It’s always so nice to go to Baltimore. Nice to see family, and nice to visit old haunts.Â Nice to walk in the garden and paddle in the pool.Â Nice to eat deliciousness from Mastellones and the Red Canoe!
But goodness, it is not nice to fly these days. Not at all.
When Mose was wee, I took him everywhere. I was on a book tour for Half/Life and before he turned one he had visited 16 states with relative ease. I’d book for light travel times and the nice people would make sure we had an empty row, and as a rule things ran on time.
No longer.Â My adventure with Lew this weekend was quite the opposite.Â They basically tied us to the wing.
Air Tran is from the devil!Â Though our 7 pm flight was (by noon) already delayed four hours , when I called at 6:30 to try and rearrange things, I was told I had LOST MY SPACE because I was not at the airport 45 minutes ahead of the original departure time.
“But it doesn’t leave until midnight?” I asked.
“That’s correct…” retched the old hag at the other end, “but you haveÂ to BE HERE ANYWAY or you forfeit your space.”
“Is the flight oversold?” I asked.
“No, but there are millions of people on standby.”
“I have a baby,” I explained.Â “This is all way past his bedtime. Nobody really wants us to be at the airport all night. He’ll scream nonstop. Do you really want me to sit with a screaming baby from 6 pm to midnight? Do your other customers really want that?”
“No,” she said.Â “No we don’t.Â But if you aren’t here 45 minutes before your orignal deaprture time, you aren’t flying.”
Goodbye, AirTran. I don’t care how cheap your tickets are. You are dead to me.