May 18, 2007

Dear American Airlines...

Please let me see my family again.

I swear, these people aren't going to let me to see my father unless I leave two million under the phone booth at the corner of Lincoln and Maine.

Except there aren't any phone booths anymore, so I suppose I have to leave it under the hobo with a cell phone at the corner of Lincoln and Maine. Where are Lincoln and Maine? Besides "dead" and "New England".

I'm a little loopy from sleep deprivation (who me?). I didn't sleep the night before the flight figuring I'd grab a nappy nap from Grenada to San Juan, go out an enjoy the old town for the 6 hour layover I had (past tense), and then sleep the rest of the way to Miami, then Raleigh. No problem, right?

First, the flight was overbooked. This is particularly funny since the flight consisted either entirely or nearly entirely of students and faculty, so when they were like "Hey, we'll pay for your accommodations in paradise!", you could TASTE the bitterness of the "screw you" vibe that arose from all of us.

But that turned out to be moot, because though I got to the airport at five in the morning with my flight out at 7:20, around the latter time they announced "whoops, broken plane".

Fine. I have a six and a half hour layover and you can get planes from Trinidad, Barbados, or San Juan. Whatevs.

"Whoops. Flight canceled." Apparently, they didn't have a battery and either Liat wouldn't jump them or they couldn't find jumper cables big enough.

Now... as you can probably tell from the above, I don't know much about airplane mechanics, but shouldn't spare airplane batteries be the sort of thing you keep around airports? And if not, isn't San Juan only 2 hours away and you can send a replacement?

No... so we hung out at the airport... in the cafeteria, using our GENEROUS 18 EC voucher to buy rehydrated eggs, and inexplicably, chicken wings for breakfast, as I watched Fight Club, Jesse tried to sleep on the floor and a number of students played cards or chain smoked outside.

Translation? We're all tired and wanna go home. Fix the plane or get us a boat.

Also, to "gold card members". Fortunately this didn't happen to me or I'd be in a Grenadian prison right now, but when you have a huge line of students who've been bumped, instead of going to your own agent, jumping in front of all of them and responding to a protest by wagging your gold card DIRECTLY in their faces runs you the serious risk of spitting up pieces of said gold card after it is shoved forcibly into your nether regions by an angry mob. You may be a gold card member, but we're brass knuckles members. BACK OF THE LINE! When they have a separate ticket agent for the illuminati, I have no issue with you, but don't butt in front of everyone because you assume some uber status and if you do, do so by pulling aside someone who works there *quietly*.

And the idiot turned out to be in line for the wrong airline since she was trying to rebook to Barbados. That's Liat, stupid. And they don't have gold cards, so I'm going to wait anxiously as you try to butt in front of a bunch of angry Trinis because you're an entitlement bitch. Enjoy that.

They called us all down around 11, at which point, having already been called down with high hopes only to receive a breakfast vouchers, there were whispering threats of violence among the disenfranchised students (myself included) about what was going to happen if we all got called back for a lunch voucher.

Fortunately, this was not to be... but everyone missed their flights... even I did... 6.5 hour layover... couldn't make it.

They said I might have a chance of getting to Charlotte if I could do a fast turn around in Miami, but would book me for the night in Hartford, Connecticut, which is like Raleigh, North Carolina except for the part where it's a thousand miles north and in another state.

This flight to Charlotte *might* have worked if the now fixed plane... (chewing gum and duct tape?) left at 2, like the said it would. It left at three. This caused a whole lot of students to miss their NEWLY ARRANGED flights which meant they got to start over in San Juan after having to uncheck all our bags and drag them through customs.

I would have missed my flight even to Connecticut except THAT flight was ALSO late... by two hours, meaning I didn't get in until midnight, didn't get to the hotel until midnight-thirty and was due back at the airport at 5:30 am.

Oh that was a restful night's sleep guys; thank you. And sleep on the plane to Connecticut? Oh no... completely parched only to have the call light go unattended for so long that I finally just walked back and got a class of water myself... asked for a pillow only to be informed there are no pillows on their flights (terror risk? the airline pillows and Spiceland Mall?) and she said she'd find me a blanket and disappeared forever, which is a difficult task when you're in a micro metal aluminum dildo of death at 40 thousand feet, but what do I know?

So I suppose I could have eaten, which American Airlines would have been MORE than happy to provide me for a fee. No meals or snacks on the four hour flight, but they were generous enough to offer sandwiches for five bucks or M&Ms for 3 (!!!!!).

TEMPTING as that offer was (not), I refrained because at that stage, I'd have rather given money to "Mothers Against Feeding Orphans" than them.

This morning, upon blearily checking into the airport, the woman informed me that I would have to pay a 25$ overlimit requirement on my 69 lb luggage, and I laughed in her face. Since my bags had been checked through to Raleigh YESTERDAY with no extra fees and no requirements other than the customs transfer to Puerto Rico, I'm not particularly inclined to give you bastards MORE money for being incompetent.

Moral of the story? Ishie did NOT pay that $25 dollars. Damn right. Oh, and it's pronounced "Gre-nay-da", lady. I was not in Spain.

For clarity, I usually fly airlines like Southwest that are so ghetto they keep their planes up on blocks, and I have NEVER had this degree of difficulty with anything. They WILL get you there. They may get you there with the wing on fire, but you'll frigging get there.

American? Well, you'll get to spend four hours in a lovely hotel.

Now, let's see if I can FINALLY make it to Raleigh without involving stops in Europe.


slappy said...

I like that one of your labels for this post is

Sorry!!! It does remind me of the time that one airline kidnapped you when you were a little kid though. . .

stupid airlines. rg

Ishie said...

Hiya Slappy!!!

Yes, United kidnapped me as a child and American hosed me as an adult (though this time I had my *own* damn money), so both of those are on my shitlist.

Anonymous said...

Had me laughing again!!! Out loud!!! to myself!!! i love your stories!!

-- UW SeattleHuskies