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January 25, 2012

As much as I dislike the geniuses who work for TSA, it's the gate agents, flight attendants and other passengers that make flying (something I do weekly) miserable for me. Here's the break down

So, anyone that's seen my act knows that I have a serious amount of contempt for airlines, specifically the uniformed flight gestapo that work for them.

I'm not talking to you TSA. 
We all know how you strive to out perform one another in areas such as
"Yellling to your coworkers across the metal detectors"
                  -"AY! AY D'Andre! What time you get off?!"
"Acting like you don't give a fuck in general"
- does it count as multi tasking to roll your eyes back in your head while verbally drooling out the baggage procedure?                                                                
"Put yo liquids in deez bags- anything that can not fit-in-da-bag-is-to-be-placed-in-the-garbage-recpeticle-SIR!-You-can-not-take-that-water-on-da-plane"
Plus, TSA, odds are you aren't reading this. Actually, odds are you don't read.

PS- To the TSA worker's credit, 99% of the people that pass through security are high functioning morons who get confused at the act of taking off their shoes "ANDJACKET?" Yes, it's a stupid rule that you can't bring your perfume and lip gloss and yeah, it sucks you have to throw one of them away because they won't fit in the baggy- but it's been this way for like, 10 years. If you haven't figured it out by now then you don't deserve nice things.

And for god's sake guys, NO! NO you don't need your ticket when you walk through the metal detector- why don't people know this already?

