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FAMILY HOLIDAYS 2009

FAMILY HOLIDAYS 2009
Jordan, Stephanie, me, Brian

CURRENT ISSUES and IDIOTS SLICED & DICED!

What pissed U off today?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TAKING BACK THE RUNWAYS

At least we are making progress somewhere! I was pleasantly surprised to hear about the new airline regulations and the fact that the American (remember, it's just DOMESTIC flights) flyer is no longer susceptible to being held hostage on an airplane!
Having had a somewhat horrible experience myself some years ago on a flight home from Shanghai, I can personally attest to having had that 'hostage' feeling. I had spent 18 hours winging my way home that trip, cranky, tired (I CAN'T sleep in flight) suffering from a worsening bladder infection and a bad case of the nicotine fits. When our bird finally arrived at the Detroit airport at 8:00 a.m. for our final stop before it was home to Chitown, I was relieved to be 'almost' home.
HA! Little did I know that said same Detroit airport had just become a photo-op for then rivaling candidates Al Gore and George Bush. They had arrived in town simultaneously for another political 'fun'draiser and were the perpetrators of the takeover. To what, I soon learned, would be MY great dismay and potential arrest.
We had all disembarked and were somewhat patiently standing in the customs lines, waiting to be herded through, grab our bags and our connect to Chicago. It was then we hit the wall. Stuck. Between that long corridor from the plane to the lines in front of the customs counters. After a while the buzz started through the crowd that the line WASN'T moving BECAUSE THERE WERE NO AGENTS IN ATTENDANCE. Gee, we all said, that's kind of strange, because after all, it's now getting to be 9:00 a.m. and there's STILL no one in sight!
And then an elevator door opened and there were 3 of them, customs agents, that is. Hurray, we all thought, the show's gonna start and maybe we still have time to catch those connects! And then THEY STARTED WALKING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, away from the counters, us and their DUTIES. I was livid!
I ran to catch up with them and ask what the delay was. They explained to me that THE CUSTOMS COUNTER DID NOT OPEN UNTIL 10:00 a.m.. It took everything I had not to laugh in the female agent's face. I didn't know who she was trying to fool, but I had NEVER heard such a thing! Oh wait, I think I have, Pinnochio! Every time there is a flight delay, or they have overbooked your flight, or they've lost your bag, or ANY little thing goes wrong at the airlines, YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE STORIES I'VE BEEN FED. Stories that even a 3 year old sleepy at bedtime wouldn't believe! But I'm sure I don't have to TELL YOU. Not if you're an American who has flown more than once.
So, my irritable brain syndrome took over and I started to verbally spar with the trio, who very apparently could care less as they threatened me with jail and then walked away clutching their steaming javas.
Well, now the excruciating pain from my bad back was joined by a throbbing head. Here we all were, being held hostage in an airport CORRIDOR - no bathrooms, no vendors, no seats. And nothing we could do about it but stand there and take it.
Well, I wasn't going to, G damn it! So I finally found a friendly airport worker who allowed me to at least sneak out for a smoke during what turned out to be a two and a half hour wait on the customs people.
You can just imagine for yourself what my lividity turned into when I hit that stinky outside terminal air to pollute my lungs even more with a cig, AND FINALLY FOUND OUT WHAT WAS CAUSING THE LONG WAIT. The airport was on lockdown because of Gore and Bush AND THE CUSTOMS AGENTS were busy joining in on that photo-op! How politically correct! NOT!
So, of course, I couldn't wait to race back and tell the rest of the orchestral entourage THE REAL REASON we were being treated like refugees bound for Auschwitz instead of weary travelers heading home.
But I could regale you with similar stories of the 'sterling' reputations of airlines I have flown for hours. I would just like to say here that it is about time that flyers took back their civil rights and stopped agreeing to being treated like cattle or worse. This week's regulations were a GIANT step in the right flight path.
Now maybe we could get even luckier and have ALL flight training provided by Cap'n Ches. He could teach his fellow employees a thing or two, I'm sure!

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