11 June 2005

Too much...

I've come to the realization that there certainly can be too much of a good thing. I'm finally back and recovered from the move and the vacations, and am absolutely floored by how much there is to catch up on. Maybe the best way to do this is post a picture once in a while and talk about something that happened on each trip. But for now, let's talk about traveling itself.

We all have airline horror stories. Mine (up until this last trip) was how I got stuck for three hours in an airport with a ticket to an airline that wasn't giving me a seat assignment on the overbooked flight. And I still got home. This trip, not so much -- so before you zone out for all the gory details, I'll get the moral of the story right out:

Never Fly Delta Airlines

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

It all started with an early morning on Sunday -- not because of an early flight, but because I went to a concert that lasted about 8 hours (mostly due to a 20 minute cover of Tom Petty's Free-Falling, and the appearance of one of the lead Van Halen guys for three excrutiatingly long songs). We crashed around 1 am, and I got up at 8 to run to my house and pack, shoving everything I thought I would possibly need into either of my two bags.

This is not advisable. How would I know this? Several reasons.
1) I discovered (or rather, a BWI employee discovered for me) that I was packing at the security checkpoint. There was a pair of scissors in my bag, much to my embarrassment, and despite my repeated attempts to assure the man I didn't want them back, he had to take them to his supervisor, who promptly deemed the kindergarten-level scissors as a lethal object. Actually, he was quite nice about it -- I was expecting to get tackled or something.

2) I failed to pack a change of clothes, for the very first time in the eleven years I've been flying. This fits in nicely with the rest of the tale.

Upon reaching Cincinnati, we experienced a minor delay -- repairs. This delay extended to three hours until they were able to find a flight-crew to replace the attendants that had been working too many hours. I can understand this, one hundred percent. I work hard, too. I know there are laws.

We finally got up into the air about four hours after the initial departure time. An hour later, the pilot announced we had to return to Cincinnati because of a 'legal issue.' We later found out 'legal issue' was code for the fact that some numbnut wasn't able to figure out that the co-pilot was also over his flight time, and would under no circumstances (unless the Boeing turned into the Concord) would we ever have made it to Nevada with the time he had when we took off). When we returned, Delta staff gave us a bag full of cheap and disgusting personal supplies, exactly seven dollars for dinner and breakfast ("Delta doesn't allow us to distribute more"), and waved over the local police whenever anyone got upset with them. It would have been a perfect night for someone to rob a bank or something, for all the cops they had in that airport when 250 pissed off people got off that plane.

We were not an isolated case, either. At the hotel, we met a guy who had been stuch in Northern KY twice -- on both flights through. The bartender told us of a number of other people, all of whom had been stuck, even to the point of missing things like three and five day cruises, all because an airline (Delta) couldn't get their act together. We eventually got to Vegas, almost 24 hours after we were due.

Now, I'm sure other airlines are just as bad -- I just don't hate them because I haven't been inconvenienced yet. But really... what other business could survive operating like they do? Not delivering services to people, acting rude and inconvenienced when people demand they stand by their obligations, etc.

It's a great argument for cross-country biking.

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