Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Hellacious Flight Home

After my wildly successful Memorial weekend trip, I had to suffer the indignities of flying home on a commercial airline. There were no Lear jets available on my budget...I checked. I got to Logan International in Boston a bit early, so I treated myself to some Sushi...which was excellent! That was really one of the last good thing that happened on this day. We boarded the plane on time (a first) and then the announcement came from the pilot that there was some rather nasty weather in the NY area and we would not be able to take off. We would get an update in 20 minutes. Since I was flying Air Tran, I just plugged in my headphones and listened to some Satellite radio. No problem. I had a one-hour layover in Atlanta, and a 15-minute delay would make no difference to me. Others were already whining. (At least 'Large & Angry' wasn't sitting next to me this time!) 15 minutes later, we got our update: we would get another update in 45 minutes. OK, now I knew I would miss my connection in Atlanta. No big deal, right? I'm a seasoned traveler, so this didn't really ruffle my feathers too much. I called Big D and asked him to go online and check for Air Tran flights from Atlanta to Phoenix that night. Bad news: mine was the last one. We finally took off for Atlanta after over an hour of sitting at the gate. At this point, my knees and hips were screaming at me, and my neck was ready to give out. I couldn't take my pain medication because I would have been inoperable upon arrival in Atlanta. So, I took a few Advil and listened to some Bob Seger. I find that Seger is always soothng to the soul. :) After landing in Atlanta, I immediately proceeded to the Air Tran customer service desk. Apparently, two flights to LaGuardia, NY had just been cancelled due to the previously mentioned nasty weather. So there was a very long line of angry New Yorkers ahead of and behind me. When I finally got to the customer service desk, the woman was really very nice. I felt bad for her, because angry New Yorkers are not kind, and she had been taking verbal beatings for quite some time. I explained my situation to her, and she checked on flights for me. The next available flight to Phoenix was at 10:15 the next morning. I told her (using my extra-special nice voice) that having recently been in a car accident and with my arthritis issues, there was no way I could possibly spend 14 hours in an airport overnight. I said, "You need to make this right." Here is what she told me: (looking at all the angry New Yorkers in line behind me), "Go have some dinner (here's a voucher), and come back to see me in one hour." I said thank you very much and went first to the smoking lounge and then to grab a bite. The smoking lounge was also full of angry New Yorkers, so I had a quick ciggie and got the hell out of dodge! Had one of the worst burritos I've ever had in my life and then back over to the Air Tran counter. The angry New Yorkers had mostly dispersed, but there was one left, and he was yelling and screaming at the woman who had helped me. She had to get a manager involved, and I seriously thought that airport security was going to come and get him. Once he was settled down, I was given a voucher for the Airport Sheraton, and another meal voucher for breakfast at the Sheraton in the morning. She booked me on the 10:15 to Phoenix, and I was on my way. The Sheraton was nicer than trying to sleep on an airport bench, but it wasn't home. It had been a long trip with little sleep and I just wanted my own bed. Regardless, I slept soundly after a quick shower. My flight to Phoenix the next day went without incident, and my bags arrived safely, too. That last angry New Yorker? After all his yelling and screaming and carrying-on, all he got was a discount coupon for a crappy off-airport hotel. I guess that just goes to show that being nice pays off! :)

9 comments:

Queen B said...

Yay! For extra-nice voice! But the worst burritos are served only in the El Paso airport, where I get stranded too often ;)

"Joker" said...

Wow. Sushi and Burritos at the airport? You are a brave soul. I wouldn't risk that in front of a flight for fear I'd be spending most of my flight in the bathroom. I hate airplane bathrooms, and my hat's off to the members of the mile-high club. I have no idea how they manage it.

Good for you at the airport. You're right - nobody will do squat for you if you're a jerk. They may not do squat for you no matter what, but your best chances are definitely by doing it the way you did.

I think you made out better on the way home! I'd rather have a nice shower and a good night's sleep at the Sheraton than sit next to the fat loaf you had to deal with on the way to Boston. Glad you had a great trip overall.

Mike said...

Honestly, if I didn't absolutely have to fly every now and then, I would never do it again. It really has gotten ridiculous out there.

Jinjer said...

I love what you said "You need to make this right." That rules that she helped you and not the angry guy. I am going to have to agree and say that eating sushi at the airport is a brave thing to do...wow!

mrs road captain said...

Isn't it amazing what a little smile will do? Glad you eventually got home safely.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Yepper, you can always get more bees with honey than with vinegar! A nice smile and kindness in your voice is what got you that nice room and not a hard chair! At least you got home safe and sound,(without big the jerk!) and that's all that matters.

Your food story reminds me of a friend who used to tell me...don't order seafood at a steak place and don't order steak at a seafood place! It's bound to be trouble!

Thanks for taking us on your wonderful trip and sharing your family with us!

Paula said...

ugh! I hate it when you end up with an extra night away from home! Glad she took care of you and not angry New Yorker.

-Connie said...

Kudos for being nice!! I thought I was the only one left who was nice to customer service!! I'm glad she helped you out!! :-)

Veronnica said...

Dang! I'll remember that... I'm flying AirTran to Iowa next month. Be nice Veronnica, Be nice - maybe if I say it enough I'll really believe it! LOL!