A thank you letter to American Airlines

December 12, 2012 1 comment

As you all know, I love guest posts!  Today’s guest post is from Amy at Adventures in Babysitting…Men.  She’s awesome and everybody should read her blog or follow her on Twitter.

Dear American Airlines,

I’d like to thank you for your handling of my canceled and rescheduled flights due to the December 26th snowstorm that hit the Eastern coast.

First, you were so considerate in calling me at 5:00AM Dec 26th to tell me that my 1:20PM direct flight from Tampa to JFK was canceled and that you re-booked me on a 1:45PM flight to LGA that would take me through the beautiful city of Miami.  Very generous of you to send me to a city I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting in many, many years.

I would also like to thank you for so politely telling me at the airport that I am not able to check-in for my 1:45PM flight more than 24-hours in advance, when I just assumed that my newly rescheduled itinerary should also be for Sunday, December 26th and not in fact for Monday, December 27th.  Silly me.  Why on earth would I assume that when you proceeded to tell me of the new flight numbers and the new airports, but not the new day/date?  That’s what happens when you “assume” something.  I need not remind myself of that saying about assuming something.

I’d like to thank you for your updates on Monday, telling me that all flights were a go and for a speedy and on-time flight from Tampa to Miami.

I’d like to thank you for sending my boyfriend update notifications/flight trackers, so that he could text me when I landed in Miami to let me know that my flight to New York’s LGA was canceled.  Thank you for keeping him, and therefore me, in the loop.

I’d like to thank you for your rebooking agents.  After spending nearly two hours in line, it was such a warm welcome I received from your rebooking agent…in Spanish.  I apologize for not being fluent in Spanish and making that agent then speak to me in English.  That was entirely my fault.  I should have paid better attention in the nearly 11 years I studied Spanish from 6thgrade through college.  I mean, I must be some kind of idiot to have studied for that long and still not be able to speak fluently.  Once again, totally my fault.

I’d like to thank your bilingual booking agent for putting me on the standby list.  Being alone in the Miami airport, it was nice to be among nearly 250 trying to get back to NY.  There was a nice camaraderie among us all as we eagerly waited to see if we were on the first flight out to LGA at 6:45AM.  We all shared a special bond of staying overnight in the freezing cold Miami airport (I completely understand that the airport temperature was beyond your control).

I’d like to thank you for the patience of your gate agents as they had to repeatedly tell those waiting on standby to “sit down and to keep the area in front of the desks clear for passengers with confirmed seats.”  I really felt for those hard-working agents.

I’d like to thank your agents for making me chuckle.  While waiting to see if I made the 7:45AM flight, it was amusing to see that your agents at that gate failed to let the waiting crowd know that the flight was indeed closed and that they should proceed to the gate of the next departing flight.  Why was this amusing?  It was just funny to see your gate agents act as though everything (loading the plane with standby passengers) was still occurring, when in fact, the plane had already pulled back from the jetway.

I’d like to thank you for getting me on the third flight out of Miami to LGA on Tuesday late morning.  Truly, I really genuinely appreciate that.

But most of all, I’d like to thank you for storing my baggage for a full week, free of charge.  I could only imagine what that would have cost me if I had arranged for my baggage to stay somewhere else in NYC for 7 days.  Real estate, including storage rentals, is not cheap in NYC.  That was very generous of you, but perhaps I should be thanking LaGuardia Airport for keeping my bag safe and sound for so long.

All in all, what an immense pleasure it was to fly with you this holiday season.  I can only hope my next flying experience will be equally as gratifying.  But I sincerely doubt anything can live up to that standard.

