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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
consider this a continuation of this...

I barely made it home tonight.

Not "I barely made it home" in the sense that I had to pee so bad I barely made it home (which has certainly happened on occasion.) No no, I mean I literally, barely made it home. As in barely survived the flight. As in barely got on the plane.

It seems as though fate and the universe were conspiring against me this evening. On the way to the airport, we encountered heavier than usual traffic. Once at the airport, after dropping off the rental, I hurried to the shuttle and rode it to my gate (which takes forever to begin with, and again... heavier than usual traffic.) I get off the shuttle and run up the escalator to the security checkpoint which last time had no line at all, this time had a hefty (yeah I said hefty) line. So I wait... and wait... and achieve mild amusement watching the morons get completely shocked and indignant that they can't have their various creams and lotions and whatnot on the plane. (Apparently you can have some stuff, but only in a clear baggie or whatever... But I digress.)

The best moment was the woman who was playing dumb and acting like she just flat out could NOT grasp the concept and the whole time she was doing this, her husband was totally busting her. "Honey, we talked about this... Honey, I told you this already... Honey, you KNEW you couldn't bring this stuff... etc"

Sorry, anyway... I finally get up in line and get my shoes off (at this point it's like 13 minutes until my plane is going to start boarding and I'm 30+ gates away) and take out my laptop and put all my crap in the bucket... and this joker tells me I have to remove my shirt. Of course, you know me (or maybe you don't) and my initial response was something along the lines of "are you f*ck!ng kidding me?!?" (Now it's worth pointing out that the shirt in question was not my only shirt, but a red button down shirt that I was currently wearing unbuttoned over a blue tshirt.)

Well, apparently these guys have no sense of humor at all, and the aforementioned phrase was perhaps not my best judgement ever... anyway, a few seconds later my shirt was also being irradiated (oh joy) and then I collected all my crap and moved on.

6 minutes to go. 32 gates. Can he do it?

Thankfully, the DFW Airport has this indoor tram thingy that moves (and please pardon my french) really fucking fast!!! With literally a minute to spare before boarding begins, I arrive at my gate.

At which point I find out the flight is delayed. Not only is the flight delayed, it's also overbooked and overweight. (Overweight? It's the skinniest damn plane you've ever seen.) They were looking for 8 (yes that's right, EIGHT!!!) volunteers to give up their seats. The compensation for doing so isn't bad, by the way, but there were NO takers. Yours truly was tempted, briefly, ok maybe not so briefly, but in the end as I said... no takers.

Well, when nobody volunteers, they have this neat little algorithm that they run that picks 8 lucky victims to get booted off the flight. It goes something like this: Are you in their Frequent Flier program? How long ago did you check in? oh and my favorite "other criteria." Well fortunately for me I am in the FF program and I checked in electronically over the web about 6 hours before my flight. (I highly recommend this, by the way. You can't check baggage this way, but if all you have is a carryon, then carry on my brother...)

So... I got to listen to each of these people bitch and whine about why they couldn't possibly get booted from the flight... One lady had a parent teacher conference the next morning. Another (young) lady had a major job interview the next morning (her first real "look at my resume" type job.) One guy hadn't seen his family in a couple weeks. You get the point. Basically none of these people had any reason more compelling than all the other people who weren't getting bumped. Everybody wanted to get home, ok?

So after much drama and dirty looks, the late plane finally arrives (remember this is my 4th flight in 8 days on this damn thing) and uh-oh... they can't get the valet baggage door open. Now we have a whole new set of pissed off people hanging around waiting so they can get their carryon that was too damn big to carry on. Most (all) of these happy campers were not at their final destination, which means... you guessed it... missed connection flights.

Eventually, after about 20 minutes, they get the valet baggage door open and those people go on their way. Pissed.

Back to us, the people that matter. We're still waiting to board the plane which at this point is now hella late for the (wait for it) FOURTH TIME IN A ROW!!! That's right kiddies, every flight I have had on this airline has gone badly (and I'm not done yet.)

So we board the plane. "American Eagle" my ass... more like, umm... something... not so cool. Yeah! (Bite me, it's almost 2am as I write this.)

So yeah, we get on the plane and of course I'm way the hell back in the ass crack of the plane, with a window seat stuck next to some old fart who keeps giving me the fisheye because he doesn't like my tattoos. We wait and wait and gradually some of the rejects (ok ok, potential rejects) manage to secure a seat as well. God knows how they lightened the load, probably left someones suitcases on the tarmac.

