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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is why i don't like shoes
children of dune - leto 1
Have returned home early from Family Vacation in Padre to go to work.

There is nothing about that sentence that doesn't make me want to cry.

Left Padre at four to get to Harlingen by five to depart at 6 arrival in Houston at 7 with departure from Houston at 9 and arrival in Austin at 9:45 and work by 10:15. You wonder about punctuation; the first two people to talk to me today actually got that sentence without breathing or spaces between words.

The really pathetic thing is when even security looks at you like they want to tenderly walk you through the entire security procedure because your blank stare of "I just left the breathtaking beauty of the gulf for the sake of my cubicle" gives the impression you just might burst into hysterical tears and while normally that might be suspicious, it's fucking five in the morning and they were not feeling the whee advanced security even if it took you three tries to work out they were just trying to give you back your ID.

I mean, I forgot to take off my shoes, okay. That does not happen. I take off my shoes before entering the airport these days; I have actually avoided the entire shoe question by leaving home with my shoes in my bag and not putting them on again until I reach the hotel at my destination (I have actually responded to comments on the subject by saying I come from a simple shoeless people in rural Texas; weirdly, they seem to accept this fairly well). But I did remember to unbag my laptop, give it its own bin, and cuddle it as soon as it was done being detected because shoes whatever, laptop, my soul.

I will admit if they said they needed to question me, I'm pretty sure at this moment I'd still be trying to parse their first question into a meaningful sentence.

The thing is--oh irony--I like ridiculously early flights. No matter what time a flight departs, the night before is Panic Central--I don't sleep well, I wake up a hundred times, and there was a period of time my nightmares included being forever trapped in Memphis waiting for a connecting flight that never came. Being me, it took me a few years, but I realized the earlier the flight, less opportunity for an Elvis song to come on the radio and cause twitching. I can't even really justify the panic either; I've had a couple of close calls, but they were pretty much all still boarding group one (exception: my flight to LA last month was a movie montage of Desperate Person Running Past Befuddled Travelers With Bag Dragged Behind Her and Laptop at Side To Other Side of Airport for Flight Where Everyone Was Boarded; no lie, I heard music. Then I found out that this flight was not what I would call full and everyone was boarded because it didn't take all that long; I also lost my ticket on the way, but the very nice lady obeyed the laws of happy endings and simply looked me up and waved me in).

(For the record, somewhere my high school track coach just smiled; I'm pretty sure I beat my personal best at the 400 and I did it with a laptop, a bag, and barefoot. I am from a simple, shoesless people in rural Texas who also like to run with laptops.)

Okay, so I have now officially have airline thoughts.

Advantage list:

1.) Northwestern; they were my first, so they get a special place in my heart. They also trapped me in Detroit for three hours with a grouchy Child below the age of ten at nine in the morning and then, once, in Memphis for four when I was actively feverish after VVC and very likely hallucinating.
2.) Delta exists; I do not remember noticing much other than there was air, then there was not.
3.) American Airlines has electronic boarding passes.
4.) Frontier smells deliciously new car-like, has personal televisions and free headphones that you don't have to give back, and on each leg offers you warm cookies. No, really. LA to Denver = warm cookie. Denver to Austin = warm cookie. Chocolate chip. Seats did not make me feel squished. Has nifty animals painted on their tails.
5.) Southwest has the fastest bar none loading and unloading passengers I have ever seen because they Lord of the Flies the seating arrangements. Seats very much did not feel squished.

The latter two have no concept of 'First Class' but a pay for perks thing (Frontier has Extra Legroom Seats for a not unreasonable fee, for example). After Frontier and Southwest, I'm kind of not wanting to go back to AA even if they have electronic boarding passes; call me crazy, but I kind of like not having to shuffle through the first class cabin feeling my tax bracket inferiority as reflected by comfortable looking seats and a lot of legroom.

