Friday night, after dinner and a few beers with my brother, I am dropped off at the airport. I check in at 9:30 for a 9:50 flight, and ask the girl at the counter if I have time to go to the bathroom. She checks her watch, looks at me with a scrunched face and says “yyyyeah, I guess you’ll have time”, so I rush to get ready and diligently take my seat to await departure. 9:50 rolls around, no boarding announcement. 9:55. Now no one is at the counter anymore. 10:00. 10:05. Finally someone returns and I go up to the counter and ask “What’s going on here?”
The guy looks surprised and says “What do you mean?”
I said, “Well, the flight was supposed to leave 20 minutes ago. What’s going on?”
“The plane just got here. Ma’am.”
“What do you mean the plane just got here? Why didn’t you tell us?”
The guy fumbles for a second and comes up with, “Haven’t you heard the announcements?”
“What announcements? You haven’t made any announcements”
“uum, yeah. I made several”
(I actually said this) “Listen sassy, don’t get pissed at me because you’re not doing your job.”
And he walked away.
I returned to my seat and started listening to a conversation that a guy behind me was having about a similar situation that he encountered with the same airline employee, however this guy’s story had an interesting twist. At the part where I called the counter-guy “Sassy”, the cellphone guy said “I’m a regional manager for this airline here to check things out. Now tell me again why you haven’t made any announcements”. Apparently the counter-guy figured that since the plane was “on it’s way” then there was no reason to alert us. We’d be on it soon enough.
I turned around and asked cell-phone-guy if he was serious or he was just saying that he was a district manager to get a rise out of the other guy. He gave me his card and confirmed that he was actually who he said he was, and said he would be delighted if I registered a complaint because not only would it back up his report, but the airline may compensate me in some way.
Everything after that went fine. I was in a great mood thinking that I might get some coupon from the airline. The flight was great, and what’s best, short. When the captain made an announcement that we’re about 54 miles outside of Raleigh, so we’d be landing in about 10 minutes, I almost cried. Every time I see that sign on the highway that says the same thing, I know I have almost an hour left. Aah, the wonders of air travel.