Frank and I came down to NYC on Thursday for several days of business meetings. (Remember business? Even District Governors have business.) We came down by Amtrak (to quote Frank, the only way to fly), but the plans included me to scoot back to Maine by air for the weekend — a party for a friend who is leaving town, and the GSE potluck for our inbound team – and then on Monday I would scoot back to NYC for the rest of the business meetings.
At least, that was the plan. When the ATC sequestration kerfuffle made headline news, I had an inkling that this was going to be a bad plan, but there was really nothing to do to fix it at that point. The meetings, however, have been productive, and so has the Metropolitan Opera we have been able to enjoy in the evenings.
Wagner lulled my senses and made me forget about potential travel insanity until this morning, when we awoke to a message that my morning flight from LaGuardia was cancelled, and that Delta had “protected” me on a flight out at 6:30. That would kabosh the party, but a frantic hour checking out other air, train and bus options didn’t come up with anything that would get me to Maine any sooner and back to NYC in time for our first appointment on Monday, so I regretted the party and in no mood to enjoy the Big Apple at this point, made plans to cool my heels in LaGuardia waiting for the flight.
A check of the monitors showed that there is a Delta flight to Portland leaving at 3:05. A check at the counter showed that there are seats available. But the seats aren’t in my “category,” whatever that means, so according to the computer, there are no seats available. Got that?
As a result, I’m officially waitlisted on a flight that leaves in two hours and on which there are empty seats, but the computer won’t recognize my need and availability of those seats until it’s time to board the flight.
If three guys show up in next 2 hours willing to pay full fare to get to Portland this afternoon, I won’t get on. Otherwise, seems pretty possible that I will.
So much for the customer coming first. So much for even informing the customer of what to do in order to protect herself. The truly weird thing is that this situation only makes sense in Airplania — but every member of the traveling public can share a similar story.
Wish me luck getting on the flight!