Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Southwest Airlines is going downhill...

I used to like flying Southwest. It was quirky and cheap but still comfortable and easy to deal with, once you had the routine down. And if you sat in the back of the plane, you were just as likely to have an empty set in the middle of your row as not. But the last few flights have not been fun, at all, and this last one to and from Seattle was a pain both ways.

First off, the planes are always packed. I'm getting to think that if they don't have 95% capacity on the flight, they'll cancel it. So no more empty seats by you unless you're really lucky. And the later the flight is in the day, the more likely it is they'll be running late. Then god help you if you've got to make a tight connection.

That happened to me going from Seattle to Buffalo. I had to change planes in Chicago and had just a 50 minute window to do it. That's not time enough to eat or anything, especially since they like to put connections at opposite ends of the terminal. On top of that, they start loading half an hour before the flight and if you're not in the A group, you're screwed. Well...the flight was 20 minutes late getting away from Seattle and an additional 10 minutes late getting into Chicago. On top of it, I had to go from B2 to B26, which was nearly half a mile away. I got there just as they were loading my group in.

Then we got off half an hour late from Chicago because the bags were still being transferred from my flight. I didn't get home till after 1am. And as if to add insult to injury, I was serenaded the whole way by a couple dozen college girls giggling and singing Disney Tunes, which were too loud to be drowned out by my ear buds. If I ever hear "The Circle of Life" again, I'll kill somebody.

I should have done Jet Blue's redeye on Monday night. It's a bit more expensive, but most everybody sleeps on that plane and you get in and up to Buffalo the following morning and can nap enough to take you till that evening. Not a good idea, staying the extra day and taking a day flight.

Live and learn...they say...but I don't believe them.

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