I could be wrong that the seats felt larger and more comfortable in the latter two airlines, the flight attendants seemed much more engaging and interesting (one had a jaunty looking handkerchief around her neck; i felt this should start a fashion revolution in the fall during the entirety of my flight), the air seemed fresher and the other passengers more exuberant, the crying babies stopped crying for wonder at the flight, and even their crying wasn't annoying.

It's weird how feeling like you are a valued customer despite your tax bracket can make everything seem better. (Also, cookies. Warm cookies.)

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I flew Frontier for the first time last month and I wish I could fly them all the time. We had a literally brand new plane (so new the TVs didn't work) and for $25 extra, I got extra leg room and a super comfortable seat. The flight attendants were awesomesauce (except for the one guy who COOED at me and asked if I'd "had a nice nap--you must have been really tired!" I am not four years old, sir.) and the cookie yummy. Then I flew Alaska on the way back and hated life for 5 hours.

I love Southwest. I know they have issues (esp regarding passengers of a larger size) but I've never had anything but superior service from them, quick on/off, clean flights, nice customer service...what's not to like?

Frontier's lovely, isn't it? They got the cookie thing from Midwest, which they bought last year. Wisconsinites pitched a protracted hissy fit when Air-Tran was going to buy our beloved Midwest Airlines, to the extent that the deal finally fell through. (They were going to get rid of the cookies! Those cookies are an institution, man — Midwest actually merchandised them, and sold frozen dough in WI grocery stores.) Frontier also has the wonderful "classic" category, where you pay an extra $15 on the front end, but it includes two bags (saving you about $30 at check in).

As hard as it may be to believe, Midwest used to be even better than Frontier, with bigger, leather seats throughout the plane, and better legroom. No wonder they finally had to sell.

(Come to think of it, the protracted hissy fit Wisconsinites threw over the threatened sale of Midwest probably should have been forewarning to Gov. Walker, et al what Wisconsinites are like when something actually moves us enough to get off the couch to throw hissy fits.)

I have done the frantic sprint across a terminal to reach my connecting flight on the other end and came running up just as they were closing the door. It was the flight on which I learned why it's important to take advantage of DFW being an international airport and fly directly to and from London: We landed at O'Hare and had to collect all our luggage, go through customs, and then recheck our luggage to get to our connecting flights. When I reached my connecting flight -- that close to missing it -- they said, "You were on the flight from London? Yeah, go on in..." One of my bags didn't make it onto the plane, but it was delivered to my door at home the next day. (And that was the return leg. The trip out I went DFW to Chicago to Newark and finally to Heathrow, and spent all damn day in airports waiting for my next flight and then crossed the Atlantic that night, and that after having been up all night before leaving Dallas because I was getting my packing done for a six-month trip.)

Oh, and I once missed a flight due to being overly trusting in public transport on a day when it turned out I really shouldn't have been -- but for some reason I can't recall, there were scads of people in the same boat somehow (was there some other connection that arrived late? or the plane overbooked and bunches of people were stuck needing to get on the next flight?) and I managed to sneak in with people who had missed the plane through no fault of their own and get nudged to a flight the next morning without having to pay anything for the change. (The experience left me very nervous about getting to my flight - or bus (oh, yeah, I missed a departing bus the same way and had to go on a later one and missed the first day of the tour I was supposed to be on but took the train to the first night's stop and met up with them) - or ferry - on time.)

Mind you, I've also travelled Greyhound on a number of trips to cons in my college days. (My mother had this fear of letting me drive out of state, because she was afraid my car would die and I'd be where no family members could come rescue me -- incidentally, in more recent years I've taken the exact same car I've had since college on several multi-state trips -- and at the time I couldn't really swing the airfare, but Greyhound turned out to go where I needed to go and the price was right.) It's given me a really low bar for comparison in terms of no-frills travel.

Edited at 2011-07-07 09:59 pm (UTC)

ugh, that is VERY early in the morning. no good.

i basically grew up on SWA, so they are the airline of my heart forever. my dad works with their flight attendants, and they are genuinely some of the funniest, sweetest people. i love southwest; flying other airlines makes me grouchy.

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