Like many people across the country and around the world, we all make the holiday trek once a year. Braving irritable crowds, standing in giant circuitous security lines at the airport, or sitting for hours amidst interminable traffic jams, everyone has to get home for the holidays. But I’m Jason Ang! This is my journey home:
Sunday, December 20, 2009, 1:55pm: My original flight was booked for 2:10, connecting in Dallas and arriving in Chicago at 11:00pm. I arrived at San Diego Airport 15 minutes before my flight because San Diego Airport rules and everyone knows it. Short lines and laid-back attitudes make for a smooth 10 minutes between my entrance and arriving at Gate 29, just in time to hear
FINAL BOARDING CALL FOR FLIGHT [i forget the number] TO DALLAS.
I run to the counter just in time, hand the gate lady my boarding pass without breaking stride and take two steps toward the jetbridge, when she stops me and says “I’m sorry we don’t have a seat for you. Please stand over there while we try to get people to volunteer to give up their seat for the next flight.” What I heard in my head was
Hahaha! Yo ass just got screwed! Move out the way while we begrudgingly try to get somebody to mess up all their holiday travel plans so you can keep yours!
Anyways, I don’t get a seat and they bump me involuntarily, which I later found out happens once every 10,040 passengers. Yaaaaay…lucky me. On the other hand though, I had no time constraints and they were about to fork over hundreds of dollars worth of compensatory money. It wasn’t such a bad situation.
2:15pm: The gate dude calls me back to the counter with some news.
Sorry for bumping you involuntarily, however we have now booked you on a nonstop flight leaving at 2:30, which arrives at 8:00pm central time instead of your original 11. So you end up arriving three hours earlier. How convenient! 🙂
My man! I couldn’t resist giving the stiff white dude a congratulatory high-five before I strutted 10 feet over to the next gate to board. Santa came early and hooked it up with an earlier flight! Of course, I assumed that I’m not entitled to any money for my bumping anymore, so I don’t even bother to ask.
2:25pm: Everyone on the plane is all settled in, and I’m in my exit row seat with extra leg room that I don’t need because my feet already barely touch the floor. It’s T-minus 5 minutes until take off when a flight attendant approaches me.
Now, flight attendants don’t usually walk directly towards one person five minutes before takeoff unless the dude is a suspected terrorist, and most seasoned flyers know that. So now I’m shitting bricks and everyone within six rows is rubbernecking, when the nice lady hands me two sheets of paper and says
Mr. Ang, we seemed to have neglected to give you your $300 TRAVEL VOUCHER. Would you please sign this paper to confirm that you have received your $300 TRAVEL VOUCHER? Thanks! 🙂
I sign the sheet, partly embarrassed that she was announcing this to the entire plane, but mostly giggling like a school girl. Who cares if I just made a bunch of people jealous whose flights got cancelled yesterday because of the huge East Coast blizzard and got jack-squat, I just got PAID for a flight upgrade in the pimp seats of coach! Y’all can suck it, I rule! I’m Jason Ang!
So thank you, American Airlines, especially the two gate agents whose names I didn’t get. I managed to get a flight upgrade in the exit row, during the holiday rush, with a huge storm ruining flights, AND I made off with $300 for my next flight. I don’t know if they screwed up, but I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
My only question now is where do I go with this free ticket?
::EDIT:: I found out that I’m entitled to at least some money regardless if I get bumped to a better flight. Let’s see if I can get bumped for my flight back to San Diego and get a second voucher!