Monday, June 15, 2009

So that's what I am to you, AirTran? Luggage? I have had it with these (expletive) dogs, on this (expletive) plane...

So I hadn't been to Canada since 1996 for the Breeders' Cup. I really didn't remember much about it, except the old Maple Leaf Gardens was awesome, and I never could get the hang of that kilometers instead of mph thing.

I still can't. I see "100" on a speed limit sign, and I am going all Jeff Gordon. Besides, those little numbers on the speedometer are little for a reason, right?

I have encountered as significant number of freaks, because that's what I do. However, I have been overwhelmed by how cool all the people are. Not just the folks we've been hanging with -- shout out to Theresa and Dave for being awesome! -- but the people in general, especially around the border towns. Fred represents H town at Woodbine with the hottie. Photo take by Norm the Awesome Canadian handicapper.

Everything has been awesome so far, especially getting to meet Norm and Michelle and Danny and his family. We also met Doug and Helena, Gary and Alex, and Jim and Diane, all of whom make great drinking amigos.

And, of course, the Canadian hottie has been awesome as always.

I'll have more later on Niagara Falls and my trips to Woodbine, my new favorite racetrack. And the goofiest rental car ever.
Fred represents the Ticket and UH at the Falls
, from the Canadian side. I saw an Aggie.

But for now, I would be remiss not to share my freak show trip getting here.

I've always liked Southwest Airlines. No frills, but flies everywhere I want to go and I have never had any real issues with them, except the time I almost died landing in New Orleans. But I forgave them for that.

Continental is my favorite, but they don't fly out of Hobby, which is very close to where I live. So we are essentially divorced.

So I decided to try AirTran for the first time because it was an incredibly cheap fare -- even cheaper than Southwest. The plan was to fly into Buffalo, and drive to Toronto. Arrive about 11 that night and have an easy time, right?

First, the "really cheap fare" did not include the $15 for checking my bag. So my round trip went from $120 to $150. Since it was still less than Southwest, I could live with that.

Everything was fine until right before take-off, when were put on ground stop for the trip to Atlanta and plane change. Two hours we sat there because of alleged storms in Atlanta. OK, that's common travel fare. No worries.

We arrived in Atlanta two minutes after my next flight was scheduled to take off. I sprinted to the gate, where they were rushing everyone on board. (That flight was delayed, too).

We loaded.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, someone from the airline came on and said the flight crew had been delayed in Chicago.

They would be here in about an hour.

An hour on top of the hour we had already sat there.

What airline puts people on the plane when its flight crew is still two hours away?

The flight attendants were rude, obnoxious , and told no one anything. They snapped when people asked questions. The would not respond to simple requests for water.

But that wasn't the weird part.

I tried to doze off, and suddenly I was snapped out of my semi-slumber by a noise.

Did somebody's kid just cough? Did somebody step on an infant?

"Tebow! Stop it!."

I admit, I was cranky, tired and confused, but a bark? Tebow?

"Tebow! Stop it!"

At that point it hit me.
There is a dog on the plane.

And she was talking to something that was barking.

Well, OK, so I couldn't really see the young lady, because she was in front of me.

But she had a dog in a small carrier. Barking. On a plane.

When did this start? What's wrong with the cage in the belly of the plane? What kind of airlines allows dogs?

Look, I love dogs. I get it when people really love dogs. But I would never bring a dog on an airplane.

Worse, the people next to the young lady got irritated, so she moved. To the seat behind me. Where "Tebow" was under my seat.

Tim Tebow would not like his namesake. He is small. He yaps like crazy, especially on takeoffs and landings. And he has a penchant for waking me up.

I can live with dirty airplanes that haven't been cleaned since the 1960s. I can live with long delays and not telling us what is going on. I can deal with being put on a plane for two hours before my flight crew arrives. I can even live with rude flight attendants who are pissed off they got turned down by Southwest.

But DOGS? On a plane?


At one point, I almost got up and went all Samuel L. on the dog.

"I have HAD IT with these m--------king Dogs, on this m--------king plane!"

Two can play at this game. I am bringing a tarantula on the way back. Lets see how long the pet policy lasts.

Southwest, I apologize for straying. It was a cheap, sordid affair. After Thursday, it won't happen again.

Unless you go dogs on me. Then I am riding in the belly with the luggage.

Just like I am doing now with AirTran.


Patricia D'Licia said...

Ahh Air Tran -
I liked how Air Tran kept me waiting for 3 hours after my scheduled departure time while maintaining that my flight was "On-Time" despite the fact that my plane had not yet left Atlanta to pick me up in Washington DC. All this, of course, on a late flight out. Because of their lies, I missed an opportunity to spend an extra night with family, which I would have liked, and got stuck in a nearby hotel at my own expense (albeit seriously discounted) with an entire hallway of junior high school students on a class trip. ugh.

There are things in life worth paying for. Avoiding Air Tran is one of those things.

Brandy Rose said...


Anonymous said...

Tell the hottie she picked a loser. And I don't mean at the track.

Jessica Littlejohn said...

Ah yes, AirTran and their need to stop in Atlanta. No matter where you are headed. I wanted to go see my Dad, in Kansas. I straight shot north. Short flight. AirTran wants to go to Atlanta first... No wonder airplane tickets are expensive, we're going all kinds of out of the way! I miss you Fred! You need to come see us at Cat's!

Anonymous said...

Southwest, as well as Airtran, allow dogs on their flights. The only stipulation is they have to fit under the seat in a animal carrier and they must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier with no restricted movement. And the reason the dog was not in the bin or "belly" as you call it is because Airtran, as well as Southwest, do not have pressurized cargo bins. If the dog were to be in the bin, or "belly" as you call it on an Airtran OR SOUTHWEST airplane the dog would have brain damage or be dead by the time the plane landed. Please don't bash an airline because of things that are inconvenient to you. Most airlines allows dogs in the passenger area in a carrier under the seat so don't bash Airtran because you had a bad experience. Southwest Airlines ALLOWS DOGS AS DOES AIRTRAN AIRWAYS. I have always had a good experience with Airtran and will always fly them no matter if I have to go to Atlanta or not. Oh and another thing, Airtran goes to Atlanta for most things because that is their biggest operation as far as flights. As well Southwest goes to Chicago-Midway for most flights. Las Vegas is Southwest's biggest operation and most of their flights on the west coast go through that airport. Every single airline in the world has a operation like this. They go to what is called a HUB station where they have a very large concentration of flights because that is where they deemed to be a good airport to concentrate a good portion of their assets.