Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The One in Which Swirl Girl Wished She Would Have Packed Her Antlers

No, I didn't fall off your monitor screens...."I've been around the world and I-yi-yi-I ...I couldn't find my suitcase." So as the 'case' is still pending with @%$&%# Airlines, as much as I want to piss and moan about it (which I have already done adnauseum, and I know that is hard for some of you to believe because Swirl Girl always is all about cotton candy and rainbows afterall)....I have crafted this little Open Letter to @%$&%# Airlines for your In-Flight entertainment.

Dear Mr. Head of Customer Relations at @%$&%# Airlines:

On May 14th, 2009 - my family and I travelled from LAX to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to celebrate the Rite of Passage (for you non-triber's, otherwise called a Bat Mitzvah) of my college room-mates' daughter. This weekend affair, for which I had to bring 3 'fancy' outfits per person for the 3 events that were to take place along with matching shoes and accessories for each of the aforementioned fancy outfits per person. Not to mention the various and sundry hair care products to tame the beast that is my head, various lotions and balms and cosmetics not available in under 3 oz. containers, as my 9 year old's entire desk at school (since she had to 'apply' for Independent Study so as not to miss any class work and homework while we were away and her absences did not count as truancies and our school would indeed receive the $32 per day per student that our near bankrupt state 'pays' our school for attendance). Additionally, we needed to haul a car seat for our 5 year old. And you can't bring it on the plane. Yes - I over packed...but that is not the point here.

All that being said, I could not stuff our lives into a carryon bag for this short trip. So we had to check our bags. I , unlike most of the passengers that travel these days, didn't try to stuff our 2500 square foot house into the overhead compartments. We bit the bullet and checked out 3 pieces of luggage onto the plane. At $15.00 per bag!!! (as an aside, the airlines made a whopping 250 cajillion dollars in profit last year by charging for checked luggage-which , while lining the pockets of the fat cat execs at the airlines , slows down the entire boarding process because most people think they can get away trying to shove their shit overhead and realizing they can't - have to check them anyway) So we paid our $30.00 - because I said the car seat is an 'assistive device' and having read and re-read the baggage policies** for the airline exclusions to the new pay to play rules...refused to pay for that and went about our merry way.

We had a connection in Dallas - as there is no longer direct non-stop flights anymore (another way the airlines are making flying so much fun) and of course, in Dallas - there was a delay of the next departing flight. According to the gate agent, there was a glitch in Chicago's Air Traffic Control system that caused all flights all around the country to be delayed (I guess a glitch before you get on a plane is better than a glitch in Air Traffic control once aboard the plane). Another gate agent told us that there were weather issues that caused the 2 1/2 hour delay. And yet another told us that there was a paperwork snafu...whatever. My point is that there was ample time to unload our crap (and the other LA to Dallas passengers' crap) from one plane to another. We had time to grab a pretzel dog (yummy, by the way) and a drink, pee 3 times, run around the terminal via the moving walkways and various and sundry escalators and sit around and commiserate with the other passengers, and make fun of the dude with actual springs (yes, you heard it right - big boingy springs) on the bottom of his sneakers. I was still calm , cool and collected thanks to the two friggin' $6.00 bloody mary's I bought on the plane ride to Dallas.

Finally - we get to Fort Lauderdale at 12:30 a.m. (an hour and half later than expected and my poor mom was there to greet us at that hour) We get off the flight and head to baggage claim. Nuthin. Oh sure, there were bags going around the conveyor... but not ours. Swirl Girl is starting to get all hot and bothered. Standing on line at the Baggage Claim Customer Service line...with everyone else who lost their bags , I storm in and demand a refund for our $30. I think my exact words were "Aren't you at least gonna buy me dinner first before you fuck me?"
Miss Minimum Wage Baggage Claim Customer Service Representative said that there was not enough time to get the bags from one plane to another. They would all be on the first available flight from Dallas in the morning and arriving in Fort Lauderdale by noon. Then , they would deliver them to our destination by 3:00 that afternoon. Hubby is handling this at this point because the threat of me 'going postal' on Shaniqua was imminent and I was asked to leave the area...yeah, it was late - I had no car seat for my kid which put us all in jeopardy of receiving a moving violation to boot. I did , however - have all the Nintendo DS and 4th grade homework assignments I could master at my disposal.

We got to my mom's at something like 2:30 and put the kids in bed - and maybe fell asleep at like 4:00am. Joy. Rapture.

