Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bring your boarding pass and a lawyer

When you travel by plane you not only have to bring your own food (they’re not serving any or they’re charging an arm and a leg for a granola bar) and your own pillow and blanket (they have somehow disappeared or are solely for first class use) and your own Xanax (with the conditions most planes are in these days shouldn’t they just be handing that out as you get on board?) you now need to be prepared with a petition in your pocket in case something is wrong with your plane and the pilot decides he’s going to fly it anyway.

This happened in Germany over the weekend. A pilot tried to take off but a gauge was bad (and it had something to do with the flaps and if you watch any disaster movie involving airplanes you know that flaps are VERY important) so all 170 people got off the plane, then 168 got back on two hours later (2 passengers having decided either that the airport sushi was so good they had to stay or that they weren’t going to get back on a plane with any kind of malfunction). Then the pilot tried to take off AGAIN and the same gauge went kaplooey.

At this point someone with great forethought whipped out a petition for a new plane and everybody signed it and the united passengers (the passengers were united as a group, it wasn’t a United Airlines flight – it was Air Berlin) presented it to the airline and 14 hours later they had a new airplane.

Yes, 14 hours later. The plane had to be brought in from Turkey. According to Yahoo maps you can drive from Antalya, Turkey to Berlin in 33 hours so I have no idea why it took a plane 14 hours to get there unless Air Berlin was in a “we’ll show those petition-carrying passengers what’s what” kind of mood.

And were there no other flights leaving for Faro, Portugal (the plane’s destination) within that 14 hour time period? Or was Air Berlin continuing to mess with these passengers?

Passenger: You know, there’s a flight leaving in 20 minutes, if you could just get me on that one…

Gate Attendant: One minute (types for about 6 ½ minutes). I’m so sorry, that flight is full, but YOUR plane is going to be here ANY minute.

Passenger: Oh, good. Do you think I have time to run down and get some airport sushi?

Gate Attendant: (types again) No, I’m afraid not.


Anonymous said...

Yahoo Maps, seriously? You know that they have stopped maintaining that site? Use Google Maps instead.

Stacey said...

I guess that would explain the problems with my last few trips. Thanks for the tip, Anonymous.

Stacey said...

Oh, Anonymous, did you think I wouldn't find you that work for Google corporate?

I'm already a Google fan, no need to reel me in. But really, quite shameless.