mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

June 21, 2008

Traveling

Filed under: Personal — mlah @ 12:01 am

Afghani lovelies

what a day! part of it really really sucked, part of it was cool.

so i wake up late and haven’t packed. i do so quickly and rush out to the airport. got all of the necessities, but yeah. i know i forgot a tie, belt, and a freaking dress shirt. guess who’s going to the mall tomorrow.

so i haul ass to san antonio international. where i was just two days ago. jeez, i recognize faces in there now. i even just gave up trying to get something to eat from the little bistro. the chick is just slow as christmas.

oh. i was a bit late. only had an hour 15 minutes once i parked. but…. my plane was late! go figure. so i had plenty of time. checked in. tried to upgrade….

now it is time for a brief reminder. remember when i went to hawaii and that flight from denver to honolulu sucked so bad? they bumped the entire plane, gave out plane to a flight to maui, and then got us a smaller plane? they had to bump 60 people to the next day. well, i was fortunate enough to get a nasty in the middle seat.

but some 35 or so of the people they bumped were a black church group, who no doubt all had group sweet deals, and since they prob paid least, they ALL got bumped. and let me tell you. 35 or so with connections in honolulu to a cruise ship costing around 9k EACH are not people you want yelling at you. i saw groups of united managers, each with a LINE just giving up the ass.

anyway. long story short, united started offering free anywhere in the us flights to anywhere in the us. is you would volunteer to bump yourself to delta, denver to la, la to honolulu. huge layover.

i took it.

and now i am reaping the rewards. san antonio to burlington vermont. round trip. free. problem is. NO UPGRADES allowed. i have 20k or so use it or lose it miles. remember in 3 weeks or so i should be in baghdad and i will not have the opp to redeem any miles.

back to my story.

no upgrades allowed. damnit.

not too bad though. i lucked out and got an aisle, which i prefer, and an exit row. lots o room. buuuuuuut. remember my flight was delayed? 45 minutes. we boarded. then sat on the plane for 45 minutes to an hour before we pushed away from the jetway.

no biggie. so long as i make my connection.

so LONG AS I MAKE MY FUCKING CONNECTION.

damn you united!

so i land in dulles 10 minutes after my plane to burlington was supposed to have left. yea united! i landed in gate a1. damned gate a1. the same gate i was in just 2 days ago. but i had paid attention on landing. my flight was in gate c20. shit. anybody else hate dulles for the damn shuttles you have to take from terminal to terminal? i check the status board. burlington is not even listed. except for the flight at 9:48. it was 5:10. so i hope against hope and haul my fat ass through dulles international airport oj simpson style. i refrained from murdering anyone, and managed to not trip either.

i get to gate c20. there is a nasty french couple there arguing with the desk clerk. they missed the flight too. but as a listened. not only had they been in the airport for 3 hours and managed to miss the plane….. they were en route (like my french in there?!) to philadelphia.

wha?

where was my plane? no doubt i had missed it. first ever plane i had missed. what to do? i really had no idea. so i waited and listened to french couple. seriously fat chick and short squirrely dude, try to get some united manager ass. just wasn’t working. they had fucked up and the manager knew it. told them so too.

eventually. i got to ask the guy what to do. he checked and told me it wasn’t my fault i missed my plane. frogs were still there and pissed. he told me i had already been booked on the 9:48 flight and printed my a boarding pass. EXCEPT, he couldn’t give me a seat. i had to get that at the gate. and guess where my plane was? gate a1. i had to go all the way back.

bastards!
so i had 5 or so hours to wander around dulles.

oh get this. i didn’t really miss my plane. they canceled it altogether. so my hope against hope dash through dulles was for naught.

anyway. they had a no shit sushi bar around gate b25. i tired to order, but the guy didn’t speak english, and i just wasn’t taking chances with raw fish.

i went for the american fallback. pizza.

time wore on. i found a united kiosk and tried to pick my seat for myself. it kicked me out and told me to get the seat at the gate.

then, lo and behold, the couple behind checked in to the same flight. and GOT SEATS!

oh shit.

i went to the gate again. 2 hours early. i saw a guy and tried to get a seat number…….. no, no, sir. you have to wait til 30 minutes before the flight to get your seating assignment. barely english speaking africans trying shine light up my ass just doesn’t work well.

i went to the customer service desk and tried to get a seating assignment.

he let it slip. no, no, sir. we can’t give you a seat until boarding starts because you are number 4.

I WAS ON FUCKING STANDBY! i said it to. he very quickly assured me that i was NOT on standby. just that the flight had been oversold by 4 seats, and they had to wait til 4 no shows were confirmed before i could be given a seat number.

well. what the fuck is standby then, genius?

FUCK YOU UNITED

so i go back the gate and stand 3 feet from the desk looking at the same guy. 30 minutes prior to flight, boarding starts, and i step forward and hand them my pseudo boarding non-standby, standby thing.

i got a seat.

phew.

next hurdle? it’s 10. hertz closes at midnight. my hotel might dump me. i didn’t confirm.

but this is the cool part.

we land at 11:20. climb down the ladder. a nice old guy says i have won what is behind door #2. and sure enough, there are 2 garage type doors and one is open. i go in, through another door, and i am in baggage claim. and hertz is right behind them. i got my car…. upgraded to a mustang. why the hell not? 5 bucks a day?

my hotel is just down the road. got a nice room.

i’m going to sleep.

3 Comments »

  1. Dave,
    Dude, I live in DC….next time you’re in town, shoot me an email and we can hang out. Also, you’re heading to Iraq? I might be heading there myself here soon, just waiting to get the word.
    Do you have my phone number?

    Rob

    Comment by Rob — June 21, 2008 @ 10:06 am

  2. Sorry dude, didn’t know you were heading in so early. I took a detour to Cooperstown. Staying at this nice little hotel called the Otesaga. See you tomorrow or Monday. I’ll be driving my new minivan.

    Comment by yup — June 21, 2008 @ 8:49 pm

  3. Beware, Burlington is crawling w/ hippies!

    Comment by Gus — June 23, 2008 @ 10:10 pm

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