Tuesday, July 26, 2005

American Airlines = really quite shit

OK OK I'm sorry for the swearing, as I think my parents read this. But seriously, unless you are completely desperate, do NOT fly AA, because they will seriously fuck you around. Example: our farcical flight back to New York today. Or yesterday, now that it's nearly 2 in the morning.

After spending 22 hours on the Greyhound travelling from New York to Chicago, we thought it would be nice to treat ourselves to a quick and painless flight home (Or, rather, we could only afford the airfare one way and decided we'd rather fly back after being exhausted from Lollapalooza). So this morning we got up late, skipped breakfast, did a little shopping, then got to the airport nice and early to check in and farewell our lovely hosts. As it turns out before we even checked in, we found out that our flight had been delayed from 2 pm to 3. This wasn't so bad as it gave us a bit of time once we were in there to find some lunch. So we used the clever little self check in computer (thank god we only had carry on baggage), farewelled our hosts, and made our way to the gate.

Well, things kinda went pear shaped from the beginning. For starters, we were 'chosen' (lucky us!) for extra security screening. G's TSA lady was quite nice and courteous, while mine proceeded to scare the living bejeezus out of me. I made the grave mistake of reaching for my passport before I had permission and she practically threatened to shoot me. Luckily one of the guys going through our luggage (thank god I put all my dirty undies in a sealed plastic bag!) was nice and commented on G's Andy Warhol badge, which helped to calm us down.

So we finally got to our gate, and kinda sat around for a bit, then were told that our flight had been moved to a different gate, which was cool. At our final gate, there were some rather desperate looking people in the standby line hoping to get on our flight. We regarded them with a smile and what can only be called a bit of smugness, as we had our nice little reserved seats and all was well. Or so we thought.

When we were actually sitting on the plane, by about 3:30, nothing really happened for quite a while, then we were 'regretfully informed' that there was a problem with retracting the jetbridge from the plane, and that furthermore if they couldn't fix it in 5 minutes the captain and first officer, the two people you need most to get a plane in the air, would be forced to step down as part of legal regulations regarding working hours or some shit like that. So of course, 2 feet of jetbridge stood between us and New York. Honestly, you'd think that they'd have a manual override for the damn thing. So typically, the jetbridge remained firmly screwed, our flight was cancelled and we were all shoved back into the lounge.

Which is where the fun begins. G immediately jumped on the phone to rebook our flights, and was given a choice between 6 o'clock the following morning to LaGuardia, or 9:50 pm to Newark. We chose the latter, depsite the fact that we hadn't the faintest clue where Newark was. However, luckily for us, we also went and stood in line for standby tickets on an earlier flight to LaGuardia. I felt like bailing and just waiting for the Newark flight, but all props to G for convincing us to stay, as we ended up getting standby tickets. so we went from being one of the smug people smiling at the desperate standby ticket holders, to being one of the desperate standby ticket holders. And being embarrassingly desperate I might add. I crossed everything I could conceivably cross and promised God I would go to church on sundays for the rest of the year if he got us on the flight. Well he got us on the flight alright, but no sooner had I sat down thankfully and fastened my seatbelt when the most freakin big thunderstorm started rocking the plane. I mean literally, the plane was rocking from side to side. So instead of a 7:55pm takeoff, it was more like 9pm. But by then I was beyond caring, and only looking forward to getting 'home' to the flat in New York. And here I am at nearly 2 in the morning. We were only delayed 6 and a half hours after all, and we got to see the Chrysler building in all its lit up night time glory.

So you can blame American Airlines for the lack of Lollapalooza news. I just really can't be bothered right now. I'm sure you understand. And the whole church thing worked out because apparently next sunday my sister is getting confirmed or something.

-R

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of hopping on an doff planes. It is not only American Airlines that makes travelling interesting dear. Glad you had the experience and commit to visiting the house of the lord, Ahleluia if that is how you spell it.

Just hope you don't get stuffed around by our national airlines when you are ready to come home to mama and papa.

Love Dad

Dad Lee said...

Welcome to the world of hopping on and off planes. It is not only American Airlines that makes travelling interesting dear. Glad you had the experience and commit to visiting the house of the lord, Ahleluia if that is how you spell it.

Just hope you don't get stuffed around by our national airlines when you are ready to come home to mama and papa.

Love Dad