Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A miracle on flight 25

Let me tell you a story:

This guy walked over to the lake and tried to order a Big Mac with a slice of pizza. Idiot. Then he suddenly fell upwards into the sky. Lakes can't sell food items. The End.

MAN ALIVE I have to get better at telling stories. Well, let me try again. It was 6pm or so on a Monday night. I was sitting at gate 7 at the John F Kennedy airport for idiots. The clouds were permeating the Earth's upper atmosphere at a most intriguing level. Air traffic control at JFK decided cloud formations, in general, were too rare and poorly understood... so they decided to delay all flights leaving the airport for the convenience of the customers.

My flight was delayed an hour. The flight was full, as I mentioned in my previous post. The television monitors that display information about StandBy passengers, flight departure information, and the lack of food to be served on the plane wasn't even displaying an upgrade list. Since United implemented its unlimited domestic upgrades for all elite members, that list usually is full. Perusing my older posts, one can see exactly what I am talking about. But this time around, that upgrade list wasn't even coming up in the rotation of informative slides about the upcoming flight to Los Angeles.

I had given up on a possible upgrade on this flight. In fact, I had given up on upgrades completely. I hadn't received one in so long, I figured that my life was over. As I was pulling out a kick ass sword to commit harakiri with, I heard a sound coming over the PA that I had never heard before. Actually, it wasn't just a sound, it was a human voice conveying informatics via the electronically induced vibrations of air particles that was interpreted by my ULTRABRAIN™ as "If passenger Aaron Edell is in the gate area, please see me at the podium at Gate 7".

My heart fluttered. I took my sword and stabbed someone else with it (so the process of taking it out wasn't a waste). I stood up and strolled up to the gate agent. I was nervous. What was he going to say? Was I bumped from the flight? Was I downgraded from economy plus to the luggage compartment? Did the Giants win the Superbowl? Did I win $42, a telephone, a bottle of water, a new computer, an old computer, or a doomsday device?

The first words out of his mouth were "We're a little full today so...". Time stopped...then resumed once I punched the time altering device that someone had accidentally turned on at that moment. I turned back to face the gate agent after destroying the device. I expected him to tell me I had been booted from the plane. But what he said was "we're bumping you up". He handed me a business class ticket.

I was so relieved. And excited. And I had to poop a little. My excitement was only slightly tainted by the way the gate agent worded the sentence. He said I was upgraded BECAUSE they were a little full. No... that is not correct. He should have stated the truth, which is that my name is Aaron and I AM AWESOME. Or, that I've spent probably upwards of $100,000 on plane tickets with that airline over the past year and deserve to be upgraded every once in a while (actually I deserve to be permanently upgraded... like... just always in First Class... even when I'm not in an airplane... United needs to come to my apartment and serve me meals and free drinks and hot towels).

Well, it was the red carpet for me. Literally... United has a separate entrance for First, Business, 1K and Global Services members into the jetway. Everyone else has to enter the crappy non-red carpet way.

I marched down the red carpet, punching orphans and endangered species on the way. I got into the plane and saw my seat (by the window).

Check this shit out!

My god. It was glorious. An exit row seat... in business class. Do you know how rare that is? I counted at least 12 feet of leg room. I didn't know what to do with myself. So I sat down and proceeded to fart the entire flight to Los Angeles.

Don't believe me? Look at the menu you get in Business Class. Combine that with unlimited alcoholic beverages and you've got Fartstock™ 2010.

They just treat you so much better. I can't believe it. A commercial airline is one of the last places in America where you can see class segregation and discrimination in all of its glory right before your very eyes. They don't even try to hide it. They actually point it out constantly. I can't tell you how many times I heard the flight attendants asking poor people not to use the rich people's bathrooms. They put a curtain up between the classes and ask you not to cross between them. God forbid I brush shoulders with a proletariat. They are so dirty. Welp... Flight 25 had a PROL amongst the bourgeois... farting his way to freedom.

So fellow business travelers. Keep up the loyalty program for now. It certainly can pay off. And when you are spending 6 hours in Business Class instead of Economy, it definitely feels like it is worth it. So United gets one point put back on its score board. Good job United.

Now only if the Hertz Los Angeles International Airport regional rental center wasn't the worst managed institution since the Bush Administration, then this trip would have been MEDIOCRE as opposed to HIGHLY IRRITATING. More on Hertz, Hilton and the rest of my trip in the next post.


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