Quote of the Day:
“Two hundred dollars? Apiece? (blood pressure no longer rising, steam no longer escaping ears) Hey, look, I know it’s not your fault, I’m just very frustrated and it’s nothing personal to you. I can use that any time, right? And it’s fully transferrable? –TB at Houston Hobby, post-rant
TB woke up at five a.m. last Friday morning. It was vacation time. This was my first mistake of the trip, but far from my biggest.
We always leave on the earliest possible flight when we go on vacation. It is to maximize our time on the trip. However, for some reason I decided it would be nice to be well-rested on the first day of this particular vacation so I scheduled our flight for one o’clock in the afternoon. At ten a.m. I had been twiddling my thumbs raw and shuffling a path on the living room floor, antsy to leave. That’s when the first “delayed” flight message came in from Southwest. That’s also why you get your tired ass up at five a.m. to make the earliest flight–less chance of delay–not to mention the fact I’m already rarin’ to go by then anyway.
So, one thing led to another. We ended up missing our connection to Los Angeles after (a) being delayed one hour and (b) seeing our plane stranded on the tarmac while another plane used our gate in Jackson–there were three empty gates around us and probably a thousand swiftly moving clocks and (c) arriving in Houston with minutes to reach our plane, sprinting to the gate to arrive precisely ten minutes before scheduled takeoff, seeing the plane at the gate, and not being allowed to board because “your luggage will never make it.” We were unable to get rebooked on the next three flights to L.A. and ended up with a seven hour layover in Hobby. Instead of arriving in sunny California before lunch by taking the morning flight out of Jackson, we arrived at almost midnight.
All of which leads me to this: don’t be an asshole to the airline’s gate employees when something like this happens. They have no control over it. Giving them hell only makes you look bad. I must digress at this point to admit something. I was an asshole to the gate employee. No cussing, fortunately, but lots of phrases like “comedy of errors” and “idiotic policies” and “we’ve been here twenty minutes now and our plane is still sitting right there staring me in the face. At least get them to back away from the friggin’ gate!” It took some of the sting out of our bad luck when the agent provided us a $600 voucher for the three of us to travel on our next trip. The voucher had nothing to do with my being an asshole or Southwest being contrite. They were required to compensate me thanks to some sensible Federal regulations.
Through it all, the Scamp was a champ, by the way.
Oh, one more thing. Our luggage was waiting on us at LAX. It made the original damn connection.
In my next installment, Santa Cruz–beach boardwalk town, and my second big mistake. But not, by far, the biggest.