I’ve made the trip to Argentina several times. I’ve made the trip with just my wife, and I’ve made the trip twice with my son; when he was 6 months and again when he was 2.
Each trip we show up to the airport three hours early, take an hour-long flight to a 3-hour layover in an overrun terminal where everyone is in a fantastic traveling mood. Then we board a 10 hour butt-numbing flight where passengers range from ecstatic to insane.
This trip wasn’t all that different. As usual, Delta kicked off our trip with a challenge. Today, contrary to our reservations, they put my wife and son in a different row than me on both flights. And as usual we attempted to get us grouped together.
ME: Can you help?
AGENT: Probably not.
ME: Figured as much. Would you mind pressing the keys on your keyboard and make it look like you care? Seriously, you can post to Facebook about how much of a pain it is to do your job. Just give the ruse some effort.
AGENT: What the hell. I’ll bang on these keys for a bit if it’ll make you feel better.
A few tweets and a couple of emails later and he was sticking to his story.
AGENT: There’s nothing for you guys this flight, and you’re next one is booked pretty solid. You’re going to have to talk to an agent in Atlanta about your next flight. Maybe something will open up.
And after an hour-long flight pressed up against a window because some people are clueless when it comes to personal space, we did. It took all of two minutes before we moved from rows 15 and 17 to row 40. FORTY! Well, at least we were together.
Here’s the kicker. By the time the plane reached cruising altitude, and I had an opportunity to get up and walk around, do you know what I saw? Twenty some odd passengers sprawled out across two and three seat sections. Multiple seats vacant. Including three by our previous row. WTF Delta?
Back on the ground, I’m settling in to my newfound seat in the plane’s cargo hold. I shoot off some last minute texts and emails before the plane takes off (man I really hope the dog sitter showed up). Things are going fine. Safety check. Number one for takeoff. Headphones plugged in. Seatback TV is on, wait, no it’s not. It’s stuck.
Looking around every other passenger is already deep into the opening credits of their chosen movie. Me, I’m watching some pixelated Chinese cartoon holding an unresponsive remote. I know, quite the first world problem.
Sidebar. On the previous two flights from Atlanta to BsAs my seatback TV was broken. Not anyone else’s. Mine! I know because I asked the flight attendant both times. What kind of luck is this? Anyway…
I press the call button. Flight attendant one promises a reset. Nada. Call button. Flight attendant two promises a reset. Nada. Call button. Flight attendant three promises a reset. Nada. Call button. Finally, after three broken promises the fourth flight attendant shows up, walks to the back (which is like one step ’cause I’m in row 40), flips the switch and 10 minutes later (the time it took for the TV to reset) I’m watching the Bourne Legacy.
Eight hours into my journey, things are going as they always do. Poorly.
Well almost. My son is asleep. Sure wish the Argentine soccer team behind me would follow my son’s lead.