I really enjoy Southwest airlines service. It is not overly convenient for me as they have a limited presence in airports under an hour from me, but I have been known to drive 90-100 miles to use Southwest.
A little-known fact about Southwest is that if you have a high seating number within the C list, you are at risk of not getting a seat at all. If the flight is overbooked, then all of the seats will be full when you get to the plane and the gate agent won’t let you on to the plane.
I never fly Southwest without paying the slightly higher cost of Early Bird seating. This will typically get you place in line in the mid-to-high A list, or in a really popular flight, a low B number.
I fly a lot. I typically do close to 100,000 miles in a year.
Anyone that frequently flies goes into what I call Airport Mode. This mode essentially means you zone out other people. You ignore crying babies. You are indifferent to people that talk loudly. You tolerate idiots that cannot squeeze their tuba-sized suitcase into the overhead bins.
The hardest thing to ignore is a bruised shoulder. This happens when an inconsiderate person insists on wearing their book bag on the plane and then smashes it against your shoulder while they are walking down the aisle.
Your book bag doesn’t make you rude when you are walking in a straight line. However, when you turn it is quite likely that you don’t realize that you are now quite deep.
I travel a great deal for my job. It is not unusual for me to be in a hotel 1-3 days a week. I don’t enjoy the travel, but it is part of my life and my employement so I tolerate the effort and inconvenience.
With that travel schedule, I am frequently having a late dinner in the hotel bar. Invariably, I am accompanied by salespeople and business travelers from all over the US. We are sitting in the hotel bar, having a drink, and trying to find something decent on the menu for dinner. We don’t really want to sit in our underwear in our room with room service.
In almost all cases, the hotel bar television is playing a game. That game is a NBA basketball game, a NHL hockey game, or a MLB baseball game. The kicker is that 90% of the time, the game is the local team. It is rarely the best game for the evening, but rather the local team regardless of the sport.
I do not fly on Spirit Airlines. They don’t have regular service to the city that I live in so I have not had an opportunity to board one of their planes. I say this simply because my comments below need to be put in context.
I agree with their policy of charging for carry-on luggage.
I am sick and tired of getting to the airplane on time, quickly and efficiently getting to my seat with my one computer bag, settling in with a good magazine and my iPhone, and then watching all of the other idiots try to stuff all of their earthly possessions into the overhead compartment.
With the current scare regarding Swine Flu (more appropriately called H1N1 flu), I want to remind my readers to not drink from hotel glasses unless you are VERY confident that they use appropriate cleaning measures to clean their cups and glasses. It does no good to ask at the front desk when you check in, of course they are going to say that they are following laws. If you aren’t sure, ask the front desk for paper cups to take your morning vitamins.
My rule of thumb is simple. I look for a maid cart. If I see a cart and it has DIRTY glasses that the maid has been collecting to take downstairs to be cleaned, I assume proper techniques are being used. If I can’t find a cart or if that cart has not collected dirty glasses, then I assume the maid is cleaning the glasses in the toilet.
I travel a fair amount in my job. I also need to be connected to the web regularly so I carry a Windows Mobile based phone so that I can get email quickly and occasionally go out to a site.
Even though I carry this phone, I still need to hook up my laptop on an occasional basis. This allows me to grab emails that are too big, have attachments that I can’t read on my phone or check a site that doesn’t format down to my phone (I am sure that I will rant about these things in the future).
But as I sit here on the floor of an airport leaning against the wall just so I can get some more power, I am fuming. Why can’t airports realize that their best customers are businesspeople that need access to power? As I write this post, I have had a dozen people look at me with envy because I found the outlet. Two people have even whispered to me to let them know when I am almost done so that they can get in line for my wonderful floor seat.