Best,
Amy

What is the worst instrument you could play in an airport?*

December 10, 2012 6 comments

I was sitting in the airport one day recently, very stressed due to a delayed flight and trying desperately to calm myself down with a combination of overpriced snacks and tawdry magazines (the airport is the best place to catch up on the odds for when Brad and Angelina will get divorced). All of a sudden I hear the strumming of a stringed instrument.  At first I looked up—this airport has never had any sound system except the incredibly loud instructions for flights nowhere near you for places you’d rather be going to—but that didn’t seem to be where the sound was coming from.  And then the “music” started.  I’ll be damned—it was a ukulele.  A uku-fucking-lele.  I got up immediately, sensing my good fortune to have something to write about and walked over.  Yes, there it was, some hippie deciding that he was helping the world out by providing us with his special brand of Hawaiian-inspired music.  He did a little ukulele version of “Stairway to Heaven”, which, in a different situation, may have inspired me to put a dollar in his bucket.  To be perfectly honest, I almost went and threw a dollar in his carry on to tell him to shut the fuck up but I didn’t think it would work and I’m pretty attached to those dollars.

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Just strumming away on my tiny instrument (innuendo intended)

The group around him looked like a lynch mob.  This idiot was strumming away on his stupid little instrument as the whole group stared and glared at him. The atmosphere was starting to get mean.  I was happily smiling to myself knowing that the story would only improve if someone grabbed that ukelele and smashed it rock star style (even better if it was a midget).

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Honestly, who doesn’t want to do this?

Just when the mood got extra nasty, boarding started.  The hippie woefully put away his instrument and it was all over.

Note to travelers: Even if you play a musical instrument wonderfully, nobody in the airport waiting area wants to hear it.  If you are John Lennon, Elvis, Sid Vicious, and Ronnie James Dio (now tell me that wouldn’t be a hellava concert), the airport STILL isn’t the place for it.  In the airport, it all just becomes obnoxious noise.  There is a reason that they are against the rules of almost every type of public transportation—maybe it’s music to you but to everyone else it’s just noise.  Keep the instrument closed and put away until you get to the street corner of your choice.

*Honestly I think an accordion might be slightly worse.

My advice for first-time flyers

October 13, 2012 1 comment

I know everybody has to travel for the first time, sometime.  And I also realize that I’ve been flying since I was 2 months old.  But, first-time flyers, maybe reading up on what you have to do to fly would help.  So let me help you out.

1.  Look, people, you haven’t been able to bring liquids onto the plane in a really long time.  So when TSA has to stop everybody and divest you of an entire store’s worth of hygiene products, as well as a 6-pack of Coke, it’s really freakin’ annoying. DO pack tiny liquids into a clear bag.  DON’T bring anything else, jackass.

2.  You will have to take your shoes off.  There are no seats.  If this is a problem, wear slip-on shoes.  If you slow down the line as you slowly unlace and take off your shoes, people will want to shoot you. DO wear shoes you can remove.  DON’T grab a stranger for balance.

3.  Turbulence is not that big of a deal.  DO be calm.  DON’T shriek like a banshee every time the plane dips.

4.  Airplanes make strange noises.  It is way less likely that they will crash than that your seatmate will bludgeon you for screaming every time the wheels creak. DO get some Valium.  DON’T scream unless the plane actually starts to crash.

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Drug yourself, if need be. Everybody thanks you.

 

5.  DO pack yourself a light snack. DON’T pack a lunch of things that smell.  Nobody wants to have to smell your tuna sandwich.

6.  DO bring a suitcase you can handle on your own.  DON’T bring something you can’t lift above your head and will have to nag everyone to help you with.

7.  DO bring something to amuse yourself with.  DON’T bother your seatmate if they put on earphones or opens a book.  Shut up.

8.  If you know you are going to have to pee constantly, DO get an aisle seat.  It’s annoying to have to get up constantly to let you out.  DON’T get up and down constantly and please don’t shove your ass into your neighbors face every time you get up.

9.  If you want to watch the scenery, DO get a window seat,  DON’T lean across the poor bastard sitting next to you.

10.  If you have 4 poorly behaved children DO drive. DON’T fly.

11.  If you weigh 400 lbs DO get two seats.  DON’T sit next to me.

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Yep, don’t want to sit next to these two.

