Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I. Love. C.A.C.A.


This just in: my vacation is off to a scintillating start. I arrived in time for my 1:30 flight to Honolulu, but not in time for my pre-flight checking of baggage, which, I was duly informed by the Colossal Assholes of Continental Airlines, or C.A.C.A., must take place at least 30 minutes before the flight leaves. Now, I did get a late start, I'll admit, but I was at Penn Station by 11:40, at Newark Airport by 12:30, and at the terminal by 12:40. My folly? I was first delayed by a C.A.C.A. fucktard who thought that Honolulu was in a foreign country and who initially directed me to the International check-in line before I informed her that Hawaii is in fact an American State. Precious seconds were lost during this senseless colloquy. But where I really fucked up was in deciding to wait in the stupid domestic line and not asking them to move me up. (Had I been fully aware of the aforementioned 30-minute rule and its dire consequences, I would have.)

So by the time I got to the check-in counter, it was 12:57 p.m. I tried to check in at the kiosk and they told me to see a representative. By then it was 12:58 p.m. I then waited the last two minutes while C.A.C.A. Douchebag A flirted with C.A.C.A. Douchebag B, oblivious to my situation. By the time they decided to pay attention, it was too late. They told me that I could not check my bag and could not get on the flight even though it wasn't leaving for another 29 minutes. It was an Are-You-Fucking-Kidding-Me moment, and for literally 10 seconds, I was wearing Nick Cage's face in Honeymoon In Vegas, when he finds out that he just lost a shitload of money to James Caan in a poker game. This made no sense to me whatsoever, since I can't count how many times they've allowed people to check baggage at the gate if it's too big, or won't fit in an overhead.

Can't I just take the flight and pick my bag up tomorrow on another flight? No, you have to fly with your bag, C.A.C.A. Douchebag A informed me. What I should have said is that C.A.C.A. and other incompetent airlines like USAir have no problem allowing your bag to fly by itself when they happen lose it. Then, it's perfectly okay. That's happened to me twice. When C.A.C.A. Douchebag A told me that there were no more flights today and I'd have to leave tomorrow "on standby," that's when I got a little pissed and tried the "is there someone else I can talk to" line. The C.A.C.A. Douchebags practically laughed in my face as they directed me to C.A.C.A. Douchebag C, their barrel-bodied "manager," who confirmed for me with attitude that I was the one who was late, and it was my own fault. Thanks for working with me C.A.C.A. Manager. C.A.C.A. Douchebag A then tried to "help" me get another flight, and he claimed there was only one, a flight to San Francisco the next day, which would take me to Hawaii. I didn't trust him, because he'd been such a snappy prick earlier, so I tried calling my secretary, who always manages to be away from her desk when I need her the most. I tried two others and hit paydirt on the third one. She connected me to my firm's travel agency, who got me on a flight on C.A., which leaves at 8:40 p.m. tonight. After getting the ticket, I was subsequently assisted by the only non-C.A.C.A. employee I encountered today, a petite cutie bearing the initials A.R. Elapsed time standing at the check-in desk: 1.5 hours. So, looks like I'll be going to Vega$ -- Vega$ Baby, Vega$!!! -- then on to Honolulu, arriving at the ass crack of dawn, at 5:45 a.m. Ooooooh, this is going to be great!

You may be asking, T., why the fuck are you flying out of Newark Airport in the first place? You live a stone's through from J.F.K. and LaGuardia. That is a legitimate question. I'm flying out of Newark because, once upon a time last summer, H. and I were supposed to go to Mexico together on vacation. When those plans er, fell through, H. was gracious enough to give me the ticket to use as I please. The catch? It had to be on Continental. On the next to last day before the ticket expired, I booked my trip to Hawaii and decided to use it. "Hey, I'm saving money, this is great." Alas, Continental only flies direct to Honolulu from Newark Airport. So here we are. Now, unless C.A.C.A. reimburses me for the lost ticket, I'm going to take a bath on this. Thank you, C.A.C.A., may I have another?

The upside, I'm getting some writing in and learning another life lesson about patience, which is really my Achille's Heel. Oh, and by this time tomorrow, assuming I can stay awake and nothing else fucked up happens, my hairy ass will be in a beach chair on Waikiki sipping a Stella or something equally satisfying.

So eat THAT, C.A.C.A. (Say that 20 times fast)

6 comments:

k said...

Vegas?!!! that's money baby! Make sure you play the slots for me - and have a fabu time in Hawaii! Whenever it is that you get there. :)

PS... now I am really glad I didn't take you up on your (very gracious) invitation to come with you. I don't think I could have handled another saga compliments of the lovely employess at Newark. I bet you haven't forgotten my Newark story - have you t? lol

T. said...

Oh I don't think that any of my invitees would have enjoyed today very much. But now I'm in Vega$ - halfway there. I'm tempted to blow off this wedding and just spend a week at the craps table. Okay, with maybe a little Cirque du Soleil and Olympic Gardens thrown in.

Sally Tomato said...

Darlin, I feel you. These airlines - I feel like I'm cattle when I'm traveling. Seriously, I was folded up like a Nutella crepe in my seat for the flight back last week. And Heathrow? Don't get me started. I've decided if it weren't for the traveling part of traveling, I'd do it a lot more. Flying anymore is soul crushing.

That said, have a great time!

KatieG said...

ohhhhhh, that's awful!!!! I'm a HUGE fan of C.A., but then again, they've always been just CA - and not the additional, CA preface....

Tomorrow I'm flying USAir...which i always vow never to fly again after the experience...but, there's only so many flights into Augusta, GA from NYC (about 10, exactly, so pickins are slim)

I hope you finally make it, and enjoy lots of fruity drinks. you are missing NOTHING at work. well, some dramatics, as always... maybe you could call in to a conference call from your beach chair on sunday afternoon...

have a great time...

T. said...

@S - Thank you. Now that I've been here a couple of days and have acquired a nasty sunburn, the bad times are forgotten. I hope your trip to Scotland was fun. I'm looking forward to reading about it.

@KG - USAir is worse than CA. They lost two of my bags on back to back trips a few years ago, and now I avoid them whenever possible. I did enjoy a fruity drink called a Catamaran last night. Quite tasty. I hope your trip to Atlanta went smoothly. No conference calls for me until I get back....

KatieG said...

yep, as expected, US Air lost my luggage and rerouted me on the way home. still no luggage, and Charlotte airport was a disaster this morning...

work sucks.

atlanta trip was good. Tigers beat the Braves 2-1. great seats.

hope you're having a wonderful time. (oh, also, Mark says he hates you and cant' believe you got out of this.)