I have flown a lot in my days. And I will say that there are many benefits to living in Alaska but flying is not one of them.
Every flight I have taken from my new home-state has been a middle of the night red eye nightmare.
My Wednesday night flight started at 3:30 PM because I had to take my 10 year old Lay-Z-Boy recliner to the shop to get repaired and the store closed at 6. But that is another story. No its not really. Because I had a 6 hour wait till my flight.
I arrived at Ted Stevens International at 10 PM, checked my bag, paid the requisite 25 bucks to the lovely lady at the desk and headed to security.
Security is a breeze in Anchorage. I have never been groped and since its only a city of 200,000 there aren’t too many people in line.
My flight didn’t leave until 1:40 AM so I had about a 3 hour wait. I tried to download a movie on iTunes to pacify me on the flight but the Internet connection was so slow it said that it would be 17 hours before I could watch it.
[Rewind: Flying High with WiFi]
Thats okay, It was The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It was probably better that I didn’t watch it anyway.
As soon as I entered the jet way I knew it would be a night fraught with problems.
I just made it to the door near the first class cabin and the stewardess, flight attendant, or what ever they are called these days threw her arm in front of my chest and said, “wait right there!” in the rudest tone I have ever heard.
What was she doing you may ask? Serving a first class customer a drink. Hey, I have never cared how the “other half” lived. If you want to pay an extra two hundred bucks for the luxury of a extra few inches of wiggle room and the services of a Roman slave, more power to you. But when the fine folks that work the aisles on US Airways treat the common folk like that caveman on the GEICO commercials, something has to give.
The fun really started when the snot-nosed-twenty-something kid across the aisle started ringing his buzzer dang near before the landing gear was pulled up asking for everything.It continued for the rest of the flight. I know we were all virgins in the mile high club of red eye flights at one time, but leave the buzzer alone will ya!
Not soon after the captain turned off the seat belt sign the graceful ladies started the “complimentary” drink service. We knew we were in for a real treat.
I know times are tough in the airline business. But with 2010 revenue averaging about 12.6 cents per passenger mile and a round trip ticket of about 350 bucks, it seems to me they could give you the WHOLE can of soda not just a wet-your-whistle tease.
The rest of the flight was atrocious with about 40 minutes of sleep on the flight to Phoenix that landed at 8:15 AM.
My connecting flight to Denver was leaving at 8:45.
I jumped off the plane and started the race to the gate. I glanced at the monitors and saw that the flight was at gate A-24. I was in the high B’s. I started into a full out run, juking and jiving past little old ladies in courtesy carts, about a million latte-sipping Starbuck-addicts, and people in various states of zombie like strides through a very busy airport.
I dang near knocked over grandma and hurdled her Samsonite and made it just as they were calling “Last Call for Boarding”. As soon as I slumped into my seat they closed up the door and started the monotonous flight instructions on how to use your seat cushion as a life preserver. We were on a land locked flight from Arizona to Colorado. Just when will that life preserver REALLY be needed?
The flight to the Mile High City was un-eventful. But I will say that if I have my druthers I will never fly US Airways again.
At least as soon as I landed I was welcomed by a hug from my wife and somehow, against all odds, my bag made it to Denver!
That is why I love Frontier. Not only do they have cool seat-back Direct TV’s and give you chocolate chip cookies on all their flights but they have some of the most comfortable seats in the cattle carrier flying market.
I do have one gripe with the “Animal Airline”. They only fly seasonal service from Denver to Anchorage (May to October). It doesn’t make sense because Alaska IS the last frontier and it seems to me that they would want to conquer that market.
While I survived this experience, long enough to live another day,
I fully expected to see a monster on the wing like William Shatner did in that old school Twilight Zone show.
I do have another late flight in just a couple days. Thank goodness it leaves at 6 something. But it is on US Awful so anything is possible…
More to come.