What will it be like to be an airline passenger this summer? Let me know. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Waiting to fly from LGA this afternoon to return home from a business trip! I've already been asked to volunteer to get bumped from the flight and Delta is still selling seats for the flight on their website. I have a lot of empathy for the airline's employees but this also feels slimy.
In air travel kindness matters. Was on one of my usual trips to Japan when we had an 'issues'. After takeoff I found out that power to our seat controls was out, and I was mad at me for not doing my pre-flight check. Seated next to me was a young 30'ish GE manager. We informed the flight attendant that our seats were inop, she apologized and explained that she could move manually for us. Ok, for now I'm fine, but maybe after dinner I will ask you to move it. Well, we learn Ms GE is highstrung as she goes off on a litany of sins, past, present, and future that this airline has committed against her. Flight attendant comes back, there's a captain in the other business class section who will switch with one of us. I think cool, I'm getting a captain for a seatmate !! Except I didn't as Ms GE went off again, so I accepted the move, with the caveats of I'll wait until the meal service is done and the captain will have a chat in the galley. Which is how it went, 20 minutes of flying chat with captain while switching seats and then to the new seat. And then, the flight attendant comes over to me, apologizes again (good customer service) and says here's 75000 miles for being so understanding. Ms. GE, well the captain earned his off-duty pay. And y wife loved the first class seats on our vacation that came from those miles.
Thank you all for these helpful tips..
Thanks for sharing another great Understandably with us. I so enjoy your articles! The Travel piece was perfect timing for what's going on today. Keep them coming Bill!!
I read this excerpt from a few friends who sent this to me, and I appreciate you sharing it. My husband and I used to fly every single week pre-pandemic with me working in international education and he being a flight attendant. (We literally didn’t even live together until March 2020.) He was offered early retirement during the height of Covid, and I was pretty much out of a job. Then my health conditions prevented us from traveling even after being vaxxed and boosted, so now a life that was a constant is not even within reach. (The audacity of the selfish and disrespectful travelers these days have much to do with our decisions.) I have homesickness for travel. I long for the days when we would be hopping flights for work and for fun. But those seem to be a thing of the past and a nightmare now even for pros. Thanks for your writings, I really enjoy them.
There is NOTHING that could make me even go to an airport, much less get on a plane. That bad. Driving I'm very happy to do. Must be that 44 years I spent driving everywhere in this country. I know where the roads go and I know all the shortcuts. Even if I had to go back to my childhood home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from Weston, Oregon, I'm still driving. Can't go much farther than that in terms of mileage and still stay in country.
You know those lines people wait in to talk to an agent? And the gate where you wait to board your flight? Same thing cows go through before they get on the truck for their Last Ride to the meat processing plant. I've hauled the cows and I'll be damned if some airline is going to treat me like one.
Looking to the future of transportation I can foresee an incident such as:
"Scottie, we're under attack on the planet surface. Beam us up now!!"
"Sorry captain, there's no one available to operate the transporter"
Just got back from flights to Switzerland and back from Munich- both had short delays.
Next day flew to Denver-flight was delayed and flight attendant asked everyone that had a connection within 30 minutes to raise their hand so that their fellow passengers could see and remain seated while they got off. Probably 25 people out of 250.
When plane lands my guess is 100 people got up, some clogged the isle and it was just disheartening to see how self centered the casual and vacation passenger is with no consideration for fellow passengers
My rule is anywhere in the lower 48 I drive
7 hours? If it's three days (or even more) I'll drive, unless there's a time-sensitive emergency. There are too many negatives to flying; if time is the only advantage, I'll sacrifice that. Back roads, scenic routes, unexpected adventures and discoveries more than make up for the time expenditure.
Her and your words are sage…kindness matters - period. In the air and in daily dealings. I think we can all agree we need a lot more of it. But back to flying - she’s spot on and I discovered it the hard way. One thing I would add - if the flight is not direct, you have a 50% chance of not getting to your destination. Anyway booked a later flight on American. En route to the airport check the status one more time - cancelled. Weird thing is there was not any notification from the airline (email/text). It was a short but important personal trip and I freaked. Immediately pulled over, got to work to find something to get to where I needed to be. For the same price (all costs are sky high 😉) and not sure I got it but got booked on a 5:50 AM flight out with a 4 hour layover (on Southwest who was great) for the next day. And I’m chatting w/the other passengers- they too had long layovers. All the airlines are consolidating flights. All are full and there are few. Take her advice and thanks for the newsletter. Read it daily.
Pre 2019 we traveled over 100 days/year, including both business and leisure. Now, We've just booked our first air travel in over a year. In fact, this is only our 3rd trip since 2019. Commercial air travel has always been a hassle, but the viral breakdown in civility among the flying public is what really did it in for us. I feel really badly for the flight crews.
Worst flying story - sitting in the same aisle as a woman who 1) should have been required to buy 2 seats, and 2) brought a HUGE standard poodle in a Hawaiian shirt as an "emotional support dog" that laid on my feet for most of the flight.
