Friday, December 18, 2009

An Ode to Southwest Air

Hi! ::waves:: I'm back. I'm not all together here, but I'm back. :)

As I told everyone in my last post, I was flying via Southwest Air for my trip back to California this past week. I honestly dread flying on Southwest, because even though they've made some significant advances in their boarding procedure since the original "cattle call" days, it still somehow manages to confuse people. How? I do not know. But since people and I usually don't get along all that well, you can imagine how much worse off things can be when I'm around people who are confused for essentially no reason at all. It can get ugly all up in this head, y'all.

It wasn't too bad on the flight out. Well, unless you count the lady that thought her 35 pound toddler was extra luggage she could keep in her lap for the trip to Vegas. Who decided to take the empty seat behind me. Yep, that was a treat and a half! Especially when the kid shit his pants halfway through the flight, and the lady decided to sit there for 10 minutes without changing him. Delightful.

On my way home yesterday, I figured out the way to avoid the kid-sitting-behind-me scenario. I sat in the row that was directly in front of the exit row. Brilliant! Now, not only could I escape from the plane quickly in an emergency, but I was guaranteed to be free of a screaming kid kicking my seat throughout my flight. Yay!

I also discovered that it is totally worth it to splurge for the extra $10 to get the "early bird" check-in thingy online. It got me some decent spots in the A boarding group on both my flights, and I had loads of seating options, which including the row in front of the exit row on both my flights. (Tip: if you're traveling with other people, you really only need one person to by the $10 early bird deal. Then have them save you the seats when they get on! Woowoo!)

Unfortunately, regardless of when you board, or what boarding group you're put into (A or B), there's always an idiot that either wants to line up in absolute numerical order, or who doesn't get the boarding system at all. I try to ignore the latter because if they talk directly to me, I'm likely to smile at them in an idiotic way and cross my eyes in order to try to mimic what they look like to me inside my head. And they don't tend to catch the sarcasm. (Shocking.)

But the numerical order people...UGH. While waiting for both of my flights yesterday, I just stood in the general area that I was supposed to. The first flight, I was in A26. The second, I was a bit behind that in A44. And just before I boarded on both flights, men approached me to ask me what my number was. I asked them both, "Does it really matter?" They didn't respond. I'm guessing it's because they realized that, no. It does NOT really matter. If you're lucky enough to be in the A boarding group, you're good. So who the fuck cares about what order you get to climb on the goddammed plane in? If you DO actually care, then you're wasting your brain power. Try relaxing a bit more, and unclench your asshole for a while. You'll thank me later. (I know this might sound weird to some of you out there that know me, because you're probably saying that to ME in your head much of the time. But the thing is, when it comes to travel, I let go of a lot of my control issues. Because it's stupid to try to be in control of everything when you travel. I'd have a stroke if I tried to control everything when I travel. There isn't any point. From the time you give your belongings to a person behind a desk to the time you land on the ground wherever you're headed, you are not in control. So let it goooo.)

The second guy that approached me to ask what number I was in line also called me "hon". ::sigh:: Guys, strange women are not your "hon". They are not your sweetie or cutie either. Refrain from calling strangers a pet name. Because it might make them want to dump their Diet Coke over your head later on the plane, just to warn ya. (I covet my Diet Cokes a bit too much to do anything like that, though, so you'd likely just get a dirty look from me if you ventured to call me something along those lines. But you certainly wouldn't get a dose of kindness from me, that's for sure!)

Lastly, I've found a way to manage my somewhat irrational fear of moderate turbulence during a flight. I discovered it when I was traveling to New Hampshire earlier this year, and had to fly through some very stiff winds when trying to land. (We were kind of sideways when we landed...I think they call it "crabbing." And it was utterly frightening.) I happened to get lucky with a favorite song that came on my iPod as we started to descend into the nasty air, and as I rocked out, I didn't notice the turbulence as much. In fact, it kinda helped my rocking outness. So now whenever we're going through a rough patch that's so bad, it causes the flight attendants to have to sit down, even, I flip through my iPod, and I find my Peter Murphy "Deep" album, and tune in to "Roll Call (reprise)" to get me through it. It lasts about 8 and a half minutes, so it generally gets me through any bad patches all together, like it did last night on my flight from Phoenix to Kansas City. It took about 15 minutes for the pilot to find some more mellow air, and then we were back to a normal smooth ride.

Of course, the vodka sodas I had in Phoenix while I waited might not have hurt. ::shrugs::

The week went well. I felt pretty ok the entire time, until I had to travel home by myself yesterday. (Leo came back on Wednesday, so he could get in to work yesterday, per the request of his idiot boss. Who, when he saw Leo, asked him how the weather was in California. You know, like he'd been there on a vacation, or something. ::rolls eyes::) I found the presence of my family more comforting than I realized, apparently. But I need to learn how to deal with this stuff without them around me. Hopefully, the weekend will help me learn to cope on my own. I'll be sure to let you know how that goes. Wish me luck!


Nuke said...

Good Luck!

Oh, and welcome home.

Erin said...


faithstwin said...

Yup. I'm kinda going into hermit mode- I need some 'me' time right now. It's almost surreal that a week ago Dad died and he's not here anymore. I can't wrap my tiny brain around that.

Love the story about Southwest. I also appreciate the tips! Maybe I'll use them when we try to come out for spring break.

Maine said...

Really? So you spend time in Phoenix and don't call me? I can see the tarmac from my office window , you know.

Faith said...

DAMMIT! Yeah, I was there for about 2 hours. I had my drinks in an airport bar called Jackalope Flats. I think that was my favorite part of the whole trip! (Again, the vodka might've helped. Not sure, but it's highly likely.)

Spyder said...

The older I get the more I hate flying. Glad you're back safe & sound. Well, as sound as you can be!