Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicago Vacation

We are back from our annual trek to Chicago, and the trip, for the most part, was great. Good weather, some good food, and a lot of quality time with my family. But you don't want to hear about the good stuff. You want to hear about me falling into a hole in the sidewalk or me getting screwed up at the airport. Very well.

When I first started traveling via airplane in the 1970's, air travel was good. You got a hot meal in flight, the seats were of sufficient width to hold your ass with room to spare, the rest of the passengers were civil, and they were not dressed like they just came from picking through a trash dumpster. these days there is not much difference between the airplane and the subway from O'Hare.

From the first moment we checked in at the curb in Fort Lauderdale, until we left the gate in Chicago, the employees of the airline we had chosen were surly and acted as if we were an intrusion on their free time, and believe me they had a lot of free time. Since the airline was now charging two dollars for water and coffee, and seven dollars for a beer, not one passenger requested a drink thus allowing the flight attendants time to sit up front and have their own coffee klatch.Our airline, (who, to protect myself from a lawsuit I will not name, other than to say it flies in the US and the planes go up in the AIR) has decided to start charging for all baggage checked. The result is that you have people trying to schlep on to the plane the largest carry-on bag possible, plus a shopping bag full of crap, and for the ladies, a purse the size of a steamer trunk. I have always requested an aisle seat, but I am reconsidering that, after being slammed in the head twenty times by women's purses.

Flying has gone from being a somewhat pleasant experience, to something more akin to going to the dentist for a root canal. From the over priced airport food to being treated like cattle, flying has become a horrible way to travel. Unfortunately it is the only way I can get to Chicago for my annual trip. I can't drive, and trains in the U.S. are a joke. One thing I know is that I can rectify one of the problems I have with flying. I can make the seats larger just by eating less.

12 comments:

  1. I like you Alan...you're not afraid of spray on condoms, and you hate flying as much as I do. I will not try to hit you with my satchel (real lesbians don't carry purses anymore because of the bra burning incident) if I'm crammed on a flight with you. Also, if we happen to share an aisle, I'll hand over one of the half-dozen bottles of gin I order for medicinal purposes and we can check out airline attendants together...just don't wake up my girlfriend...she (to my amazement and dismay) sleeps blissfully through any flight.

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  2. It is only going to get more unpleasant to fly. I like to upgrade to first class for a little more room and quiet. Prior to the unreal increase in aviation fuel, I could upgrade for $20-$40. Today it costs me $40-$80. Get to the airport early and upgrade next time.The only place I've not been able to upgrade to is Las Vegas.

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  3. Dave@ I couldn't upgrade. First class was full, so I had to settle for the first row behind first class and watch them in all there splendor through the curtain.

    Hostess@ I drink vodka, gin gives me a hangover. I can also sleep through most any flight. Unless I get smacked in the head with a 'satchel'.

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  4. Next time try Southwest. We have never had a problem with them and they are still fairly reasonable. I think the employee-owned aspect helps, they are usually very pleasant. It's the passengers that I have problems with...especially loud talkers with annoying voices!

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  5. I hate Southwest. They give you a plastic paddle and then everyone holding one has to run onto the plane and fight over who sits where.

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  6. I'm with you Alan. Southwest treats passengers like cattle. Upgrading to first class is the only way to go now.

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  7. Loving the red sandals in the giant bag pic !!!

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  8. Nope, Southwest is moving away from the cattle-call. If you print your boarding pass 23 hrs and 59 min before your flight, you can be in group "A" with a low number. If I am one of the first 20 on the plane I am happy. I always get the seat I want. Besides, there is no first class for the wimps!

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  9. Peggy@ obviously you have one of those skinny Euro-asses, and don't need the extra cheek room.

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  10. Thank you Alan!!! I love you!!!

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  11. Did you every watch the program about Southwest on A&E,it is shameful how they treat drunks. They could at least let them fly baggage, instead of letting them blubber at the airport about missing their flight.

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  12. I did watch the show and loved it! They sent the drunks off to other airlines to fly first-class!

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