Having to fly again (for work, but deciding to add on a few days for fun, about which more later), I tried to minimize the horrors I expected to encounter at the airport and in the airplane itself. Those of you familiar with what happens to Suzy at airports will not be surprised by the following:
What I expected:
The airline sent me a lovely email, confirming my upgrade with all those certificates that have been piling up in my account. I figured I’d be kickin’ back in first class with a mimosa before takeoff, being fussed over and catching up on reading important literary materials such as InStyle. I’d put my bag in the overhead bin, enjoy the free drinks, and before I knew it, the whole thing would be over.
What actually happened:
Turns out a confirmation only means something in a church. The harried check-in person at the airport told me that the plane type had been changed at the last minute (not even she knew why), so now it was a teeny plane with only four first class seats, none of which were mine.
I got the dreaded middle seat. I got to sit there for 45 minutes while they loaded up on standbys. The flight attendants then started yelling at everyone to sit down so they could do a seat count. “There are crew who would love to get on this flight!” I thought, Well, screaming at paying customers to sit down and shut up so others could fly for free is not your best diplomatic move, especially with the lack of ventilation and general crowd hostility at this point. Just say you want to accomodate as many people as possible and leave it at that. What we don’t know won’t hurt you.
Once we finally were airborne, the guy next to me on the aisle side treated me to his vivid impersonation of Mr. Pussy from Sex and the City. He removed piece after piece of exotic fruit from his otherwise seemingly innocent briefcase (entering the security to code to unlock it each time – I’m not kidding) and slurped it in a loud and obscene manner. If I were younger and prettier, I’d take it personally. As it was, everyone kept looking around to find the source of the slurping. Once they located it, they stared in horror as if at a car wreck. It’s so gross, but I can’t look away!!
Since the flight was full*, they forced me to check my bag. It was lost. On arrival, they informed me they’d get it to me in four to six hours. When the six hours was up, I called them and was informed it would arrive around 1 am. Stayed up. No bag. Called again. Now they didn’t know how long it would take. Dozed weirdly, clutching cellphone just in case. They showed up at 7 am.
*They always say “very full”. Either it’s full, or it’s not.