Airline Adventures

                                                                                 by staff travel editor, Crusty Curmudgeon

Recent travel in the USA has me slapped around like a rag doll in a Cuisinart food processor.  Here are my recent experiences from June flights.

At 6AM, before my caffeine fix, howtheheck am I supposed to read, leave alone execute, the instructions on peeling the correct amount and spot of the luggage tag and affix it without it looking like a jet lagged shar pei puppy? Friday morning, I simply handed the tag to the agent and asked her to do it.  She happily showed me the way, including perky instructions.  She failed miserably and it looked like hell.  “Well, I guess I need more practice”.

LOVE TSA PRE lines, except when jeweled, pocket changed and big metal belt buckled passengers ahead of me can’t get the idea that the scanning machine you walk through is designed to detect metal.  “But, it’s just water in my water bottle!”.  Remember, these are the TSA “pre-approved” smart passengers, top of their class.  …says the guy who can’t affix a luggage tag.

I usually have little drama vs TSA.  My only problem is forgetting the corkscrew in my backpack.  Backpack always has my essentials of laptop, phone, laptop accessories, car key(+1 extra), tequila, assortment of condoms.  I have lost at least SIX corkscrews at TSA junction.  My 99 cent corkscrew made it due to stowing in my checked bag this trip.

While I sleep at my window seat, why do my fellow passengers feel the need to put snacks in the seatback ahead of me?  “These gourmet crackers and pretzels are must treats for your taste buds and we did not want you to miss them.”  This happened on 3 of 4 flights on last trip.  I must ooze “lonely bachelor that can’t cook” look.  How about some Publisher’s Clearinghouse forms next flight?

Which do you prefer, crying kid or kicking kid?  Crying kid is too young to control.  Though my reading or sleeping peace has a hard time with the infant testing his operatic skills, the kicking kid obviously has shitty parents.  Had a kicker this trip.  I raised out of my seat, turned around and said, “Hi, I’m enjoying your child’s percussion skills on my back.  Any way to take off his shoes to lighten the body blows I am receiving for the next 5 hours?”.  Law enforcement met me at destination, tazed, cuffed and dragged me away.

Which do you prefer, chatty pilot/crew or unintelligible pilot/crew?  “Once again, thank you…” for the 8th time before we take off means that we are going to be hearing a lot from this team today.  “Once again, sit back, relax…”.  Where is the mute button?  And how do I mute and darken the must see video screen in front of me?

More video fun, why do airports need to connect me to “news”?  If you catch my trend, I’m not big on getting random audio and video barking at me while traveling.  Heck, even gas stations pelt me with news or advertising while I pump gasoline.  Intercontinental at Houston airport likes their CNN televsions in gate wait.  Maybe they could mute the tv?  Bring back the hare krishnas!

Loved the United Airline CEO mea culpa in their May magazine after the April passenger pummeling at ORD.  “We will do better.”.

Airport construction is at an all time high.  The quarters weren’t nearly cramped enough before, so add construction and walled areas of development to limit seating areas for gate wait. “Hi, I just got off a tube squeezed next to random strangers with odd habits for 3 hours.  Can I sit on your lap and have you tell me your life story, while waiting for next flight?”  I found a gaggle of wheelchairs in a corner and pulled one out for my lounge “safe space” this trip.

Airport food?  Hmmm.  How many different ways can you throw 500 calories of starch at a traveler for $12 USD?  I usually fly with an apple and almonds, but forgot my snack kit on this trip.  This little spot near gate E2 at IAH was a reasonable deal for a turkey, veg, avocado wrap for $11USD.  Most of the time, I avoid airport culinary delights.  This wrap was fresh and would do it again.  $11?  Yeah, but, I was hungry.

San Diego airport, my home runway, used to be a small airport.  It is still not ORD, IAH, LAX, but, the remodel has turned SAN into another shopping mall, disguised as an airport.

Google flights is my favorite tool(x-Southwest)

Didjaever reserve a flight with 7:30 as a takeoff time and not catch the “PM” tag?  I have never served in the military, but use military time(19:30) on my watch and in many other ways.  It works for me.  But, in a late night haste, caught a great deal for my return flight from MCO to SAN.  Tried checking in 24 hours before and caught a “your checkin attempt failed because it is more than 24 hours before your flight” error message.  WTF?  Realized I mistakenly reserved a night flight.  Had enough time, airline miles and a small fee to get a different morning flight to escape Mickey Mouse land as needed.  My good fortune increased as I was able to get my treasured window seats, not available on my previously goofed flight.

Last time I flubbed pm vs. am was in 2006, on my flight attempt to view, and hopefully, buy my lot in Ensenada.  That too was an inexpensive and lucky fix.  Bought my lot 2 days later.

Punta Banda International Airport photo courtesy of I.R.E.

Did I mention how thrilled I am to be home in my monastery?  Safe and easy travels wished to y’all.

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 11, 2017 at 11:10 | Permalink | Reply

    i, too, have experienced the kicking kid. Wanted to turn around and strangle him…or his useless parents.

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