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Monday, April 02, 2007

Broken Promises

Posted by: Hammer / 8:22 PM

Seriously, is there any industry breaks promises with such stunning regularity as the travel industry? Our flight to Los Angeles -- booked months ago -- was grossly overbooked today. Some plane problem or other; the nature of the problem was never explained. Our flight was almost 40 minutes late taking off, which was a headache with a 4 1/2 year old skipping off the walls amongst the Hos-in-training on the way to Cabo.

I would've taken the voucher and a later flight, but for my good friend, a certain Los Angeles-based filmmaker living just down from the Hollywood Hills. Sure, it was only a lunch, but it was a good lunch. It's odd, for me, being a man who doesn't like anything, but I actually like Benno more every time I see him.

Anyway, the broken promise. The first plane and the replacement plane were 6 seats across. We are a party of four with two small children. Rather than seating us a family, we were seated 2 to each side with 2 strangers in the middle. How much time would it take, how much thought and effort would it take, to put the 4 fellow travelers together? Not a f'ck of a lot, tell you what.

Did get seated, did have a decent guy who switched seats so 3 of us were together while I focused all my energy on keeping the plane aloft. Problem solved, but I HATE fixing problems other people cause. Especially after I pay them $1200.

Made a bit of mistake in setting up my Google maps about town. I started my map from the airport to Benno's rather than from the rental car drop off to Benno's. I kinda figured it would all be part of the airport complex. I figured wrong. Still, I picked a lucky direction and had no trouble finding my destination.

Two troubles at the rental place. First, the map system they had there couldn't find the address I was typing in. Great idea -- just print your Internet map once you're there. Bad execution. Yahoo! maps doesn't know some addresses in Los Angeles. Second, the dude behind the counter told me to go to the PT Cruiser in stall 17. After we packed the car and were ready to go, I couldn't start it. Turns out our PT Cruiser was in stall 14.

LA traffic wasn't bad. Clueless lied to me. I find Chicago harder to drive in, mostly because of the consistently insane speeds my fellow travelers seek.

I only spent 4 hours in Los Angeles, but I wasn't car jacked once. I also failed to see a child under the age of 10. We drove past the house where the most famous scenes in Mulholland Drive were shot. I wanted to peer inside, but apparently they stopped filming years ago.

Here's a weird thing that no one else will care about. Benno actually knew his way around time. This from the 17 year old who couldn't drive around Minneapolis without turning into a bus lane in the wrong direction. Bus Lane Benno knows Hollywood.

Almost lost it when the kids couldn't make it to the hotel without a potty break. (A) They should have gone before we started for the hotel. (B) By the time they gave up the holding it ghost, traffic had just let up. Plus, I took an exit and then exit just to find a Subway. That was weird. Good news was we ended up (somehow) right next to the on ramp for 5 South.

Finally got checked in after one false start at the wrong Best Western across the street from Disneyland. Ibuprofen never tasted so good. Nor whiskey.

Labels:

4 Comments:

You know what your problem is? You expect too much of airlines. You have to remember that at the core, an airline is nothing more than expensive city bus with all the annoyances of a city bus and then some. Busses at least run on time, usually. But the rest of the list is there. Old antiquated equipment, check. Craft that haven't been cleaned since the Carter administration, check. Sitting next to someone you can feel the wierdness radiate from, check.

You gotta go with flow more man. Your on vacation, enjoy it. If you're a bit late for Benno, you reschedule for a later date. If the girls have a potty emergency, at least it's a rental and not your own. Of course, you would rather they hose down the car on the last day of the trip with the car being out in the hot sun instead of the first day, but what are you gonna do?

By Anonymous Ba Ha Ha, at 8:03 AM  

Ba Ha Ha's right. Wait till you have to sleep overnight in Concourse B at O'Hare because a crew in Cleveland decided that they worked enough hours that day. Air travel is a pain, but it's better than a 36 hour drive to Los Angeles.

By Anonymous therealrepublican, at 3:59 PM  

Oh, yes, I should go with the flow. I rather suck at that, though. All in all, we got to LA 30 minutes later than I anticipated and 60 minutes later than scheduled.

Big deal? No. Just harder to do with a 4 year old wondering when her trip to Disneyland is going to start.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:05 PM  

That's just expectation management for the 4 year old. Say, "You're trip to Disneyland has already begun. Why, just look at that huggable bum on the street. Doesn't he look just like some of the scallywags in the Pirates of the Carribean movies?"

By Anonymous Ba Ha Ha, at 8:05 AM  

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