On June 7 we had reservations to travel from JFK via Hawaiian Airlines to attend a friends 70 retirement party. I had used a one way awards ticket and bought a one way ticket for my husband Paul. We own a condo and had no idea how long we’d be on island. We checked in and confirmed our reservations 24 hours before departure.
We were on route at 6:00 a.m. and experienced high traffic and a pokey Lyft driver. We should of been there at 8:30 ($175) We got in at 9:20 and push off was 10:00 a.m. We arrive at the airport and my ticket has a TSA pre check but Paul’s didn’t. We were told Pauls “trusted-travel number” showed in the Hawaiian computer system with the last digit missing so it failed to give him the TSA pre- check. He tried to use the Global Entry Card at the gate but TSA sent him first to Hawaiian counter to have it corrected. There 2 male Hawaiian employees told him they wouldn’t put in his trusted travel -number since they were shutting down the system and closing so he had to go through the general TSA check.
He went through the general security check where they searched all his electronics then took him to a private room to do a full body search on him before they let him go to the gate.
I’m waiting at the gate for Paul. I’m explaining to all the employees what is going on with our boarding passes. He finally arrives at 9:48. We are both standing there and the gate manager Laura D refused to let us on and lectures us on how we had to plan better. She went into her history of refusing brides, mother-in-laws and people who had booked cruises that weren’t on time to the gate. She says to us, “Can you imagine the pilot in command has to fly 12 hours” We can’t hold the plane.” (That flight was 11 hours) She did this in front of 5 young employees demonstrating how to refuse guests entry when being late to the gate by 3 minutes. We watched as the final employee boarded the plane. One young man suggest I go without Paul. I explained that my husband had keys to the condo. He was upset knowing we had residency on the island and we were not going to be allowed to board.
We were then offered a flight to Vegas and a connection there for a Hawaiian flight later at 6:00 p.m. but Paul’s ticket ($468) which I booked with my bank of Hawaii/Hawaiian airlines credit card wouldn’t cover the Jet Blue leg. I used miles to book my flight so that suggestion to send us both to Las Vegas was rescinded by Laura when she discovered his ticket was a non-rewards flight.
The plane pulled out at 10:00 a.m. and Laura gives a high 5 to the employees behind the counter for being on time. Meanwhile we watch this high fiv-Ing going on and realize that we are part of a training exercise for 5 young Hawaiian airline employees on how to treat customers a 64 and 62 year old couple inexcusable.
We sat at the gate for 1 1/2 hours trying to find a hotel ($143) and waited for them to process a new ticket for us for the following day.
We NEVER EVER had this kind of experience on any airline! With a booked ticket at a gate, confirmation and the plane still there! I would never expect to be treated like this from Hawaiian Airlines. When did this company kiss the “Aloha Spirit“ out the window?
Meanwhile at The Supremes we see six justices trying to make a phone call:
We're sorry, the year you are trying to call, 1950, is out of service. Try calling 2022 or anyone with common sense.
These...these...A-hol...dipsh...motherf...morons are trying to wind back the clock to a "simpler time" regardless of who, or what, the steam roll over to get there. If it's not explicitly a named right in The Constitution, tough shit, you lose. Gay marriage will soon be gone.
Just you wait until the Mississippi abortion decision comes down and women figure out that everything they fought for for the last SEVENTY YEARS has just been kicked to the curb. Your body, your decision? Not any more. Some man is going to decide whats best for you. Want a loan, a credit card, a checking account? Bring in your husband or your Daddy to tell us it's okay to give you one.
We're going to wind up with two very different Americas. In one it will be the year 2022 and everything will go along just fine. Want an abortion? Certainly, follow me. Want any kind of basic business done? No problem. Why? Informed choice, is the phrase. You're an adult, we take you at your word and figure you've done your research on the matter at hand.
The other America? It's 1950, forever. Cattle will be treated better than the women. Healthcare will be a nightmare. So few Doctors will want to practice there. Abortion? Forget it, we'll even call the cops if you ask. Tubes tied? We'll just ask your husband or your Daddy before we do. Why? It's 1950, as a woman you have no rights to anything. Businesses will move out of those states and into the majority of states where people consume their products, so as to avoid boycotts of their company.
Yes, the 2022 America is the majority. 34 states and Washington D.C. We have population on our side as well. Electoral votes too, if you're thinking that far ahead, as you should. I currently reside in Oregon. A well run state. We have had a woman Governor for eight years now. Openly bisexual too. Still got elected, imagine that. Nobody cared, it's her business, not ours. All anybody asked was if she could do the job. A woman got a job solely based on her abilities. Imagine that! Welcome to the 21st Century! From the polling I've seen, our next Governor will be a woman too. I'll be happy when that happens. Our biggest project to keeping life happy will be exterminating those Proud Boy assholes. They need to go. Plenty of 1950 America states to take them in. Move or die, thems the choices boy.
The swimmer drowning? The fix is simple. Institute a rule where you must come up for air after so many seconds or you're immediately disqualified. Get out of the pool right this instant. Make the time limit something that's easy to attain for them. Like 120 seconds. They're smart, they'll figure out how to work it into their routine seamlessly. I really don't want to watch a swimmer die just to get a medal. It's a sport, not a death match.