Carry On That Same Old Line

, , , , , | Right | November 7, 2019

(I am a bad customer, but my story also includes a bad worker. I am travelling back from holidays and go to check in my luggage. I have my single piece of carry-on that fits the requirements.)

Check-In Person #1: “What hand luggage do you have?”

Me: “Just this carry-on.”

Check-In Person #1: “Oh, then you’ll have to check it in because it’s a full flight. But it’s free of charge.”

Me: “No. It’s a carry-on. I have nothing else to carry my things. And I’m not going to check-in my laptop, wallet, passport, and fragile things. I have no other way to carry them.”

Check-In Person #1: “You can take those things on your hands. But you’ll have to check-in your hand luggage.”

Me: *snapping* “Are you f****** kidding me? You want me to go through security and all the way around the airport with things in my hands? And the fragile things? Will you pay them for being broken?”

Check-In Person #1: “Don’t take that tone with me!” 

(At the same time, at the counter next to me, to another couple for the same flight:)

Check-In Person #2: “You have the option of checking-in your hand luggage free of charge, are you interested?”

Passengers: “No, thank you.”

Me: *getting even angrier* “Wait! Why can they choose and we are being forced? It’s the same type of hand luggage!”

Check-In Person #3: *pipes in* “That’s how it is, just following the rules.”

Me: “No. Following the rules would be everyone checking in, not only some. And I’m following what is specified that I can take with me. If you’re not allowing people to have hand luggage, then you need to inform them before.”

Check-In Person #3: “But you can take hand luggage, just not yours. But you can take your contents.”

Me: *yelling* “I have no f****** way of carrying my contents! And you’re clearly not allowing me to take my hand luggage!”

Check-In Person #1: *after returning from picking a card machine to pay for extra things that I had booked* “Okay, you can take your hand luggage with you. Gate [number]. Have a nice flight. Next?”

(My partner and I got our luggage inside the airplane, like everyone else, and there was plenty of space for everyone and everything. I know people have been pushing and sometimes take two and three pieces of hand-luggage when they can only take one, and if I had more than one, sure. But it’s not fair to penalize people that are following the requirements! Also, maybe airlines should change the requirements, in this case.)

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A Genuine Smile Literally Puts You In The Air

, , , , , , | Right | November 7, 2019

I am on a layover in Atlanta on my way home to Washington DC. 

My connecting flight won’t be boarding for another six hours. 

I look at the departures and see that another flight on the same airline has a flight in an hour to one of the other DC airports. I am flying solo and only have a carry-on, nothing checked.

I decide to go to the service desk to see if I can switch flights. I am willing to take “no” as a possible answer since I already have the other flight booked.

As I step up to the service desk queue, I hear a woman yelling at the attendant. Apparently, there was a delay on the woman’s previous flight and they missed the connecting flight. Because the delay was caused by an airport issue on the originating side, the delay wasn’t caused by that airline and the only thing they can do is reschedule the flight, which isn’t going to be until the next day mid-morning. The woman is going ballistic, but there is literally nothing the attendant can do other than reschedule.

After at least ten minutes of this, the women reschedules and leaves in a huff, along with the phone number of the airline’s customer service. 

I calmly walk up and greet the attendant with a friendly, “Hello,” and ask how she is doing. She looks a bit confused but says she has had better days. I ask about possibly switching the flight, and she says, “That flight is usually pretty filled since it is a commuter flight.” I tell her thanks for checking, and I hope she has a good rest of her shift.

As I am walking away, she says, “Hold on… Let me see your tickets.” I give them to her and she starts typing away. 

Two minutes later, I have a new boarding pass for the earlier flight, a seat by the wing with much more legroom because it is also the emergency row, and no one sitting next to me. 

It just proves that a polite smile and a show of true compassion will get you a long way.

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Some Security Staff Are Not The Sharpest

, , , , , , | Working | November 2, 2019

I am traveling via plane to Seattle one morning for an appointment and coming back later the same day. All I’m carrying with me is a computer shoulder bag. As I go through the TSA checkpoint, I put my pocket clutter into the basket, thinking nothing of the tiny Swiss Army “gentleman’s knife.” The woman behind the counter informs me she’s confiscating it. I protest that’s it’s in guidelines as a less-than-2.3-inch blade. She says I can leave it or stay with it, my choice.

The trip goes quickly; I get my business done and come back, passing through SeaTac TSA with no problems.

A few weeks later, I’m cleaning out that computer bag and in a bottom pocket, I discover a four-inch Leatherman SuperTool multi-tool I’d forgotten about. It went through TSA detectors twice. That’s 4.5 inches long and weighs over nine ounces, and is clearly forbidden, while they confiscated my tiny knife…

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The Future Is A Little Foggy

, , , | Right | October 28, 2019

(A very thick fog is covering the city. During this time, motor vehicle access to the airport platform area is restricted.)

Customer: “I need to go do some maintenance work on the platform.”

Me: “Okay. Unfortunately, access is restricted right now. We cannot let you in there until the fog clears.”

Customer: “All right. Can you tell me when that will happen?”

Me: “Let me just check from my crystal ball here…”

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The Mother Of All Anxieties, Part 2

, , , , , | Related | October 19, 2019

(My mom has anxiety issues when it comes to things going according to plan, and she loses perspective on the feelings of others and becomes incredibly inflexible. I am 21. I moved out over three years ago, but I rejoin my family for a Christmas trip to visit family in Oregon. I am experiencing increasing mobility issues that I later find out to be a minor form of Muscular Dystrophy, so I have started walking with a cane sometimes and I am not able to run very well by this time. After our visit and celebration are over, we go to the airport to catch our flight back to California. It is late Christmas day, so the airport is not that crowded, but my mom is rushing us with great urgency through the airport despite the fact that we have several hours until our flight.)

Mom: “Come on, come on. Walk faster. We have to hurry up!”

Me: “Seriously? Our flight doesn’t leave until 5:50. Let’s stop and have lunch; all the good restaurants are outside the security gate.”

Mom: “No, no, no! We have to go now! It takes hours to get through the x-ray line.”

Me: “No, it doesn’t! With Dad’s metal plate and my cane, we get priority screening; we’ll be done in five minutes.”

(This is very true, and it never takes me very long to get through airport lines because of my disability. We had an easy time leaving California despite the huge crowds of holiday travelers. It’s also true that every time my parents fly out together, they don’t have to wait in the line because of the plate in my dad’s leg.)

Mom: *sees me lagging behind the three of them and gets more anxious* “Walk faster! Why are you slowing down?”

Me: “I’m walking with a cane and you’re surprised that I’m not fast?”

(What isn’t a surprise is how fast we get through the security screening. That does not seem to put her at ease, though. She continues urging us to move at a near-running pace with me hobbling as fast as I can while trying not to trip and fall. We don’t get a chance to rest until we reach our gate.)

Me: *looks at watch* “Whew! We made it with only four hours and thirty-seven minutes to spare. We would never have made it without you keeping us organized, Mom. Woo-hoo!”

The Mother Of All Anxieties

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