Let me start out by telling you that flying should be a reasonably pleasant experience. Barring the screaming child with ears that won’t pop, or having a person of larger size in the seat next to me and yet taking up my space, too…. I enjoy flying. Even after 30 or so flights, the novelty had not worn off. Take note of the past tense “had”.
I wrote the flight to South Korea off as a situational purgatory. I mean, really, who wants to fly non-stop fifteen hours with a two year old? Only a sadist, I say. But an eleven hour day of flying, which included two stops, and also a husband to help with the now three year old, I thought it would be fun. Um, not so much. Amazingly, my child was an angel throughout almost all of the day. We started our journey in the Augusta airport, which is tiny. All the people there were so nice. I guess it’s because they don’t seem deluged with crazy travelers, yet that’s where the first mistake occurred. They didn’t give my husband his boarding pass, just a small slip of paper that I guess they let passengers board with there. Not so in San Fransisco, as we were to find out later. So after I went through the security checkpoint with a family we had been chatting with on the flight, with Bruce following and holding Alyssa, he was re-ject-ed. Oh! But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me first tell you about Atlanta. In case you don’t know they board passengers with small children first, then the rest follow by section. We were the first to get on, along with the family I mentioned before. Even though all tickets were bought at the same time, they wouldn’t give Bruce a seat until we checked in. Go figure, but as I’m sure you can imagine where this is going, we had to do some charming, followed by threatening the passenger who was seated beside Alyssa and I. Now before you think I got all redneck with him, I didn’t. I just batted my eyelashes and asked if he was traveling by himself (yes) and if he would mind greatly switching seats with my husband so that we could all sit together. He was a big whiner. After listening to a two minute spiel about how he was flying ALL the way to Hawaii and didn’t feel like sitting anywhere else, I simply said “Oh, bless your heart… then I should forewarn you that my daughter is three and her ears have trouble popping, on top of being in that “three” stage, so if you’re looking for a calm flight, it might be to your advantage to switch… she’ll probably get a little ornery.” More whining from grown middle-aged man. Thankfully, there was a gentleman sitting in the row across from us who said “Sir, I had a window seat in row 35 that I am not using, please feel free to take it.” STILL more whining, but he moved. Seriously, he got to move to a window seat, NINE rows away from ALL the small children on the flight. I’d call that a generous offer. But you know…. Some people can really whine. Now stay with me here, I’m not done whining myself, lol. You see that wasn’t all that was going on during those first moments of boarding. All four families, including a total of six children had the opportunity to hear this: “All children should be drowned at birth”. This came from the lovely, possibly drunk hag, that was an off-duty Delta flight attendant. I kid you not. Several of us just stood there in disbelief. The woman in the row behind me asked her for her name, to which she responded “WHY?” When asked if she was a flight attendant she said yes, but that she was off duty. Finally, she gave the name “Margaret”. Surprise, surprise... that wasn’t her real name. She gave her real name to a lovely young childless woman named Nadia, who took offense to what she said but buttered her up during conversation throughout the flight to get details about her…. Which when the plane landed in San Fransisco, she promptly approached us with and asked us to write Delta about her, too.
At this point, we’ve had two connecting flights, had been told we’d were supposed to get a meal on the flight from Atlanta to Hawaii, but had yet to see anything other than seven mini pretzels, and been forced to listen to Cruella De Ville, the off-duty flight attendant rant about methods of killing the offspring of us "breeders."
This is where I need to refer to the San Francisco security checkpoint and the incident of being separated from my husband and child. Now, the TSA agents were only doing their job, which I think is necessary, and I applaud them for being thorough, it’s just hard to look at it like that when it’s happening to you or someone you’re with, and you have twenty minutes until take-off. Enter the charming TSA gentleman who saw me still standing in the check point area perplexed. The other military family we were sitting with stayed with me, which was really nice, and he approached us and asked if I had Bruce’s boarding pass by mistake, which I did not, but as soon as I mentioned he was military, the gentleman said he’d take care of it immediately and would return with my husband and child. About four minutes later, Bruce and Alyssa walked through the security checkpoint escorted by him. He was such a sweetheart.
OK, still not done getting out the poison here. On the final leg of our flight, thinking we were going to get a meal, we did not buy any food during the short layover, before boarding the same plane. The flight attendant had told me my daughter’s stuff would be fine left in the seat, so I left her bottle of water in the seat. Gone, when we got back. That is, of course, when Alyssa started begging for something to drink. That’s all I’d had! So, no big deal, I thought I’d just ask the flight attendant for some water, right? I pushed the button for the flight attendant. At that point we had 5 hours and 35 minutes remaining in the flight. When she came to ask us what we needed there was 3 hours and 5 minutes left in the flight. Yep, over a two hour wait. Thank goodness Alyssa had fallen asleep across our laps, because I can’t believe that Delta would consider that a reasonable amount of time before getting back to a passenger. Seriously people! I know the cost of gas is high, but when the tickets for three people cost around three thousand dollars, is it unreasonable to think you could get some damn water? Not to mention, this attendant was rude, deaf, and huge! She hit every single person going down the aisle. Every time I looked at her I couldn’t help but think of the stereotypical mean German nurse named Helga. She was so rude, I’m just going to leave it at that, but let me tell you, by the time we were asked if we wanted something to eat, they were all out of sandwiches and snack boxes. We got a fruit plate with two apple slices, three cheese slices, one strawberry, ten grapes, and two crackers. Alyssa ate most of that, and Bruce and I split an expensive “snack box” between the two of us. What I don’t understand is what the hell is the airline thinking? Are they trying to push people to the point of aggression by depriving them of water, while waiting for their blood sugar levels to plummet? I think it might be a ploy to garner public sympathy from those who do not fly, by creating these situations and then putting a PR spin on it as if “look how badly our attendants are treated.” I kept my mouth shut, kept a smile on my face, but inside I was cussing every attendant out with some of the dirtiest words of any known language. I know if my father knew what I was thinking he would still ground me even though I'm pushin’ forty.
Some positive points… I met two great Sara’s who are staying at the same military hotel as we are, with their families. We are now fifth on the housing list, which is a huge plus. A gallon of milk is only $4.81, which is actually good because I was scared it would be $6-7 a gallon. And finally, it's a beautiful day here in Hawaii, and I have a strong feeling I'm going to be saying that quite a lot over the next few years. I have more to write but this has been enough for one day, and the hotel's internet is about to literally drive me to the point of insanity. Maybe I need a nap.