Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Bumping Christmas

Christmas Eve I got up early and made sure I was at the airport two hours early. Though I had no way of knowing how, I had a sneaking suspicion United Airlines wasn’t done complicating my life. I checked in for my flight two hours early, slid through security with no complications and even got to the gate without issue. A few minutes later the gate agent called my name. You, Mr. Thomas are being “involuntarily bumped!”

Involuntary bumping I learned does not involve pelvic motion, but instead exciting route selection:

You thought you were headed east?
Wrong! You’re going to Portland.
You thought your flight was to BWI?
Wrong! We’re routing you through National.
You thought you’d be at Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends?
Wrong! You’ll be lucky to get in before Santa arrives.
I handled that with pretty good spirits considering, but I was puzzled over my ticket:

It contained a few more surprises!
  • Note how long that flight is from Portland to National? No, I'm not flying on a turbo-prop across the continent. No! I'm enjoying an unadvertised stop in Los Angeles! And for added fun they were letting passengers in Boise who were going to LAX via Portland to change flights and fly directly, however I wasn't told I'd be visiting LAX on Christmas Eve, so I got to go the long way and cram a second breakfast down my throat in Portland thinking it'd be my only meal of the day except...
  • See that knife and fork on my ticket? It means, apparently, that cutlery is available, because there wasn’t any stinking meal.
The only good to come of this saga was a free airline ticket in the contiguous states via United for the pleasure of the bump.