 

Anybody have anything else to add?  This is not a comprehensive list.

When did airport toilets get so huge?

September 12, 2012 6 comments

Not too long ago, I went into the cavernous bathroom at the Chicago O’Hare airport.  Being female, I sat down to pee, and almost fell into the toilet.  ‘WTF’ I thought.  I don’t remember drinking anything Alice in Wonderland-style (which was good, because I didn’t want to search the airport for tiny cakes).

See, it’s the “Not poison” that makes it safe

The toilet was at least twice the width of old toilets.  So, as I desperately tried to balance on this giant freaking toilet, I wondered when this happened.  When Americans got so freaking gigantic that TOILETS had to double in size. Even if you do have an enormous fat ass, I’m assuming your urethra and anus are the same size as a normal-sized person.  And when you consider that, why does the toilet have to be bigger?  Aren’t you aiming the middle of your parts at the toilet?  So what’s the point?  Comfort?  You are in an airport, for God’s sakes, don’t get comfortable, get in and get out!  If you are pulling out the magazine on the toilet at O’Hare, you have bigger problems than obesity.

I wonder about men’s toilets–are those getting bigger too?

Is this where we are heading?

Soon I’m going to feel like a child all the time because, instead of doing the healthy thing and having the morbidly obese lose weight, we are just making everything bigger, so nobody feels bad.  Except on the actual airplane, where they can ooze on to my seat.

 

I love guest posters!

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

So you want to write a guest post!

I want guest posters!  If you are snarky or if you have a great flying story, I want you.  I can link to your blog if you want publicity or, if you want anonomity and just to rant, that is fine too!

Places I particularly want guest posts:

1.  Everybody hates you.  Keep it short and sweet but we all know the people that everybody hates.

2.  Food reviews.  Either airport food or airplane food.  Review it, take a picture of it, ideally take a picture of the description, and email it to me!  You know you have funny things to say about that terrible food you eat on planes or get stuck paying $15 for at airports.

3.  A whole post.  Whatever you have to write about.  Something that happened to you, something you hate, a top ten list, whatever you have in you.

 

Send me your ideas!  talesfromthemiddleseat@gmail.com

 

Children with squeaky shoes or Heelies: Everybody hates you

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Parents who let their kids wear those horrible shoes that squeak like dog toys or those awful, awful Heelies (shoes that turn in to skates) in the airport.  People, the audience at an airport are similar to those at a hospital.  People are stressed.  They are pissed. They just want to get where they are going with the least trouble possible.  They are not in love with your child.  And that squeak squeak squeak just makes everybody want to murder your kid.  Never mind that almost every child loves jumping up in down in them so it’s squeaksqueaksqueaksqueak.  I don’t even like it when my DOG plays with squeak toys and I love my dog.  I don’t give a flying fuck about your kid.

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Heelies: The ultimate evil

And those skates….roller skates are for places that are appropriate to have wheels on your feet.  In what  universe does that include the airport?  I want to trip your kid.  And I don’t have many social niceties, so if I can move my bag right in his way?  Whoops!  Honestly, when your kid wipes out and I laugh, I’m not in the wrong.  Feel free to glare but it isn’t going to bother me.

Leave these shoes at home.  Or, better yet, burn them.

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This is what would happen if I was Carrie. Those shoes would be melted piles of goo.

Honestly, I hate YOU, parents who buy these monstrosities for their kids.  It’s not like the kid went in with money they drew on some scratch paper.  You bought these, you picked them for the airport, you are the jackass.  I would hope you missed your plane but that would make me stuck with you for longer, so I hope you get to Disney and can’t get a Fast Pass or whatever parents worry about.

Guest Post: The Ten Don’ts of Air Travel by Cakes and Shakes

July 1, 2012 5 comments

Now for a guest post from the amazing Cakes and Shakes .  Remember, you, too, can be a guest blogger.  Email me at talesfromthemiddleseat@gmail.com if you are interested!