Cue Friday morning - and I am off to Target to buy some bathing suits and stuff to get us through the day. Calling the airlines special lost baggage hotline to make sure our crap made it on the flight from Dallas. Hours go by...it's 3:00, it's 4:00 , it's 7:00pm and still no stuff. After many frustrating phone calls to the lost luggage department (once again, I get on the horn, 'cuz Hubby is too nice to them and I was told not to go to the airport under the threat of security hauling my frizzy haired ass out of there) and having missed the opportunity to go to the mall to go shopping for new fancy gear since we had to be at the event at 10:00 a.m. the next morning and ...no wearing yesterday's sweat pants and flip flops was not an option. At 8:00pm - our luggage arrived at my mom's house. And I'll be damned if Hubby didn't the tip the asshole who delivered it. I am sure he got paid by the hour to make these deliveries and took his dear sweet time. (grrrr).

So- we finally get our shit - and unpack it hoping it is not too wrinkled. Good thing it is so figgin' humid in Florida. Steam is a wonderul portable iron.

We go about our weekend and had a wonderful time!! Then, it is time to pack up and head back to LA. I bitched again - only this time to the right person who actually offered us $50 for the items we needed to buy while we waited for our crap. I got $50 cash money right there at the airport!! I feel slightly vindicated , but am requesting our original $30 refunded as well as all the miles (for each ticket purchased under my Hubby's frequent flyer number) for the trip as an inconvenience stipend as well as the fact that if you're going to screw this up ...you should at least make sure that all your people who are explaining why there was a screw up all tell us the same shit. Ask for forgiveness not permission for your screw up.

Oh yeah - and while I am at - next time I need to bring my antlers or javellin .(see below)..I will gladly fly @%$&%# Airlines just 'cuz I love the fact that you have been so kind to remind me to clean my skull and protect my tips.

**@%$&%">**@%$&%# Airlines Ridiculous Baggage Policies

Must be as free of residue as possible. The skull must be wrapped and tips protected.
$100 in addition to the applicable checked baggage charge, based on the number of checked bags.
70 lbs115 inches

One hanglider
$100 in addition to the applicable checked baggage charge, based on the number of checked bags.
70 lbs115 inches

One javelin
$100 in addition to the applicable checked baggage charge, based on the number of checked bags.
70 lbs115 inches
- Acceptance conditional on aircraft size and load conditions
Kayak, Boats, Sculls, Canoes
Not accepted.

One pair of oars
Charged the applicable checked bag charge for the 1st or 2nd checked bag. When in excess, each item will be subject to the
baggage charge for a single piece.
50 lbs62 inches

Pole Vault
Not accepted.


Justine said...

Okay, it's saying you posted this a week ago. WTF????

Oh, you poor thing. This whole post sucked! Well no, I didn't mean your writing sucked, I mean the story of your airline experience sucked. Oh forget it. It's late, I'm tired, and I'm making no sense!

Justine :o )

Ash said...

Glad you didn't go all postal on Shaniqua - I'm thinking you would have never gotten your bags.

Glad you're home safe and (somewhat) sound!!

Aunt Becky said...

They lost our luggage on our honeymoon. It was awful. I'm stabby just thinking about it!

Unknown said...

So completely not fair to the oarsmen and women of America..... the world even.

Mariah said...

I'm sorry, I am totally giggling. It sucks, but that was funny as shit. Who would have thought you'd have to clean the skulll before checking it.

Sorry about the frizzy hair thing, did you have a good time at least??

Mariah said...

PS Shaniqua totally had it coming if you did go postal

Fritzie said...

Wow .. I think I'd rather drive everywhere. Too much rampid stupidity for me!

I'm glad you didn't get thrown out of the airport... that's the plus to having a calm headed hubby, you always have someone to bail you out of jail after you go postal ;-)

And I'm so glad you got all your stuff before you needed it .. late as it was.

Jenni said...

I think you should INSIST on flying with your pole vault.

I am glad you got your stuff back!!

Anonymous said...

Sp does that mean that my husband's pole can't vault on an airplane?

Whatever happened to the mile high club?

Lula! said...

I literally cracked up over this one...it needs to be spread across the intrawebs and all airline officials should be required to read it.

You are hilarious. Sorry for your inconvenience...but you turned it into blogging brilliance.

("Are you going to at least buy me dinner before you fuck me?" Girl...I spewed Coke all over my computer screen.)

Riff Dog said...

Ugh. I'm flying this weekend and you're not making me feel better about it! Although I won't be bringing any antlers . . .

Anonymous said...

The problem with traveling...

itsybitsyknitsy said...

Popping in from SITS. This is too funny!! Thanks for sharing!

Courtney @ One Fine Wire said...

Atleast you made it through! Nice to meet you, I'm just stopping in from SITS :)

My personal blog:

Merry Christmas to you and your family!