Friday, December 21, 2007
Preparing for take off
Today I got an email reminder from the website I used to buy my plane tickets for a trip home for Christmas. "Prepare for your trip!" was the subject line. And inside, "Just a reminder there are only a few days left until your trip." I thought to myself how lovely it would be to be the sort of jet-setter that needs reminders of an upcoming flight. As it is, I fly about 1-2 times per year.
But even with my meager traveling expertise, I have come to the conclusion that I don't actually hate flying, like most people do. I kind of enjoy it. I enjoyed it more before terrorists mucked everything up and made the idea of getting on a plane seem like certain death. But still.
I particularly like drinking in airport bars before the flight. The idea being that it will help me sleep better. But that doesn't happen, it just makes everything seem fun. And it makes me hungry. Indeed, it seems everyone has their little tips and tricks for flying. Many have their advice for how to get bumped up to first class. These tips are always really stupid and unhelpful. One friend tells me that if you just offer to be moved to the next flight, they will put you in first class. But that just means sitting in the airport for another couple of hours! And I imagine you must kill the time by telling other travelers how clever you are, getting yourself upgraded. Another friend told me once that if you just go up to the desk and ask to be bumped up, they will do it right away, for about $300. To me this sounds an awful lot like just buying a first class ticket, but ok whatever.
Today a coworker started to tell me her secret tactic for first class bumpage. It sounded really complex and backwards and I stopped paying attention almost immediately.
Her: "When you get to the automated check in kiosk, declare that you have more baggage than the baggage allowed, then you'll be asked to go to the check in desk..."
"...And that's how you get bumped up to first class for free!"
Me: "Cool! Thanks!"
Hopefully I won't encounter any bad weather that leads to flight delays. Now THAT is the worst part of flying. I have had to sleep on airport floors because of snow storms and the like. And then you never know where the heck your luggage has gone when you start missing connecting flights.
[Although I was told before that when you have connecting flights, your luggage isn't on the same plane you are on anyway. Didn't you always think that while you were flying, your suitcase was in your plane's underbelly? Instead, they stick it on all sorts of different flights and then it gets there when you do. Apparently this is somehow more efficient, but to me it makes no sense. How does that work? Isn't the plane you're on the only plane getting into that city's airport at that exact moment?]
I actually wouldn't mind if weather delayed me from getting back to LA at the end of the trip because then I could call into work and be all, "Hey bad weather. Can't come in because I'm on the wrong coast! Whatcha gonna do?" But there is nothing worse than being delayed when you are all revved up and ready for a trip!
Now that I've expressed my few flying concerns, I feel 100% ready to tackle my flight tomorrow. (And by "tackle" I mean "eat constantly during.") And I leave you with this airplane recommendation: www.airtoons.com