Wouldn’t Have Been A Flight Of Fancy

, , , , | Working | January 18, 2019

A few years ago, I needed to book business travel for an out-of-town conference. Since the conference location was about five hours away by car, I decided I’d save the company some money and drive instead of fly. Even after the company reimbursed me for mileage, they’d still save a bunch of money.

I discussed this with my boss. We found out the company does not allow using your personal car for business travel due to liability — e.g., if you are in an accident and your car is damaged it is a legal grey area. Travel suggested renting a car. I was still okay with this, because I figured it would still save the company some money, and there was a rental car outlet near my house. I figure I’d reserve the car the week before and pick it up the night before I left.

Fast forward to the week before … While attempting to reserve the car through the company travel website, I found that the company had a preferred rental agency that I was required to use. Unfortunately, the only rental outlet for the preferred company was — you guessed it — at the airport. Now, just days before my conference, flights prices were sky-high (sorry). I had no choice but to rent a car.

I drove my personal car to the airport and parked it in the airport garage ($). I rented a car at the airport ($$) and drove to my conference. I parked in the hotel garage for a week (super $$$, since I was parking in a downtown garage under a hotel in a major city), drove back to the airport, and drove home.

When all was said and done, I’d paid to park my car, paid for a rental, paid to park the rental, and paid for gas. It would have been cheaper to fly.

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That Joke Bombed More Than They Realized

, , , , | Right | September 11, 2018

(I work as a check-in assistant for one of the busiest airports in the UK. It is less than a month since the September 11th attacks in America, meaning that extra security measures and protocol are in place. One example of this is a second bag scan at check in, which is my responsibility. There is no possible way that a passenger can avoid doing this; it is a mandatory procedure. I am checking passengers in when a woman arrives next in my lane.)

Me: “Afternoon, ma’am—”

Lady: “Madrid.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Lady: “I’m going to Madrid, here.” *she shows me her passport and ticket all whilst huffing as if she’s in some sort of hurry*

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. Can I ask you to please place your bag on the scanner here?”

Lady: “What? But I’ve already gone through the scanner.”

Me: “I understand, ma’am, but because of the recent events in America, we are implementing mandatory extra security procedures.”

Lady: “But we aren’t in America, are we? Last time I checked on a bloody map this was still the UK!”

Me: “Yes, we are still in the United Kingdom, ma’am. But as I said, we still need to uphold our mandatory security procedures because of what happened in America.”

Lady: “I don’t care! Just let me on my plane!”

(Despite her callous and selfish attitude to the reason why we have these protocols, I still maintain our mandatory requirements, resulting in both of us going back and forth for a good ten minutes. My manager jumps on to help the other passengers but doesn’t interfere, before the lady seems to finally give up and places her bag on the scanner belt. Just after she does this, she says the one phrase you should NEVER EVER say at a busy airport.)

Lady: *sarcastically* “Sorry about that. I’ve got a bomb in there, you see?”

(Both my manager and I share glances, before returning our stares of bewilderment at the lady, who’s returning a smirk at us as if she’s just cracked a totally appropriate and definitely fine joke with us. My manager calls security, whilst I confiscate her boarding pass and passport as per procedure.)

Lady: “What are you doing?!”

Me: “I am confiscating your ticket; there is no way you’ll be flying today.”

Lady: “Oh, come off it. Can’t you take a joke?”

Me: “A joke that we take seriously, regardless of sincerity? Definitely not. Please leave the airport.”

(Security arrived moments later and escorted the lady from the airport grounds. Her husband approached me and pleaded with me to let her on her flight. I declined, because threats such as that are ALWAYS taken seriously by the airline.)

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A Customer And Staff Stand United – Ironically

, , , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(I am flying from Phoenix to Houston. I tend to get upgrades, partly because I am a frequent flyer. I am called up to the podium as my upgrade had been cleared for the flight, and given my new boarding pass. I know the gate staff quite well, and love to talk with them. An impatient passenger approaches.)

Impatient Passenger: “I need to get on this flight, and you will upgrade me.”

Gate Agent: “May I see your boarding pass?”

Impatient Passenger: “You haven’t printed it yet.”

Gate Agent: “In order to clear security, you need it. Do you have that paper you went through the checkpoint with?”

Impatient Passenger: “I threw it out. Look my name up. You’ve got a computer.”

Gate Agent: “One second, please.”

(I step back, watching the story unfold further:)

Gate Agent: “Okay, it looks like you’ve got a seat; 27E in economy. It’s the last seat on the flight I’m afraid.”

Impatient Passenger: “Listen, a**-hole. I’m a Gold OnePass member. I demand you give me my upgrade right now. I know [Airline Owner], we have lunch together frequently, and I will call him and have you fired for not treating me right. Now god-d*** it, give me my f****** upgrade to first class.”

(I step in.)

Me: “Sir, first class isn’t just a cabin on a plane or an upgraded seat. It’s a state of mind and a level of courtesy. If you don’t like the service by the good people of [Airline], please go fly [Airline that has a recent reputation of violently removing passengers from their planes]. I’m quite sure they’d give you the level of service you surely deserve.”

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A Capital Solution

, , , , , , | Related | April 2, 2018

(My cousin is coming over from Ireland for a few days. He messages me before he takes off. About five hours later he calls me. I have worried for a while at this point, because it shouldn’t have taken him so long.)

Cousin: “Hey, I’m at… St. Pancras.”

Me: “St. Pancras? As in London?”

Cousin: “Yeah. Where do I go?”

Me: “Mate, I’m in Edinburgh.”

Cousin: “Cool, when will you get here?”

Me: “It’s, like, eight hours away.”

Cousin: “Aww, am I going to have to wait here for eight hours?”

(I ended up buying him a flight from London to Edinburgh, and literally had to talk him through everything right up to getting on the plane. It turns out he flew to Gatwick Airport and took the train to St. Pancras. He had no idea where Edinburgh was, but since it was a capital city, he assumed it would be in London. I’ve decided to visit him, instead, from now on.)

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Hashtag Me Moo?

, , , , , | Working | March 16, 2018

(I read a story about Japan on this site and I remember a story a coworker once told me.)

Coworker: “I was in Japan for a business trip and we went to a cafe of some sort. It was quite noisy, and I thought one of the Japanese businessmen asked me what I thought about Japanese cows. I thought it was weird, but since I was just served steak, I just went with it. I told them I thought their cows were nice and firm, having good meat on them. As a response, the businessmen started laughing. It turns out they asked what I thought about Japanese girls.”

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