The Ten Don’ts of Air Travel

Nowadays they will let anyone and his dog/cat/child get on a plane, meaning you are pretty much guaranteed to have an awful experience jammed in next to someone else and their weird stranger cooties. I don’t know about you, but the only acceptable stranger-cooties in my book emanate from strapping Latino men in tight t-shirts who smell like Aqua by Bulgari and have smiles that evaporate panties. Anyone else and I have to restrain myself from yelling at them, red-faced, to ‘back the hell off’ which is often accompanied by unintended flying spittle. Related trauma has led me to develop a sort of shortlist of the top things to avoid when flying.

  1. Never break up with your boyfriend mid-flight. People don’t like to go through break-ups first hand, never mind listening to your boyfriend whine and ask you if it’s “because he didn’t do that sex thing you like”, while crying and begging you to take him back. You will make everyone else on the plane want to rip their seat tray off and beat you with it.

    Everybody hates you

  2. Never eat the food. Who honestly peels the tin-foil cover off a lukewarm airline meal and thinks: “yum, the gristle that wasn’t good enough to be added to hot dogs”? Use plane trips as a handy way to avoid a few unappetizing calories.
  3. Don’t ask the check in lady for any favours. Don’t arrive at the check-in desk early and beg the check-in lady to let you sit alone: these chicks may smile and wish you a pleasant trip, but they are universally sadistic and blame passengers for their crappy jobs/lives and this request will almost guarantee she will sit you next to the most undesirable, yeti-looking, grizzly-bear smelling, talkative stranger you never wanted to be pressed up next to.
  4. Avoid that annoyance known as “Freshman Fifteen”. Do anything you can to make sure you don’t end up sitting next to any young female backpacker. You know the one: decked out head to toe in North Face, she is still packing those Freshman Fifteen on her wide ass, and spends the whole flight sobbing copiously over having to interrupt a meaningful two-week relationship with some barely-formed pimply boy to go visit her grandmother for summer in Kansas, and writing him bad poetry she reads out to herself.
  5. Avoid the badly-shod. Try not to sit near any men wearing sandals unlike you appreciate the odour of warm, rancid cheese emanating from a live human.
  6. Avoid whores also. Also avoid sitting near any chick who looks like she might aptly bear the name “Trampy McSlutterson”: unless you are mad curious to hear the sex noises of the man sitting next to her: “uhhh…. Uhhhhhh… oh yeah….” All in that creepy, soft “trying-hard-to-whisper” voice more suited to a dank kidnappee-receptacle usually located in a basement.

    This will never happen to you, believe me

  7. Grab that armrest. Don’t be afraid to claim the armrest as your territory as soon as you are seated. Everyone knows the rules of etiquette are null and void when not on actual land. If your row-mates give you dirty looks, just bear in mind that you will likely never see these people again so who really gives a fuck.
  8. Don’t ever board any aircraft that’s smaller than a really fat person. On tiny planes, everyone dies horribly. If you do, it’s the one time where you may wish to actually pay a little attention to the safety instructions.
  9. Don’t get drunk on the plane. It is a too-little-known fact that the altitude on planes multiplies the effects of alcohol meaning you are likely to a) get your rage on with an unsuspecting air hostess when she forgets to bring you your third pack of peanuts, thereby risking arrest or b) start singing Carly Simon songs at the top of your voice while crying and telling anyone who’ll listen about the time your family dog got run over.
  10. Also, avoid sitting next to anyone from Canadialand. I don’t mind Canadians, apart from their tendency to wear awful business-wear from the Nineties (Didn’t you know? Canadialand is where boot-cut pinstripe polyester pants and acrylic stretch-shirts with the large lapels go to die), but Jesus, get them on a plane and they will talk at you till your ears bleed. They will tell you about the hysterectomy their Great-Aunt Brenda endured, that time they got the battery on their watch changed and it was totally amazing when it worked again, and on and on till their jaw falls off or you stab them with a little plastic teaspoon.
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