When I talk to some people they become quite jealous that I “get” to travel all the time. Well, there are occasions when I disagree. Sure it’s nice building up the frequent [flyer/hotel/car] [miles/points/points], but the crap that one must go through sometimes outweighs the benefits. Take yesterday for example. Keep in mind this is 100% true:
Flying Seattle to Boston via Chicago, in First but that didn’t help very much. Security insisted on scanning my bag for traces of bomb ingredients. The last time this happened, I had a chat with the TSA screener about why my bag was suspect. Apparently, the handle looks strangely bomb-like on the x-ray, which makes me wonder why I don’t get stopped more often. In the past year of flying that bag has only been pulled aside twice. You’re not making me feel safe TSA! Be consistent and I’ll get a new bag!
The SEA-ORD flight was actually very smooth, which gave me false hope of an uneventful transcontinental trip. I was even given the opportunity to mock more gate lice (see Flickr feed)! En route, the food wasn’t terrible (no moldy fruit), I got a lot of work done, only had to get up once for the person sitting next to me, channel 9 was on, etc. Even my connecting flight in Chicago was on time and at the gate directly across from the one we were arriving to. Everything was looking good.
Then we landed.
I stroll off the jetway calmly, ready to find a seat near a power outlet to charge my laptop for the next 30mins before my ORD-BOS flight started boarding. I looked at the gate that was supposed to be mine, and it was blank. Not a good sign. I walked over to the monitors to see my flight is delayed 50 minutes and in the other terminal. Walking from terminal B to terminal C in ORD is not fun, but at least I had some time to waste. So, I began the trek over to my new gate, contemplating what drink I would have on the next flight.
I arrived at the new gate and find a power outlet, but no seat available nearby. Not a problem, I just sat on my bag and waited the hour or so until boarding (Note: Priority Pass does not have any arrangements with the ORD RCC. They need to get on that. Although they did just add the two RCCs in DEN.). I caught up on some email and did some people watching for a bit. Then the boarding process started. Awesome, I jumped up to be 3rd on the plane craving some sort of alcohol to be determined very shortly. As soon as we reached the aircraft door, the pilot steps out telling us that we have just been given another ATC (air traffic control) delay due to weather in Boston. For another 2 hours. None of us First/1Ks/GS were surprised, so we sauntered back up the jetway to the miserable terminal with no free booze. I made some calls, charged my computer some more, and continued people watching.
Finally, we were allowed to board again. I got on, got my drink, and hoped for no further complications so I could make it to Boston. My serenity was intruded upon by some wretched little youngling in the row in front of me, traveling with his father. He kept hitting the flight attendant call button to get more water before we took off. Fine, whatever, he’s an annoying little brat who feels he is special and whose father agrees with him. I go back into my zone with my ipod on.
After all the cattle in the back figure out how to match up the strange symbols on their boarding passes telling them where to park themselves, we somehow made our determined take-off window and proceeded to Boston. Not 5 minutes into the flight, little annoying boy rang the call button. We were still in our initial climb at this point. The flight attendant came over and told the brat “you can’t get up to use the bathroom, maybe you should have thought about that before you drank 4 glasses of water you pest”. OK, so I added that last bit, but you could tell she was thinking it. After moaning something, the FA allowed him to use the facilities, which of course caused his father (in the aisle seat) to get up and flail around in the turbulence. After narrowly escaping a popped bladder, the child returned to the window seat and fully reclined into the woman next to me, with the help of his father of course. I didn’t laugh, cautious of karma, but that did little to prevent annoying father to fully recline as well. Fine, whatever, still had the ipod on.
More drinks and a dinner order came next. Some sort of ravioli is my choice, whatever I’m hungry. The wonder twins in front of me get three glasses of water for some reason, I had no idea why. Subsequently, one of these glasses was elbowed too hard and spills straight back over the armrest emptying its contents all over my laptop bag. Senior idiot lept up and ran to the galley to grab some napkins, all the while leaving his seat fully reclined. I grabbed my bag, wiped it off with his pillow and blanket, and turned it upside down to drain. Senior idiot returned and starts mopping up the few drops of water that actually got on his seat, never even noticing he had drenched my bag. No apologizing, no concern for others, nothing. Luckily for him, my laptop didn’t get wet, just some cables.
The rest of the way into Boston was somewhat bearable, so after landing I made it out to the street and jumped on the Avis bus to get my car. After arriving at Avis, I see that they had given me some huge SUV. Not really wanting an enormous car to drive around a city I go back and request a change to a smaller sedan. I got some Chevy, but at least it’s not a behemoth. Just as I’m about to get going, some elderly couple waddled out in front of my car and the gentlemen knocked on my window. Apparently Avis had given both of us the same car. Judging by the collective IQ of the Avis staff, it’s understandable. So with me being Preferred, I keep the car and head on my way.
When I got to the exit, I was told that the license number on my contract does not match my drivers license. Bear in mind I had to show my license three times to the other Avis monkeys to get the car. I was told to go back and have them change my profile to match. I laid a good deal of front-wheel drive rubber in their parking lot as I made my way back to the agents. I got my profile updated and finally got out of the Avis parking lot and head to my hotel.
The only bright spot of the journey is once I arrive at my hotel, I got upgraded to a suite. A small conciliation prize for such an annoying day.
So, does that sound like fun to anyone?