Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The thing about flying is.....

Anything can happen. Anything can go wrong and delay you. You buy airline tickets to go on some much-anticipated vacation, a break from your everyday life, and you delude yourself into thinking that flying is just the way of getting from A to B, and then the adventure begins. But, the reality is, the flying part of it becomes as much a part of the trip as the events that happen once you reach your destination.

I have flown a bit over the years and I remember just about every flight I have taken, for a myriad of reasons.

Last weekend I went to Salem to visit a friend and to celebrate another friend's 30th birthday. I flew from Atlanta to Boston, alone as my other friends had arrived in Salem a day before me. The trip there was just fine, I was all alone, able to read and listen to my mp3 player and drink wine on the plane. Did you know that you can open a bar tab on your credit card on an airplane? Tell me what is not to love about that. I dare you.

But flying home from Boston to Atlanta proved to be a bigger and more expensive challenge. But let me give some background information first.

Months ago my friends and I decided to go to New Orleans the weekend before Halloween. Rachael turned 30 on October 30th, so celebrating seemed required. We all made our plans, I bought an airline ticket as I would be arriving one day after them. They had planned to drive. Then the hurricane came and went, and with it our hotel. So, we changed plans and decided to go to Salem. I have a good friend who lives there and she said we could stay with her. I called up Orbitz and explained why I wished to change my flight to Boston. Orbitz still issues paper tickets when you buy flights through them, this would turn out to be a key factor in my return trip. So, the lovely woman at Orbitz told me that they would be canceling my New Orleans flight and issuing a credit for me to use with Air Tran. She then told me I did not need the paper tickets for the new flight to Boston, that my name and confirmation number would be in the system and all would be good.

So, at Logan International airport in Boston, there were different needs. Mr. Santana, the Air Tran ticket agent insisted I had to present those paper tickets or I could not get on the plane. What the fuck is this? He said that they required those paper tickets and that the agent in Atlanta should have asked me for them. The agent in Atlanta didn't even look at me, let alone talk to me about paper tickets. Mr. Santana said that I could of course, buy another ticket for the flight home.

Oh fuck that I said. Let me call Orbitz right now. So there I stood, in the baggage check line, with my cell phone (which is brand new and made the ordeal a little more tolerable), on hold with Orbitz. I finally got someone and explained. He said that clearly the agent in Atlanta understood the situation and didn't ask me for the tickets, but that this agent was totally going by the book. Orbitz man put me on hold while he tried to fix it all. I asked Mr. Santana if he would let me on the plane if I cried. He said no. Fucker. Orbitz man came back, and told me that he was so very sorry for their mistake, but I would have to buy another ticket and then have Orbitz refund me the money. I was livid. What happens to the people who can't afford to buy another $300 ticket? Do they sleep in the airport until...the end of time? By this time my friends had gone ahead through security at my insistence. I assured them my ass would be on that plane one way or another. After much ranting and cursing, I conceded and bought another ticket. And off to security I went.

And of course, I got flagged for a bag check. Jesus Christ on a bicycle, why do they always search me? Do I look like a terrorist? They took out everything in my carryon and purse. They took my camera apart, removing the lens and lens covers. They went through all of the things in my purse and wiped things with these little cloths in search of explosive residue. I begged them to leave my tampons wrapped, what was I to do if they violated those? They inspected my sexy new cell phone and even took all the caps off of the pens in my purse. Those agents at the Logan International airport are thorough motherfuckers, that's for sure. I got through just in time to get on my plane.

And I will end this by saying, in a loud voice, FUCK ORBITZ AND AIR TRAN.


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Mel said...

I'm going to have to say this is payback for all those drugs you did as a teenager. ;)

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Be thankful they didn't want to do a body cavity search. When I left Atlanta they made me take off my zip up shirt in front of EVERYONE. See what I put up with to visit you?


Post a Comment

<< Home