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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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After yesterday’s “debacle”: , I got to the airport expecting the worst. I was not disappointed. After a relatively (15 minutes) short wait, the lady behind the counter printed out my stuff, and then said something under her breath about the baggage tag, and then started flipping through her ring-bound hand-written list of several hundred notes on how to book flights and so forth. Having realized the answer to her dilemma (whatever it was) was not in this booklet, she then said “excuse me” and ran through the security door behind the booking area, never to be seen again.

Several minutes later, a supervisor of some sort came by and took over where the other left of, wondering what happened to my original attendant, but not seeming particularly bothered by her disappearance. She noted “huh, the baggage tag printer isn’t working” and proceeded to use a manual baggage tag.

These manual baggage tags are kind of scary, because they only list the outgoing flight number and the final destination airport, and nothing to identify them to the user. Further, they’re extremely long (lover a foot) and attached by a flimsy string, so their chance of sticking to the bag, unlike standard adhesive strip tags, is pretty low.

In any event, she handed me my boarding pass and ID, and I said “there’s only one boarding pass here.”

Me: “You have a connecting flight?”

Her: “Yes.”

furious typing ensues

Her: “Well, you’re not booked on it.”

Me: “What?”

Her: “That’s what.” (This is a direct quote. I wanted to explode over her smug matter-of-factness)

Me: “Alright. After yesterday’s debacle, I was rebooked today to get into CMI at 1:40. I wasn’t just booked to Chicago.”

Her: “Well, those seats haven’t been released yet, you’ll have to fly to Chicago and try your luck here.”

Me: “When were you going to mention this? Why didn’t you say anything before I was leaving the counter?”

Her: “I don’t know what I’m doing. Nobody here knows what we’re doing, we’re all brand new, and from Continental. If you’ve got a problem, take it up with American, mister.”

I happened to look at her name badge, and notice that she is, in fact, wearing a continental badge, as are all the other people at the counter. Maybe everybody quit after being yelled at for pretty much every flight on the previous day not going.

At this point, I’m too flabbergasted to continue a dialog without saying something unfortunate, so I stop myself and ask her if at least my bag will be checked all the way through.

Her: “Not as it is right now, no, I’d better give you a new tag.”

Me: “That sounds like a great idea.”

Through some minor miracle, I actually made it into CMI, actually received my bag, and was only about an hour late (well, 16 hours really, but who’s keeping track?).

Oh, also, an ERJ-145 is fine for a 45minute hop between cities, but in the “cramped” seating configuration, is not comfortable for a 2.5 hour trip if you’re 6’ something and sitting on the window seat of the two-column side. There is no way to comfortably put your legs in front of you (including the roller coaster crossing trick) without them being firmly planted in the seat in front of you. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really miss the MD-80 service from HPN to ORD.