An Open Letter to American Airlines and the FAA
Dear People in Charge of My Flight:
Many weeks ago, I booked my flight from Chicago to Seattle on American. I had other options, but I chose American due to a decent fare, departure and arrival times that worked for my schedule, and the fact that the MD-80 gave us the option of a two-seat row. Well, as you know, American had been having some, um, challenges this week. Listen, I am a girl who has experienced just about every flight delay that one can. I have been stuck overnight twice, have been on a plane on the tarmac for over 3 hours (which later resulted in being stuck overnight), have been taken to an alternate airport and bused 2 hours in a driving thunderstorm to my actual destination holding a cat that belonged to a woman in a wheelchair who had to sit at the front of the bus but the driver was allergic and wasn't going to let the cat on so I intervened and took the cat to the back. (This happened after I not-so-politely informed the airline representative that one coach bus was not going to hold the entire planeload of passengers they were trying to transport. "Do the math!," I told him over and over. Yeah, I was pretty cranky.) I have been on a plane that pulled away from the gate only to return due to a mechanical issue and we were going to miss our connection. After checking, a flight attendant told us to get off the plane and go to a different gate where we could get on another flight, this one non-stop. As we exited the plane, we checked with the gate attendant who confirmed that we would be able to get on that plane, no problem. Upon arrival at said gate, we were told the flight was full and we could not get on. In the pre-911 days, you could stand up to the airlines without fear of arrest, so I asked for a supervisor who also told me that they could not accommodate us. I explained that not one but two AA employees had told us we would be able to get on the flight--in fact, had told us to get off the flight we were on--and that he needed to fix the situation. His response was "You have problem." I explained to him that if TWO AA employees instructed me to get off a plane and that I would be able to get on a different plane, that became his problem. He resisted. I did not back down. Eventually, they went on the plane, paid two volunteers to get off, and we got on. That would not happen in today's flying climate. Anyhoo, you can see that I have run the gauntlet. I have paid my travel dues. Soooooo...what I am asking is that you let one certain little MD-80 leave Chicago on Sunday bound for Seattle. Is that too much to ask? After all, I'm just a kid who wants to get to (sock) camp and you wouldn't want to disappoint a kid, would you?
A (hopefully) happy camper
PS. Could you guys also let the TSA know that the knitting needles in my bags are not an issue. Seriously, what could I do with a needle that the guy in 14B couldn't do with a Bic pen. Except turn a heel.