Friday, March 03, 2006

If United Airlines employees had to live on tips...

they would all be destitute. On my trip to California, the seat they had me booked for was non-existent. They managed to shoehorn me in, between an Indian gentleman who kept talking to me in accents I couldn't understand, and a 350-lb guy who had lifted the armrest between us so I would have 80 percent of my space and he would have 20. I desperately needed 100 percent. I'm short, but I do have arms and legs which need to be accommodated.

The Overgrown One also exuded a smell, rather like yeast, but distasteful after about half an hour. What he lacked in physical appeal he made up for in lack of charm. Every time the Indian gent or I had to go to the bathroom, he made a tremendous to-do about having to get up--not saying anything, but passive aggression to the max, in looks and sighs. Rinse and repeat for 6 fun-filled hours.

On the way back, I was supposed to have an aisle seat, and asked the flight attendant about it. She told me to sit down and she would look for one after we were in the air. Needless to say, she must have parachuted out because I never saw her again, but I ruthlessly grabbed an aisle seat anyway. I noticed that the seats up front had more legroom than those in the back. This was my first experience ever of sitting near the front. Obviously the airline has assigned me to watch the motors and wings to see that the first doesn't catch fire and the second doesn't fall off. I've always done this very well in the past, but they managed to fly the plane without my help this time.

There was of course the inevitable circling of the airport--piece of cake. But then we landed, they turned off the air-conditioning, and we had to wait while they pulled the jetway up to the plane. I now know how dogs must feel when they are left in a parked car.

The Philadelphia airport believes in aerobic exercise so you get to walk about 1 1/2
miles to the baggage claim with the heat turned up to a nice cozy 88 degrees.

Anyway, I'm back.

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