Saturday, July 30, 2011
Ah, Travel, Who Knows Anymore
I'm sitting here in a rocking chair comfortably chatting with some new friends, some of the several thousand "friends" around, listening to boarding calls to far away places with strange sounding names that someday I hope to visit. Unfortunately,today I'm just trying to get home. The optimal word here being "trying".
I awoke this morning at 2:45 am to a cheery automated call from the airline informing me that the second leg of my flight home had been cancelled due to mechanical difficulties. After a quick call to the airline, I was re-booked on a later flight. Given that I did not need that plane for another 9 hours or so, one would think an international airline with 100's (maybe 1000's) of planes would have a spare one sitting around - you know just in case something happened. But what do I know.
I was advised to be at the airport at least two hours prior to my scheduled departure (vs. my normal one hour) due the number of flights. So I had a 3:15 am cab waiting. What they failed to tell me was that the ticket counter (where I needed to check my luggage) did not open until 4am. However, I had the company of other fellow travelers who heeded the same advice. (Following the rules will get you no where.)
This is when my laissaz faire attitude of air travel kicks in, which serves me well. As long as I have cash, my laptop, and my iPad I'm OK. Check luggage - done, security - check, first flight - no issues. As I got off the plane, I walked past a good fifty folks standing in line at the airline service desk. Do they not have a phone and realize that it is much faster to call the airline to get service (or least start calling and be on hold while you are in line to see which is faster.) These folks were just standing there zombie like. Unless the airline was giving something away free (which I seriously doubted) I had no sympathy for them.
Now if the older Jewish lady next to me would just stop complaining about her daughter-in-law. Her husband (who never had a chance to get a word in) and the rest of us had to listen to how her son's wife could not cook, drove some kind of sporty car that a woman of her age should not drive, let their granddaughter wear anything, and worst of all, insisted on not wearing any makeup. (And, how he should have married Ilana. After all her father owned that chain of jewelry stores and she knew how a lady should look.) All, I could say was that daughter-in-law must either be a saint or a heavy drinker.
Back to my rocking chair, where else but in the south would you find rocking chairs throughout the airport. If they would just install ceiling fans and offer sweet tea or lemonade to weary travelers. But that would be asking a little much.