Sunday, January 29, 2012
Come Fly The Friendly Skys….
A number of years ago, United Airlines had the slogan “Come Fly The Friendly Skies”. There uses to be a time when flying was friendly, civilized will you. Not so much anymore. I recently left my beautiful Texas for Upstate NY…in January (I will have a blog later on the Warning Signs You May be Mentally Ill…). I do believe this may be the last time I EVER fly.
It all started with the normal hassle, going thru the security check point. I tried to be cheap this time and fly with only a carry-on (mistake number one). Anyone who knows me (or has read my blog on shoes http://melissa-randomthoughtsfrommelissa.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-shame.html ) can foresee what a challenge this was for me. At home I crammed everything I could into every nook and cranie into my carry on and personal item (a giant purse – haha United!). It was the engineering feat of the century. Then I get to security. They want your laptop out and in its own tray, liquids out in their own quart size zip lock bag, take off all metal and jewelry, no coats, no sweater. 50 trays later, I’m ready to get my x-ray.
I hope the TSA agents found my scan entertaining (side note – if you found something in your scan that could help me diagnose my autoimmune disorder, please feel free to share). I’m surprised you only have to raise your hands over your head. Next time, lets change it up and pat our heads and rub our bellies. So after I get my scan it’s time to collect all your trays and items and be sure to get out of the way as quickly as possible so you don’t hack off the passenger behind you.
Okay, whew, all items collect and repacked and you have fully dressed again. We are on our way now. Oh wait – the plane from Denver is delayed. Just when you thought you could leave. It finally is so late I start to wonder if I will make connection at Washington-Dulles. I ask the gate agent. Yep, I definitely will miss my connection (which happens to last flight to the middle of nowhere NY). OK….um….why don’t we try this tomorrow instead of sending me part way? Arg. As luck would have it, I have family near Washington-Dulles (A big shout out to cousin Jeff for coming to get me – you still rock).
The next day I went back to the airport. If I thought security was a hassle at DFW I was gravely mistaken. If you want to see security theater done right, you must go see the play at Washington-Dulles. The barking, the shouting, the treating us like cattle. I was not amused. I would like to take a moment to point two things out to the TSA at Washington-Dulles. One – after sending me thu the X-ray machine again, patting down my arms because they are poofy isn’t cool. I’m clearly a big girl. No hiding that. I’m also an artisan jeweler, which means I use my arms a lot, they’re big. Get over it. Secondly, what I was wearing on my wrist is called a watch. I know the technology is slightly dated, but it’s not unheard of. Grabbing it, twisting and acting all puzzled only shows how ignorant you are.
If I thought my trials and tribulations were over, I was sorely mistaken. After I walked to Maryland (I think that is how far I went from security to A4), I finally got to the regional gates. Whoever did the gate agent hiring needs to be fired. People who make the boarding announcements need to be understood. Hiring someone who cannot accurately pronounce English words is not a good choice. Hiring one for gate A3 and one for gate A4 was a REALY bad decision. It was like an announcing throw down or something, only in gibberish. I politely asked a flight attendant standing nearby if the gate agent had called Binghamton. The flight attendant shrugged her shoulders and replied “I can’t understand her either”.
I eventually got to Binghamton. Thank goodness! I’m not looking forward to my return trip in a week. I do believe, if I ever visit my parents again, I will be driving. It’s much more civilized.
Until Tomorrow - Melissa