Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Airlines are Definitely Sucking

The month of June has been unusually full of airline travel for the Moore-Sakai Household and likewise, it’s been unusually full of frustration. Everybody knows what a pain in the ass air travel is these days. If it’s not the abject humiliation of removing your shoes, displaying toiletries or being at the mercy of the TSA, you also have a good chance of being delayed due to mechanical issues or computer meltdowns or pilot problems.

Of course, no one wants to ride on a plane with mechanical issues--better to be safe than dead, right? But with life moving at the speed of the Internet and technology improving by leaps and bounds, how can this happen? Why are there so many “mechanical issues”? Is that a new code name for ineptitude and lack of preparation?

A sampling of our experiences:
(1) Our Return from Virginia: we were originally scheduled to fly from DC to Dallas to Seattle. But the American Airlines flight out of DC to Dallas was 2 hours delayed – “mechanical issues.” This would have caused us to miss our connection in Dallas so they scrapped our itinerary and re-routed us from DC to Chicago to Seattle. After a 2-hour wait in DC then a 5 hour layover in Chicago, a trip that was originally supposed to take 7 hours actually took 16.

(2) Ken’s Return from San Jose: Ken’s plane to bring him back to Seattle was enroute to San Jose but once airborne, the crew realized something was amiss and turned it back to Seattle. Again, “mechanical issues.” The mechanics worked on it and then the plane proceeded to San Jose but this delayed Ken by 4 hours, arriving home well after Midnight.

(3) Our Return from San Diego: We arrived at the airport only to find out our Alaska flight home was delayed 3 hours due to, you guessed it, “mechanical issues.”
When we did finally get on the plane, a flight attendant made the mistake of announcing to the cabin, “Please turn off your cell phones, we cannot push back from the gate until you do this. We’re already late…” A passenger four rows ahead of me piped up and yelled, “Because of you!”
(Once upon a time, every girl’s dream was to be a stewardess, wearing fabulous uniforms and jetting around the world. Now, being a flight attendant has all the glamour of a well-paid babysitter and requires the disposition of a cranky waitress.)

This is for the Baggage Handlers: You’re working just fast enough not to get fired but slow enough to piss everyone off, aren’t you? I don’t ever remember waiting so long for bags. I think it’s been averaging close to 40 minutes from the time we step off the plane. And they never come out on the carousel listed on the board. All that rushing down to baggage claim to get a prime spot at the conveyer belt--wasted.

Do you ever stop to think about your tray table? When do you think the last time yours was sanitized? We eat off of them, work off of them and sometimes put our faces down on them. But have you ever seen a cleaning crew take the time to wipe them off?

That’s just a little something to think about in the security line while you are keeping an eye on the bin with your laptop as you hurriedly kick off your shoes, hand your Preparation H or Vagisil cream to Johnny TSA as he makes you go through the metal detector again, high on the power afforded to him by paranoia, regulation and karma.

Happy travels!

1 comment:

Sean said...

AMEN, Little Sister!!