Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

Ok, so I didn't make it very far today. Appearently a butterfly flapped its wings at a small island in the South Atlantic and it caused a major storm in Chicago. That in turn caused a delay in flights to Atlanta, which in turn caused a delay to everywhere in the world. I hate butterflies. The result for me was that I missed my flight by 20 minutes which cost me a day of travel and instead of wearing the same underwear for two days it will now be three plus. Freaking butterflies. I got off my plane at 10:30 p.m. and stood in a "customer service" line for two hours. I said I was going to Islamabad and the woman did one of those "yeahhhhhh" things which are never good. We sat for the next hour and when I say sat I mean that she sat and I stood, trying to figure it out. Then she would say things like "well if we do this, it would put in Istanbul at….." To which I would reply "I am not going to Istanbul." She would then let out one of those long ominous "hhhhhhmmmmm" sounds. At that point I just said put me on the day after flight and I will be fine, then all of a sudden it worked, sort of. It appears that my long held suspicions are true, that the airlines are like insurance companies and are full of ways to make your life miserable and that they also have loopholes. They are also affected by butterflies, flipping butterflies…I hate them.

Turns out that even though the flight I was trying to get was overbooked and adding me overbooked it by one more there is a secret loophole. I am proudly releasing a secret industry secret. If you are booked for a seat that is booked already and you are the first to check in you get the seat. While this is clearly not as good as making the original flight, at least I am not some loser that may have to give up a seat on an overbooked flight.

I was however the loser that was standing (still) in the Dulles airport at 1:30 in the morning with a minor problem, because one of the connecting flights had to be released there was a mysterious problem with ticket issuance and I was told to see an "expert in the morning." I makes you wonder who I was talking to at 1:30 a.m. in the Dulles airport "customer service." I was hoping that by expert she meant that the person knew the difference between Istanbul and Islamabad. Because the delay was butterfly induced they would not spring for a room, besides, at 2 a.m. by the time I get to the room and get up at 4 a.m. to see the "expert" at 6:00 it would be more painful. I crashed in the D1 Gate waiting area and woke up several hours later to people staring at me. As I wiped the drool from my face, the airport person was announcing the boarding call for the flight to Chicago…… butterflies suck.

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