Jan 16, 2008

Third term and American Airlines... again

Why do airlines hate me?

Let's recap some of my best moments over the last year:

Leaving Grenada (American Airlines): 6-8 hour delay in Grenada, missed connecting flight due to it, 2 hour delay in Puerto Rico, leading to necessity of staying in wrong state with no late meal vouchers, with fight over rechecking bag in the morning.

Returning to Grenada (Air Jamaica): Lost luggage for 5 days. Completely apathetic service personnel. Refusal to provide compensation. Told me luggage was arriving on days where AJ doesn't actually fly. Told me luggage wasn't coming in because a previous day's luggage was having to come in. Refusal to deliver bags once in, tried to refuse to give bags back at the airport until I finally snapped.

Leaving Grenada (American Airlines): After successful connections to Trinidad with Liat and JFK with Caribbean Airlines, lost luggage between JFK and Boston, American denied ever having the bag at all, had two people openly rude to me about it, found it in their care, and shipped it, so it arrived after two or so days.

Returning to Grenada (American Airlines): Left luggage in Miami due to tight turnaround from Boston to Miami because their plane arrived late (again). This time they acknowledge having it, but gave me the wrong number to contact in Trinidad, had the wrong number down for me, once corrected have never called it to update. At first, thought it was supposed to be picked up in Trinidad despite precise directions otherwise. Sent it 'right away' to Grenada last night via Liat. If you know anything about Liat, you can tell where this is going. Now, even American Airlines doesn't know where my bag is. On the plus side, unlike Air Jamaica, the baggage support personnel sound very sorry for it. Possibly due to the fact that this is the second time in a month.

Also, every time I have airline woes, I add more identifying features to my bag. I'm beginning to wonder if they're giving it less priority because it is becoming so very identifiable that they figure they can leave it behind because it'll be easy to find again. Next time, I'm sending my bag incognito. James Bond sunglasses and everything.

It's teaching me the value of just carrying everything on and never checking luggage again. Sure as hell made flying Liat easier. And Venezuela.

Third term. Bit slow so far, and I need to make sure I pay attention to statistics because I am famously bad at math, but it seems like a bit more of a "break" at this point, at least as is its reputation. Everything seems to be combined into one class, the instructors don't give me any trouble to date, so I just need to make sure I don't get complacent.

Did my main shopping today. For those keeping track, as of last viewing, IGA (local grocery store) was full up on many products but fresh out of others. Egg and American milk shortage, not nice potatoes/onions, but very well stocked in cereal, peanut butter/jelly, pasta, some of the veggies, a lot of frozen foods, frozen meats, but not fresh meats.

For incomings, when you go to IGA for the first time, particularly if you're somewhat late coming, do not be freaked out by the fact that the shelves are picked clean and they're out of everything. You will not starve to death. Egg shortages can sometimes be circumvented by seeing if D store has them (though they sometimes run out too), and there used to be an egg guy who came to campus, but I'm not sure if he still does.

Early on, as everyone either has their "won't get any food" panic or, like me, is just restocking their larder from the break, the incidence of the store running out of popular products will increase drastically. This eases a lot as people's shopping schedules space out, but Friday is still the main day that IGA restocks, so that's when most people go. If you really really want a popular product, go then. If you really really don't like being in heavily crowded areas, do what I do, and if they're out of what you need, shrug and go back another time. Plus,occasionally you will find variation, like going in on a Wednesday and find them stocked with stuff they were out of on Friday.

If you're running low on critical products, and want a way of getting a second shot, it may also be worth checking out the CK that's on the corner next to the Texaco on the Grand Anse/True Blue bus route. Just look for the Texaco station and get out there, as it's on that corner. There's a grocery store there that is seldom used. It's not as pretty, but if IGA has been picked clean by the incoming class, a lot of people either don't know about CK or don't go in there anyway.

There's Food Fairs on the Mont Tout route, in downtown St. George's near the Saturday spice market or en route to St. George's. In the latter two cases, get a reggae bus.

Most of the time, I admit, I'm lazy and go to IGA.

If anyone really wants the super fresh fish, IGA's selection of it is poor to nonexistent. Best place to go is the Fish Market in downtown St. George's, by taking a number 1 reggae bus (two and a half EC) to the bus station and it's right near there. You'll also get to see town.


Robyn said...

Hi! I'm new, and just thought I'd mention that your advice is helping, me at least. And about half my class (that I've met so far) have arrived sans luggage, and most of them without so much as a change of underwear in their carry on. Anyway, keep posting - lots of us noobs are reading (but no pressure).

Ishie said...

Thank you, and thanks for reading!!!