Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SFB (S**t For Brains)

OK, maybe I'm getting old, maybe running over to Europe is taking its toll, maybe I was just worn out: I missed my 6:00 a.m flight this morning out of Lubbock because I had set my damn alarm for 4:10 p.m. instead of 4:10 a.m. If you're European, you may not understand—one is in the morning (desired), one in the damn afternoon (not so good when the flight is in the wee hours).

So I wake up at 5:33, a.m., that is. Within nanoseconds the mind starts reeling, like in an 007 movie. What are the options? It takes another nanosecond to realize that there is NO way to make a 6:00 a.m. flight when you're at the house at now, well, 5:33.0005. Holy shittola!

Make a long story and many, many phone calls short: I am in Washington Reagan, thanks to American Airlines and their amazing ability to deal with a customer's F/U. They let me stand by for a later flight, without any charges. US Airways, the carrier that will take me from here to Albany, was not that customer service oriented: A reissue of my entire LBB-DFW-DCA-ALB and back ticket would have been right at $3,000—no kidding. So, I am forfeiting my 3:30 p.m. flight and had to buy a new, one-way flight to Albany, tonight at 10:05 p.m., getting me to Albany at 11:30 p.m. so that I can drive my rental car for another hour and a half to Windham. Hey, I'm not complaining. After all, I'm the one who set the damn alarm.

I spent about 3 hours on the phone with American, US Airways, and Switzerland (who bought my ticket for me), as well as at the LBB airport check-in counter with AA's Richard, who knows me well and whom I know, too. He tried everything, and I can only say "hats off" to AA and its employees. AA may be in bankruptcy, but it sure isn't because of their stellar employees.
Will US Airways buy AA? If so, I sure hope AA's customer service will prevail
Miracle of miracles: I get to DFW, have to hustle to make it from my stand-by flight from LBB to my (unconfirmed—another $75 fee for confirmation) flight to Washington, arrive at the gate, am number one on the stand-by list, get my ticket, finally take a pee (no worries, in the restroom), and am being paged. Sit down, because I couldn't believe it either: They hand me a seat in First Class. So why would I not want to fly American?

I have another 4 hours of layover until my flight. Once I get to Albany, it will be a dark drive into the Catskills, but I'll be fine. One fuck-up a day is enough! And at the Hotel Vienna (whose owner, Rick R., I know from three years past) will leave the lights on.

As I said, SFB—and if you use your phone as an alarm clock, change it to military time!


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