Spent some time traveling over my recent fall break. Not the usual driving down to the corner and back. Nope. I was in three different states, on about eight different planes in about seven different cities. I experienced confusing time zones, became weary with jet lag. I awakened in unfamiliar surroundings, and worried about the tag-team care for the dogs and cat. Travel was supposed to be relaxing. I found it to be a lot of work. But then, my simple life style–borderline boring to most folks–usually does not involve the TSA, conflict, tantrums, and one mishap after another.
I flunked fall break.
The travel debacle started at an airlines that I will randomly call ‘FrownTear’ Airlines. They made Fisher Price Weebles Airport look like Air Force One. And the Fisher Price toy was far more fun than flying on Frown-Tear Airlines. They brag about the various animals on the tail of their aircraft. Too bad there is not an animal named the ‘Moron’ because that would be a perfect icon.
I was not a nice passenger.
Arriving at the ticket counter forty-nine minutes before my scheduled flight, the air was filled with frustration. Hmmmm. The ticket counter closes forty-five minutes prior to take-off. I had missed my flight. HUH? With my airplane sitting in plane view (sorry…couldn’t resist). I was not alone in my state of being distraught. So was the family of five, the young girl with the demeanor of my granddaughter, and a hispanic gal who would later accuse me of being a ‘cougar’. Umm yeah. My thirty-six year old son gave me a lift to the Indianapolis International Airport and she thought he was my….oh it’s too icky to put into print. She was going to “Denber” and I was going to “Denver.” Or so we thought. Until the ticket counter attendant at FrownTear put an end to those plans.
I paced. I complained. Loudly. I argued. I demanded. I lost.
Now as my firstborn “hottie” (according to the Official Cougar Locater) was witnessing all this, he just stared at me. This child of mine deals with the armpit of the public sometimes: he is a law enforcement officer. Just about the time I demanded for the CEO’s name of this airlines, I received a scolding from my child. “Mom….why are you being so rude to her? She’s just doing her job.” Somebody raised that kid to be pretty decent. He was right. I knew he was right. But hey….I was on a roll. I HAD to get to L.A. and rudeness was the best vehicle.
After I rescheduled my flight and paid $50 more for having to make a change, I sat down and evaluated my conduct. I did not give myself an A. I took away my recess and made myself write, “I will be nice to the lady at the ticket counter” thirty times. I would have called my own parents but their numbers are extremely long distance. I had already been grounded so it was time to put on my big-girl panties and apologize.
I made nice and said “I’m sorry” to the FrownTear Ticket Counter Lady. I behaved. I rescheduled my flight and made it to Denver, with a passenger sitting next to me who was named: you got it, Deborah Hall. She was from Lubbock. And the nicer version of the ‘Deborah Hall’ genre. Just sayin’.
I arrived at my destination, enjoyed my time in L.A. and was dropped off at the LAX airport by my youngest son, who is as decent as his older brother. I say this because he drove about forty-five minutes back to the airport. Why? Because his mother had left her wallet on the seat of his Jeep. Sigh. It is tough to check into FrownTear Airlines without one’s driver’s license. It is even tougher to call him when that same mother refuses to get her own cell phone. But can I just say that I meet the nicest strangers who call/text/ and such on my behalf? And it makes me hum that old Coke commercial, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…” Yeah, you’re humming it aren’t you? Next, you’ll be rockin’ out Kum-by-Yah.
Anyway….I passed the “You can use my cell phone” favor on by paying the $25 fee for checked luggage for a frazzled mother who was charged $25 for her bag. She was previously assured it would fit in the overhead luggage. Yeah….FrownTear Airlines sure had that mommy in tears. Her young daughters looked ever so fearful and tired as the supervisor babbled on about ‘policy’. Hey….what’s one more charge? My daughter was made to pay for her ‘free’ carry-on because she had booked her flight through a third party. Yeah…there is NO party when securing transportation with FrownTear.
I am thrilled that FrownTear airlines will cease to exist. Seems they have been bought, sold, and dismantled, grounded, and hopefully forced to sit in time-out. I will miss their attendants saying, “Enjoy your flight with Rocky the Raccon” or whatever animal is painted on the tail of the plane. But other than that….it was a beastly air travel experience.
And this is the end of this teacher’s essay, ‘How I Spent My Fall Break Spending Money Flying on FrownTear Airlines’.
Next time I’m taking a Greyhound. That is an animal I can trust.