And I'm not talking to pilots bc most of you served in the US military have nothing to do with the rules.
(P.S. I've never felt more comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time then I did this morning when the captain got on the PA and started his speech with "I'll be assisted today by co-captain Dwight Schrute and I'm captain Michael Scott"- true story)
I'm talking to YOU the flight attendants and gate agents. 
Even before I get to the plane, the airline workers get to me. It's as if they all take aptitude tests and whichever worker scores the lowest gets put in charge of ticketing. They want their top morons to be the first people you have an encounter with, that way your spirit is broken the rest of the time and you just accept whatever they do to you. 
($3000 dollars for five inches of extra leg room, what a bargain! do you take a check? No? How about bone marrow?)
This next thing doesn't happen every time but it's happened enough that I have anxiety about it now. 
When I get to the ticketing counter I just want to:
1-Pay for my dog, 
2-Get my ticket 
(and no, you can't check in online when you have a dog. There's no real reason. They've never once weighed my dog or checked to see if she has had her rabies shots or her dog polio vaccinations- they just want to make your flight is as inconvenient as possible. My dog sits quietly in her bag for five hours without a peep- I can't say the same for you, woman behind me, and your baby that you insist on fucking with all flight, ensuring that he cries as much as possible) 
Anyway, all I want to do is that simple, three pronged action- and it's never that easy. I have enough to worry about with facing the ever growing security line without having to deal with speaking to ticketing agents. 
TIME: 7:00 am PLACE: LAX
Me: Hi, I'm checking in for the 9am flight to Boston
Agent: ...
Me: ...What's the problem?
Agent: Did you mean the 7:00am to Phoenix? Cuz that flight already left.
Me: Yeah, I did- I often get Boston and Phoenix confused- oh and all the clocks in my house are off by two hours.
Agent: (looking at computer) Oh, here it is, Boston- 9am. 
Me: Yeah. 
Agent: Okay and what are you trying to do?
Me: Rent property. I'm trying to check in! Here's my ID and credit card to pay for my dog.
Agent: We don't have a reservation for your pet on the flight.
Me: Yeah, yeah you do, that's why I couldn't check in at home and I have a confirmation number for her.
Agent: Oh, here it is.
Me: Amazing...Here's my ID and credit card to pay for my pet.
Agent: You're gonna have to pay for your pet
Agent: It's gonna be $150 for the pet
Me: It's $125 on the other airline, but fine.
Agent: K, this is the pet tag, I have to attach it to the pet's bag for the gate agent.
Me: Can I just hold the tag? It gets in the way when I carry her bag and sometimes it can get crumpled or fall off-
Agent: I really need to put it on the bag...
(PS- no gate agent has ever asked me to see the pet tag on her bag)
Me: I can't just hold it?
Agent: I...bag...tag...protocol...no "opinion" option in circuit board...
Me: Ok. Fine.
Agent: Here's your ticket, I circled the gate number for you- I just learned how to draw circles.
Me: Ok, thanks....woa, Boarding Zone 4. Why? I'm here two hours early and I got this ticket three months ago.
Agent: Because we hate you and your pet
Me: First thing that's made sense all day.
PS- For my stand up bit about BOARDING ZONE 4 CLICK HERE
And now I turn my rage toward you, flight attendants. Oh, but you're so much more than an in flight nuisance, you say? You don't just serve tiny plastic cups of ice and ginger ale and overcharge for snack boxes? You're also in charge of our safety? 
Then why do you make me sign a contract, in blood, saying that I'll help to lift the emergency exit door in the event of an emergency? I don't work here! If you're keeping us safe, then why do I have to participate? I don't come to the galley and ask you to write my blogs! 
Why do I have to watch you with your pale, flabby, beefy arms, demonstrate how the fuck an oxygen mask works. If someone's not smart enough to figure it out, then perhaps they shouldn't have any oxygen.
Who doesn't know it goes on their face? Is there anyone grabbing the oxygen mask and putting it on their crotch?
If the plane's going down, it's goin down- and no amount of inflight preparation is gonna mitigate the feel of gasoline flames as they engulf our bodies. 
BTW you're not turning anyone on with that aggressive jerking body motion you do when you forcefully try and push that extra piece of carry on luggage into the overhead. I love how you do that right over me when I'm in an aisle seat. Love having your polyester clad stomach pouch slammed against my head over and over as you try and get some jerk off's LL Bean bag to fit into a 1X1 cubby hole.
 CHECK IT AT THE GATE! Oh, you got it to fit? Awesome, you just played a life sized game of luggage jigsaw puzzle- way to problem solve. Your online school would be proud, you really are a Phoenix.
YES there are some flight attendants who are cool- I get it, but on the whole, you are bad people with a beastly agenda.
I guess I wouldn't have as much of an issue with them if there were any uniformity to the rules and regulations. But it really just seems like every flight attendant takes it upon herself to interpret/enforce the rules as they please and THAT'S what frsutrating. You each put your own lil fun twist on the rules. 
I need structure when I fly! 
We can't have one set of rules going and a different set returning! That's chaos! We need order. This isn't Woodstock.
My favorite is when you bring a bag onboard, on a return flight, and they tell you it won't fit in the overhead compartment. This is my return flight on the same aircraft, how do you think I got this bag here? "Sorry, it's just not gonna fit" YEAH, YEAH IT WILL BECAUSE IT DID YESTERDAY! Then they get all apathetic and direct you to the STEEL CAGE LUGGAGE GAUGE 
and, like a carnival game, you have to show her that your bag in fact fits within the confines of their luggage iron maiden if it is ever to be let aboard the aircraft.
You put the bag in, it fits, of course, and you're happy. But there is no glory in your victory because by that time the flight attendant, upon that sign of defeat, has turned her attention elsewhere and began...I don't know, doing something else useless like, micromanaging ants or putting pens in height order.
Today I boarded a plane, just like I have done almost every week for the last three years- with Blanche and her little dog head sticking out of her pet bag. 
(I tell people she has to have her head sticking out to calm her down and acclimate her to her surroundings but if you've met my dog you know that anymore calm and she'd be dead- I really do it for the glory of the attention. For the strangers who see her and comment "OH MY GOD what a sweet dog, he or she? What kind?" Then I get to give my hilarious stock answer of "It's a girl and and she's part long hair chihuahua, part long hair dachshund, part princess"(no one ever laughs) ) 
blanche1-1.jpg     "Please don't zip me up"
So I'm walking to the gate with her when this hooker gate agent stops me and informs me that Blanche's head has to be zipped into the bag... In my entire career as a passenger, no one has ever told me to zip her into the bag before I even make it to the jet bridge. 
I comply because I know she'd love nothing more than to get into an argument with me, all the while calling me "ma'am" in a backhanded way of showing insubordination while seemingly showing respect. I'M FUCKING YOUNGER THAN YOU! I'm "miss" you're "ma'am"...
(However, if I were a sassy gay black fashion designer, I might go by                    
"Miss Ma'am"...Miss Ma'am if ya nasty)
"Ma'am" I'll "ma'am" you right off the jet bridge. 
So I comply. And I fully zip Blanche into the pet carrier bag...But the woman keeps talking to me...which I don't get, because the faster we board this plane the faster she can scuttle off to the airport break room and compare airline issued apparel with the other heifers who work there.blanche2-1.jpg  (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
She feels the need to support her order by telling me the fake reason my dog has to be fully in the bag 
"The dog has to be totally in the bag and zipped up because passengers might have allergies" 
She's lucky I had already taken my melatonin and was too tired to argue- but, despite my fatigue, my blood was still boiling. 
ALLERGIES? It's a fucking pet carrier, half of it's mesh so the animal can breath! You don't think allergen spores  can travel through thing plastic with holes cut in it? People have allergy attacks indoors, woman! If fucking 3 foot thick house walls can't stop allergies, then chances are this bag isn't gonna be much of a barrier as we all sit breathing the SAME air for the next 5 hours.
Don't you think if all allergy sufferers had to do to be sneeze free was shroud their faces with a millimeter thin piece of cloth, that would be an easy solution? You think a bag with holes in it is an impermeable barrier? WHY NOT USE DOG BAGS TO FILL IN THAT PESKY HOLE IN THE OZONE LAYER? If a passenger has sensitive enough allergies that my dog's head sticking out of her bag on the jet bridge, not even ON the plane, is going force them to break out in hives, then I probably shouldn't have a dog on the plane at all right? Oh, but then your airline wouldn't make an extra $150, which by the way is such blatant skyway robbery because I can't even board early even though I'm carrying a 13 pound being with me. You're THAT afraid of passengers with allergies having an allergic reaction on the plane? THEN WHY DO YOU HAND OUT PEANUTS!?
Look, airline workers, even if you can't help, you can at least exercise some feigning of customer service and say things like "Lemme try" or "I'm so sorry, I can't help you" versus always coming from a place of "NO"
PS- you can ALWAYS help. On rare occasions I've had gate agents who just didn't give a fuck and waived the pet fees. Last week I got a free first class upgrade on an airline I never fly. So don't tell me you can't do anything for me, you fascist fucking drone. If you don't watch it I'll...I'll...I'll tweet about it! 
(They aren't fascists but there's something about the phonetics of that word that just cuts right to the core and puts people on the defense)