November 24, 2010

Travel rant

I had to fly yesterday, for the holiday. It sucked. This is a travel rant -- feel free to ignore if you find those boring.

After lots of agonizing about whether I should choose the scanner or the groping, I didn't get selected for additional screening. In fact, the security checkpoint I went through didn't even have the scanners, and almost nobody got pulled aside for any sort of extra screening.

So security was just fine. Everything else was terrible.

Okay, so first, the flight was full, and everybody had two large carry-on bags, because nobody wants to pay $50 to check their bags. Delta wasn't offering gate checking (when they give you a pink tag and put your bags on a cart), so everybody was expected to use the overhead bins.

With a long line of people still waiting to board, word reached the front of the plane that there was no more room in the overhead bins. Then we were delayed for about 45 minutes, while people had to push their way to the front of the plane so that they could check their bags at the last minute. Everyone waiting in line was forced to check their bags, and we were told they would be sent to our final destination.

But since the baggage clusterfuck delayed our plane considerably, I guarantee that some of those checked bags didn't make the connecting flights in Atlanta. And when that happens, you have to wait for your bag to be delivered at 2 a.m. or even the next day, which is miserable when the bag contained your pajamas, your toothbrush, everything you need for the night. This has happened to me before, so I was worried and angry. Resenting the people who had boarded first and crammed their shit in the bins. Some of them probably didn't even have connections to worry about.

Then I sat down, and realized that I was sitting in front of two loud, obnoxious, bratty children, right out of Supernanny, only there was no Supernanny to save us. They kicked my seat, whined, complained, and asked their mother endless questions, all at top volume. I don't believe in mommy-shaming, so I sat there quietly, but the woman next to me kept saying things like "Some people just don't know how to parent!" or even "Shut up!" loud enough that they could hear.

Fortunately I made my connecting flight, and so did my bag (probably because that flight was delayed too). But I didn't have time to eat dinner because of the first delay, so I was starving and cranky and upset about my luggage... and once again, seated near screaming children.

So, here's the thing, Delta. Was this your first day of operations? Or even your first Thanksgiving? Because everyone acted like it was an unfortunate fucking surprise that the overhead bins did not have room for everyone's carry-on luggage, leading to mass confusion and a lengthy delay.

Why couldn't they gate-check the remaining bags, which would allow people to take them to their connecting flights? And if only some people get to keep their luggage with them, shouldn't it be the people who have connections (not the people who were first in line)? And maybe Delta should have considered these problems before they decided that checking one bag on a round trip should cost an extra $50.

In conclusion, I call upon our nation's leaders to make bag fees illegal, because they suck. And delays suck. And losing your bag sucks. And I know we can't do anything about the screaming children, but more cookies would ease the pain.


Post a Comment

<< Home