August 26th, 2009

Space Cadet

Still Pleased

I posted this in response to the question "What made you happy today?" over on TQC:

I was on vacation last week and I tried this thing called iFly where you can fly in a wind tunnel. All of my life, one of my deepest wishes has been to fly. And now I have.

I was happy all day thinking about how great the vacation was, and how I have realized a life-long dream that seemed impossible right up to the moment I stepped into that wind tunnel.

And the best part is that the reason I was there was to do something my kid wanted to do, see The Creature From The Black Lagoon -- The Musical, which sounded awful to me. (It ended up being pretty good.) I found the iFly site while I was planning the trip. If I hadn't gritted my teeth and agreed to do the trip and see the musical, I might never have flown. But I did and now I'm happy and satisfied in a deep-down kind of way that will last a long time, maybe forever.
Fierce Banjo

Why I Will Avoid Flying American Airlines

Travelocity sent me a survey asking me about our trip. This is what I told them about the airline portion of our trip (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I gave American Airlines a 2):

The only reason they didn't get a 1 is because they got us there and back. But that was about it. The planes were uncomfortable. The seat and the legroom were too small for me and I'm not that big. In addition, while in the airport for the flight back, we had to put our bags in the suitcase size-checker three times. The first two times the bags fit and there was no problem. But then there was a third check at the gate. It seemed like they were flunking almost all the bags. If anything, including a tag or a handle, snagged on the size-checker the gate people would start yelling at the person that they HAD TO CHECK THE BAG. People were getting quite flustered and embarrassed. The gate attendant yelled at my son that he had to check his bag. We pointed out that the bag was empty and had fit in the overhead compartment easily on the flight out when it was full. The only thing snagging was the handle. Two gate personnel teamed up to yell at us the same way they had badgered the folks ahead of us, but we opened the bag and showed them that it was empty. They finally backed off. It seemed to me that this last gate check was just a squeeze play to try and get the $15 bag check fee from a few more people. I was offended by the way it was done -- at the last minute, with gate personnel actively yelling at people who had already had their bags approved twice. I saw one man so mortified, right in front of his children, that I wanted to run up and defend him. His bag fit perfectly except that the zipper pull snagged. But they yelled at him and pulled him out of line and the poor man turned all red and his eyes teared up as he started frantically repacking his stuff into his kid's bags. The way the gate personnel behaved was ridiculous and demeaning. I will avoid flying American whenever possible. I can take Jet Blue to Long Beach. I don't mind going a little out of my way because Jet Blue treats their customers with respect.