I am sarcastic.
Let me start off by saying that - I embrace my sarcasm and it keeps me warm at night. More often than not, THE MAJORITY OF THE HUMAN RACE picks up on that sarcasm, since it is so blatant.
That is my disclaimer.
You will soon learn why.
I travel a lot, for work. I don't love it, but I don't hate it, either. As much as I'd like to complain about the crummy beds and endless flights to the east coast, I do find a way to be thankful for a) the frequent flier miles and b) the chance to see friends that live at/around the places I have to go, for work.
Between now and the end of September, I have eight (8) weeks travel. Ouufffh. And, I can't really count how much I had last year. But it was a lot. I have been extremely fortunate, though. I rarely experience delays, cancellations, lost luggage, etc.. Even when I do, it's never that bad - and I usually try to find a blessing, somewhere (remember, this incident, last year?).
When you do get delayed, my advice? Just embrace it - learn to laugh about it - because you CAN'T (no matter how hard you try) control it. Also, I find, the nicer you are, the more headway you gain, with representatives of the airline industry. Sure, some believe the 'squeaky wheel gets the oil', and the more you complain the more you get...but the eternal idealist in me just wants to be nice.
(With sarcasm thrown in - just another service I offer)
Today - I was subject to a big delay with my flight leaving Washington, DC. There were storms in the Midwest, and this delayed everything going to Chicago. Had I remained on my delayed flight to Chicago, I would have missed my connection to San Jose and (possibly) not gotten home tonight. As I was standing in the United line, waiting for the next available agent, the gate agent came on to announce "We have SO FEW flights to re-book you in, and a limited staff here at the gate; we suggest you call 1-800-UNITED-1 for a faster rebooking."
I took their advice, but (instead) called my government travel provider. As I'm waiting in line, my lovely agent at Carlson Wagonlit rebooked me on an American Flight (nothing more from United getting to Cali tonight), which (lucky for me!) was right across the gate from United. Routing from Washington --> Dallas/Ft. Worth --> San Jose. Terrific. Will get shuttle from San Jose. No big whoop - I can roll! After all! It's weather! What can you do?
As I approached the counter, my United agent (Nick - loved him), was thrilled to find I'd already done all the hard work....just "get me your new flight info so I can re-route your bag". Good ol' Saint Nick.
Wait. someone else has that name. Anyway.
Here's where it gets fun (And it has absolutely nothing to do with an airline or flight delays. Well, sorta.).
So, I make my way over to my new gate at American - maybe, 100 yards. I get in the queue (because my travel agent just booked the ticket, she couldn't get me a seat assignment) - to see THEIR gate agent to get a seat. I'm all alone at the gate, one customer in front of me. He finishes, but the gate agent was completely consumed with rebooking others.
As I'm waiting to hear the resounding "NNNNNNNNNNEXT?", a very large line forms behind me (which I paid no mind to).
As she's frantically typing away, the gate display changes and it shows that...NOW..my flight to Dallas has been delayed; which will then (potentially) put me into the SAME situation I would have faced in Chicago - missing my connection to San Jose.
(should have stayed on the Chicago flight...should have stayed on the Chicago flight... should have stayed on the Chicago flight... )
The gate agent announces, "Ladies & gentlemen, if you're waiting to get an update on the Dallas flight, we have one other flight to Dallas to clear before yours, please be patient and we'll be right with you."
She works for a few more minutes, and I (politely) say "Ma'am, I'm sorry to interrupt. I know you're working to clear this Dallas flight, but if I go on the next one, I may be in jeopardy with my connection, so if you've just cleared your standby list and there's room for one more, I'd like to get on this flight..."
All of a sudden, a HUGE chorus of "WE ARE, TOO!!!" from behind me pipes up.
I turn around, look a little surprised at all the people behind me.
Lady 2 people behind me and I make eye contact. I make some type of snarky facial expression, with a big smile, and a open palm against my chest (so as to clutch my pearls) and go "Well I was here first!"
(insert sarcasm yuk yuk yuk...)
To which this woman replies...
"That may be...but I bet I have more miles than you."
Oh, so maybe I didn't get the memo. When you are in flight delays and are being rebooked and re-routed, we're now on a SENIORITY system?
You have more points. Oh, good! Then, please! You go first! Allow me to lie down so you may walk on me with your ruby slippers, Dorothy.
After I swallowed the small amount of pride [vomit] I felt come up, I look right into her eye and say, "Did you really just say that to me? Really? You know I was kidding."
"Well, you said it first."
Now I'm choking on my own vomit.
Anyway, I then make simple banter with the man who was directly behind me (who - I am most certain - was tasting his lunch from Fuddrucker's all over again), and I wait for the nice American Airlines lady to call on me.
Well, Nellie Olson couldn't handle it any longer.
(She begins to shout, over everyone) "EXCUSE ME - WHERE IS YOUR ADMIRAL'S CLUB? I CAN'T WAIT HERE - I NEED BETTER SERVICE...WHERE IS THE ADMIRAL'S CLUB?"
American Airlines rep: "Are you a member?"
I then suddenly wished I was wearing Depends.
American Airlines: 1
Pompous Skinny Lady: 0
Hours later, I saw her on my flight.
As I write this, I am on a re-re-booked flight. Made it to Dallas, very late. En route to San Jose, very late. Must rent a car to get home. Very late.
But - AH! Here is the good news I got today:
1. I am going to see Dolly Parton on August 5th (Happy Birthday to me!)
2. I am getting a new BlackBerry (and switching to AT&T, those of you that have it, we talk FREE!)
3. I got a rental car, one way, one night, for $35 (even though it's the Army's money - girl still loves her discounts!)
(I rented from Budget. Original price? $89 for a one-way rental. When he asked me if I had a Costco membership, it went to $35 - THERE'S YOUR TIP FOR TODAY! If you have a Costo membership, rent a car from Budget! Re-DONK-ulous discount!!!!)
So it's not all bad. I'm getting home a lot later - it's questionable whether there will be a bag, but. I. Don't. CARE. It's the weekend, I'm going home, sleeping in my own bed and spooning my dog.
It could be a LOT worse.
I could still be wondering where the Admiral's Club is.
Update - 2am - I'm home! With bag!!!!!!