up, “we can rebook you or refund you.” Rebooking- fly into a city 150 miles away that night and be totally on my own to get to my final destination or wait until 2:00pm the next day and catch the next flight into my final destination. Refund? I would have to wait 4-7 business days and they could tell me how much the refund would be. Not the best options! So I started asking questions. Could they provide a rental car? Could they pay for a shuttle? Could they book me on another airline? Could they pay for a hotel and food? Sadly, the person at the counter’s only response was, “no. We can rebook or we can refund.” Oh wait, they had a phone call to someplace in their company (not exactly sure where) about a hotel room. The supervisor was a something else. You would think customer service would be focused on calming situations down but this woman came out angry! Right away just overemphasizing the we will rebook or refund and you have been told this already so get out of my face and sit in the corner until we get a call back. My next two questions, apparently, went too far for her. I admit, I may have expected to much. “How long until you hear back? Can you call them again?” Yep. I had officially become argumentative. Using her extreme supervisor powers, she banned me from flying on any of their flights leaving to my final destination the next day and no refund for me. Hmmm…can I still get my bag back?
But let’s focus on some fun airline experiences shall we? There are some great lesfic stories out with an aspect of flying that I’ve enjoyed and I’m sure there are more that all you readers can add to.
One of my first reads from way back when I was first discovering all that is LesFic is Darkness Before the Dawn by Belle Reilly. It features an airline captain and a flight attendant who are forced into an exciting struggle against terrorists who attempt to take control of a flight to Rome. If you are in the mood for adventure, excitement and a Xena getaway this could be a fun story to check out!
My adventure was from a traveler’s perspective but you know that the staff on airplanes have some stories of passengers that could probably beat most people’s worst day at work stories. That is what caught my attention in Ali Vali’s Love Match. The first scene between Parker and Sydney was awesome and definitely shows how amazing these flight staff individuals are at putting up with passengers.
Let’s hear it! Tell me some adventures of your own and definitely tell me your favorite air crew books!