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October 2nd, 2007

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02:35 am - flight denouement
I've just arrived and am, well, dazed. Thanking you for the comments, but I paid enough just to make that post on an airport kiosk with I swear to god IMB PCjr chicklet keys that I couldn't stick around to see any. I slept most of the way through the flight (the in-flight movie was Evan Almighty, yeah, I'm snoozin, later folks) and now Abbie is telling me exactly how he was neglected and mit out food the entire time, etc etc etc. It is good to be home.

I'm going to count the nice things that happened to me on this adventure. This is going to illustrate exactly what is at fault with the airlines and who are not.

1. The ticket agent at ONT who worked a whole lot to find me another Boston flight from Ontario, finally figuring out there'd be none and putting me on the non-stop flight from LAX, and paying for the shuttle.

2. The agent at LAX who tried to find another flight for me as well when it became clear my 1:55 departure wasn't going to be at 1:55. Unfortunately the next flight wasn't until 10:30 or something, and would've gotten in around 6 am. As I am to be at work tomorrow, this was not a solution, nor would a free overnight stay in the Los Angeles Hotel Whatever and a flight the next day. I've already missed about a week's worth of work what with the pre-planned time off and the sick from last week, and we're seriously understaffed as it is.

(Turns out our 1:55 plane developed mechanical difficulties and was deemed not air-safe so they had to wait for another plane to arrive for us. I have no idea where that flight was coming from; I didn't hear. I still have no reason why the DEN-BOS flight was cancelled.)

3. The attendants on the eventual 5:30 flight that said "The booze is on us. You want two? Another?" Sure, throwing bourbon and scotch at me isn't going to fix everything, but it definitely don't hurt.

4. The baggage claim agent in BOS who was the only representative around, yet who was able to give me a $50.00 cab voucher for a taxi back home. It didn't cost nearly that much but I told the cab driver hell, go ahead and charge 'em the full amount as far as I was concerned -- if I didn't really want to get home so soon, I'd have asked for the Scenic Route. I think the cab company's gonna get the $50.00 no matter what and the fare was nowhere near that amount, so I hope the driver gets a hell of a tip.

After posting in all caps and swears and stuff, I'd calmed down pretty much (the ONT-LAX bit I was real easygoing about, hey, no problem, I'll get home an hour later or so, life's an adventure that way sometimes) but even after the news of the delay I was polite to the agents, I was calm and stated the problems that had occurred, and then explained the need that I had -- to get home early, then again to get home early, and then finally to get home without paying my taxi fare since I'd been so inconvenienced. In return, they were polite and courteous and sincerely tried to help. Knowing from customer service, I knew yelling at the agents wasn't going to accomplish anything. They didn't fuck the planes up, they didn't cancel the flight or make the other one late, they were just the sole point of human contact at the airports. (Yelling is only gonna make them mad to and hell, buddy, you want them on your side.)

I've been on the other side of those desks albeit in a different capacity, and I know what can and cannot be done from that perspective. As far as I'm concerned, the people I actually spoke with were courteous and helpful and did what they could to help, even where there was not much that could be done. The airline, on the other hand, is gonna get a letter from me explaining the problems I had. I got home, I'm alive, I'm just gonna be a sonofabitch tomorrow with work and all. Just glad to be back.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 07:59 am (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you're home. I'm sorry you contracted LAXaphobia, though. It's really not all that awful of an airport. Having navigated it a bunch, I will say that it's surely the quickest easy-in and easy-out of most airports. You can whip through those terminals like you were Lightning McQueen. Ka-CHOW!

If you want sheer terror, you want McCarran International, the Las Vegas airport. That place is... well, it's not really the airport's fault. Lots of people want to come in for the weekend and then leave at the end of the weekend. Still, though, given the choice between being boiled in oil for 18 millenia, or trying to catch a flight on a Sunday afternoon out of McCarran... I'm taking the boiling oil. At least my skin won't be so fucking dry. And at least everybody else in the place won't have a hangover.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
I haven't had many problems at McCarran before but yeah, the really rough times are the weekend dates. However, the sheer amount of advertising around the baggage claim area, the voices of dead entertainers telling you when the moving walkway's about to stop and the glass cubes with smokers and slot machines, though, make the place incredibly surreal and for some reason that amuses me.

The United terminals at LAX are just mallports and worse than that; my terminal didn't even have the airport fudge option. They had a Body Shop, for crying out loud, but no fudge? For shame.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Glad you finally arrived safe & sound.

One possibility on the DEN->BOX cancellation: I had a coworker who was to fly BOS->DEN and land around 1:57. His flight was cancelled. It's possible you were to be on that plane back to BOS. He was rerouted through Atlanta, and I haven't heard from him yet. He was to get in late last night, so hopefully this morning I'll get some details from him. If he made it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Okay, good. I got home last night, saw your post, and my heart sank. Because :( what a way to end an awesome vacation.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
When we were finally in the air and they said "And tonight's movie will be Evan Almighty" I thought to myself "Oh, man, now there's the irony cherry."

I also knew that'd have probably been your own breaking point, if you hadn't broken way before then. :3
Date:October 2nd, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Any landing you can walk away from, right ...

I'm very sorry you had such a rotten trip back. Hope the visit was still worth it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 3rd, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, it was definitely more than worth it. I'd take an aggravating flight home after an awesome weekend over the best flight in the world home after a mediocre weekend every day.

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