Sadly, the young lady with the interview apparently lost out to the soccer mom with the teacher conference. Kinda felt bad for her, she was really young and pretty nervous to begin with. This couldn't possibly have helped.

Eventually, we take off and the flight goes pretty smooth for about an hour until we run into something the pilot referred to as "clouds." Well apparently "clouds" can really do a number on "planes" because we dropped about 100 feet straight down. I know this because I was fucking WEIGHTLESS for a couple seconds. Even with my seatbelt on, I still managed to crack my head on the ceiling of the plane. My laptop, ALSO WEIGHTLESS, shared my fate though I caught it before it smacked back down after kissing the ceiling. This little thrillride continued for another 5-10 minutes (apparently this was one bigass cloud) before finally abating.

Eventually, we reach Greenville and manage to stick a halfway decent landing. I could only see the runway ahead of us for a second or two before landing. For those of you at home playing the Blogus Maximus drinking game, go ahead and take a shot if you said "Dude, you shouldnt have been able to see that at all!"

And there you have it... I finally (barely) made it home. Thank you, goodnight. I fly out again in 3 days and if they ever ask for volunteers again, I'm jumping on it every damn time. I'm gonna rack up airfare to GameFest or TechEd if it kills me. Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 12:52 AM General Interest | Back to top

Comments on this post: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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Best Blogus story yet...

My best landing was heathrow in the fog though we didn't know it was foggy at the time. Seatbelts are on, crew in their special seats and we decend into the usual british clouds. Normally though you come out of the clouds and see the last few minutes. However in this case everyone on the plane is chatting away when suddenly there is a HUGE thud as we hit something pretty hard. Its takes a few seconds for eveyone to realise its the ground and the shocked faces turn into smiles. Even the flight crew were not ready for it. Its like 10 feet visibility at heathrow. Gotta love those instrument landings.
Left by ZMan on Oct 20, 2006 7:42 PM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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American Airlines says "we know why you fly". Maybe they know something you don't!
Left by Tobin on Oct 20, 2006 8:30 PM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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We just got back from two week trip Morocco/Spain. We flew AA as we got the best price. Well, we got what we paid for. Lost reservations, late departures, missed connections, and bags that did not arrive. Surly employees, horrible lack of communication "What, you haven't gotten the security have to go over THERE!!!" How the f#ck was I supposed to know that????
I'm a programmer...I know what software is good at doing, and the 'ware that the airline uses is NOT doing a good enough job at moving people efficiently. International flying with all of the 'security' measures is basically reducing yourself to cattle.
Left by Rush on Nov 29, 2006 9:53 AM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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Little people are people too!
Left by p12 on Aug 06, 2007 9:12 AM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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p12 says..take a bus. They can drive in 2ft snow and ice!! Next time you fly,pray for good weather cause you are the most special person on this earth and the airline should feed you (only at a 5 star) and give you a room (5 star) for your $49 fare if a blizzard shut down the airports. The bus company does this ..right
Left by p14 on Aug 06, 2007 9:13 AM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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AA is poorly managed and seems to be failing on every level. There is no way I would ever fly this line again. I was not impressed with the crews when I flew and felt they were somewhat negligent during the flight, so in light of that I will never consider them again. I think they are very shady.
Left by RSP on Dec 14, 2007 2:18 PM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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American Airlines pilots are dumb, if not the dumbest in the sky. O'Hare and DFW harbor them all. I stood at a gate and watched them as they oogled women, they swarmed around like they had never been with a woman before. It was disgusting and pathetic. Really a group of lonesome losers. The big boyz club just isn't impressive to the outside world.
Left by NEWYORK on Feb 18, 2008 2:26 PM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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AA has nothing but bad press. Where is the CEO? Nowhere to be seen instead AA sends out spokepeople to make statements about faulty wiring, dead passengers, masturbating passengers, bad service, etc.

This line sucks and should be closed down before anyone else dies. Many of the pilots are dumb, stupid pigs and some of their stews are nothing more than pilot inflight entertainment. Pigs galore on this line. I feel bad for the good employees who are getting shafted by management. Arpey is a loser and can't run a paper bag. He needs to step down and work in a carnival.
Left by ROJ on Apr 01, 2008 10:02 AM

# re: Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
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Flew american airlines from san juan to newark. Left our camera on board. have called american airlines 5 times and not even a response!!! No one has called us with sorry, we didn't find it, we did, but my daughter needed one!! LOL no not funny. On that same flight my sister inlaw had a laptop stolen out of her suitcase!!! Don't fly with them they have dishonest, inefficient employees, and there customer service stinks!!!!
Left by hope on Apr 04, 2008 1:49 PM

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