Flight benefits for employees and retirees are somewhat diluted when the drawbacks are considered. For instance, I only get on the plane after all the paying passengers, upgrades and re-routed folks get a seat. And a weather situation in any part of the country can play havoc with my chances of said seat.
If I DO get on an international flight, I get served food after the paying folks have eaten. Once the revenue passengers have chosen their entrees and should I get any food, it’s what’s left---usually the butternut ravioli with the navy blue sauce.
Airline employees in other countries could care less if their fellow non-revs get on a flight. Ticket agents at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, France, wear the tightest pony tails imaginable and seem to enjoy giving me bad news. “Oh, so sorry, Madame. I cannot tell you what zee numbers are for zis flight even though I am looking right at zem on zis computer.”
Suppose I check my bag and don’t get on the last flight of the day. Yep, I have to spend the night in a nearby hotel . . . with NO eyeliner! And, one time it took me over 10 hours to get to Lubbock (6 by car). I am ingrained into the standby (or stand and say “Bye-bye”) way of life.
Lanny and I recently flew standby to Grand Junction, Colorado, to attend a wedding. We always try to get on a flight the day before our preferred arrival, in the event we miss our flight(s). In this case, we began in Terminal B, first enjoying a decadent salted caramel Cinnabon. Don’t know how Lanny got the signature frosting on his Stetson.
The first flight left without us, so we rolled our bags to Terminal A, where we ate a bowl of Chicken Enchilada Soup and a Quesadilla Explosion salad at Chili’s. After missing the next flight, we eased our full bellies to Terminal C and enjoyed frozen yogurt in a freshly-baked waffle cone at Ben & Jerry’s. By the time we missed yet another flight and traveled to Terminal D, we were barely hungry enough to eat an Auntie Anne’s warm pretzel with dipping sauce.
Finally, we changed our destination to Vail, Colorado, late that afternoon and were able to get on a flight. We boarded and Lanny removed his hat to store it in the overhead compartment. Then we plopped down and fastened our seat belts. The all-day wait gave his hair ample time to be inflicted with a severe case of cowboy hat-head. I surveyed his skull and suggested, “How ‘bout if you comb or fluff the dents out of your hair?”
“These passengers don’t care---they think they’re gonna die. Once we get in the air and level off, then they’ll get critical.”