The Not So Friendly Skies

I fly a lot. Well, more than most and less than a true road warrior.  I do, however, have Gold Medallion status on Delta, which should count for something. Occasionally I travel for an out of town job, but mostly I travel for fun. By fun, I mean the part of the trip in between the flights.

Flying can in no way be considered fun, or even tolerable anymore. Routes are absurd, staff is rude and security – well, don’t even get me started on that. The other day I was traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Washington-Dulles to visit my in-laws for the beginning of Passover. My itinerary took me from Fort Lauderdale to Detroit and then on to Dulles on Friday evening. Well, that is what was supposed to happen.

First of all, why would I fly through Detroit, instead of Atlanta? To save $300 on two tickets, that’s why. I was upgraded to First Class, and although I offered the seat to Florida Keys Guy, he insisted I take it. So I did, and I shuttled some first class drinks and snacks back to him in steerage, so all was not lost.  The flight attendant was one of the best I have seen. Joan, on flight 2391 from FLL to DTW was great. She called people by name (“Ms. Keys Girl, would you like another glass of wine?” “Why, yes I would, thank you”).

Sadly, that would be the end of the good service. The flight leaving FLL was delayed due to Delta holding the plane in Memphis to allow travelers to make the connecting flight. Unfortunately in Detroit they were not so accommodating. After a 45 minute delay, then sitting on the tarmac for another 40 minutes, we flew to Detroit, only to arrive and, once again, sit on the tarmac for half an hour. We flew off the plane and ran (literally, sprinting) from the end of the A concourse to the end of the C concourse, where we were told, several times, our plane will be waiting for us. We arrive at the gate, panting, to nobody there. The plane is there, but the door is closed and there is no gate agent.

I finally find an agent and when I explain the story she says “Nobody told me to hold the plane” and I say “but the plane is still there” and she gives me the finger. Well, not really but she may as well have, as that was her attitude. After a lot of yelling, an getting re-booked on a flight to National the next day, we were left to wait in line for another half an hour for someone to get us a hotel.

Fortunately, we got someone nice, and when I explained that I wanted to stay someplace decent, she f0und us a room at the Crowne Plaza. What I learned from this experience is: pretty much everyone that works in the Detroit airport is rude (except for one lone woman who got us a hotel) and always pack a swimsuit, as you never know if the crappy place you will be stuck has an indoor pool. Ours did.

Up next: Things to always pack in your carry on.