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Old 11-09-2001, 02:38 PM   #1
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November 9-12, 2001 (AUS-IAH-ATL-SFO-ATL-IAH-AUS)

November 9, 2001 AUS-IAH (Continental, seat 10D, 1023)

Jack, Ivo, and I arrived early at AUS. Jack and I were originally confirmed on the 1:45pm IAH-AUS, but wanted to fly with Ivo on the 12:40pm. I checked in at the e>service machine and was upgraded to 3A on my original flight, but was unable to change to the earlier flight. Jack was unable to check in at all on the e>service machine, so we proceeded to the First Class/Elite check-in line while Ivo waited in the regular line.

Jack checked in on the new flight without incident and was assigned 10F.

I asked for my flight to be changed and was given 10D. I mentioned that I wanted Ivo to be on the upgrade standby list as my gold companion. The agent was happy to help and even called him out of the main line to check in with her.

We relaxed at the Presidents Club for a few moments before heading down to Gate 16 for our flight. Boarded without incident and took our seats in row 10.

Right before the door closed, the gate agent walked onto the aircraft and started heading towards us. I took off my seatbelt and was ready to head up front.

“Mr. McWilliams?” the gate agent said as he looked over at us.
Jack responded and was asked if he wanted to ride “up front.” Jack replied in the affirmative and got up.

As soon as he walked by, I asked the gate agent if I was to be upgraded. He asked for my name and replied, “No, you’re wayyyy down there.”

>>”How? I’m a Gold and he’s a Silver, and I booked my flight a month before him, and I checked in before him.”

“Oh, well, he was in first class on his original flight.”

>>”But I was, too, and I got upgraded before him”

The gate agent shrugged and walked off.

Ivo and I were cramped in row 10 for the 25 minute flight.

(This is being posted from IAH Presidents Club South in Terminal C. Jack, Ivo, and I have time to kill since we took the earlier flight)
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Old 11-09-2001, 02:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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November 9-12, 2001 (AUS-IAH-ATL-SFO-ATL-IAH-AUS)

November 9, 2001 AUS-IAH (Continental, seat 10D, 1023)

Jack, Ivo, and I arrived early at AUS. Jack and I were originally confirmed on the 1:45pm IAH-AUS, but wanted to fly with Ivo on the 12:40pm. I checked in at the e>service machine and was upgraded to 3A on my original flight, but was unable to change to the earlier flight. Jack was unable to check in at all on the e>service machine, so we proceeded to the First Class/Elite check-in line while Ivo waited in the regular line.

Jack checked in on the new flight without incident and was assigned 10F.

I asked for my flight to be changed and was given 10D. I mentioned that I wanted Ivo to be on the upgrade standby list as my gold companion. The agent was happy to help and even called him out of the main line to check in with her.

We relaxed at the Presidents Club for a few moments before heading down to Gate 16 for our flight. Boarded without incident and took our seats in row 10.

Right before the door closed, the gate agent walked onto the aircraft and started heading towards us. I took off my seatbelt and was ready to head up front.

“Mr. McWilliams?” the gate agent said as he looked over at us.
Jack responded and was asked if he wanted to ride “up front.” Jack replied in the affirmative and got up.

As soon as he walked by, I asked the gate agent if I was to be upgraded. He asked for my name and replied, “No, you’re wayyyy down there.”

>>”How? I’m a Gold and he’s a Silver, and I booked my flight a month before him, and I checked in before him.”

“Oh, well, he was in first class on his original flight.”

>>”But I was, too, and I got upgraded before him”

The gate agent shrugged and walked off.

Ivo and I were cramped in row 10 for the 25 minute flight.

(This is being posted from IAH Presidents Club South in Terminal C. Jack, Ivo, and I have time to kill since we took the earlier flight)
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Old 11-10-2001, 12:22 PM   #3
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November 9, 2001 IAH-ATL (Continental 1620, 1A, 737-300)

Jack escorted me to the gate and hung around for a few minutes, before taking off for his flight. It was suggested that I upgrade a young, blond female that caught his attention so that he could get her number. However, he was uncomfortable with this approach since she appeared to be traveling with a group of friends. Alas. After he left, I probably heard the gate agents say, "Sorry, first class is checked in full" about twenty times. What was exceptionally humorous to me was there was a line of six or seven guys with elite tags that each asked the question. I was standing ~25ft away and could clearly hear the conversation, so I can't imagine what they were thinking.

One pax got upset with one of the gate agents and demanded a supervisor when they insisted that he fly with his bags. Apparently, he had flown standby to Houston and given up confirmed first class seats the whole way so that he could arrive in ATL a few hours earlier, and now he was being denied boarding to this flight. The charcoal-suit-supervisor was arriving from the jet way when I boarded. I saw him board, so apparently he had it taken care of. My girlfriend was similarly denied the ability to standby ATL-IAH a couple weeks ago for the same reason. Very annoying, especially since I know that they don¡¦t consistently match the pax with bags on domestic flights. Ahhh, I love the false appearance of security.

Flight boarded about ten minutes late and departed about five minutes late because it was late arriving. While our aircraft was in line for the runway, we pulled into the penalty box to allow an aircraft to pass. Sure enough, it was Jack's Continental Express plane that passed a very long line of 737s to get past us. First, he steals the upgrade, and now this! [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] He'll be making up for it by picking me up at AUS on Monday evening.

The first class FA decided to have things her own way. She refused to check anyone¡¦s jacket or coat until right before we took off. I'm not sure why, but she had to say 9 or 10 times, "I don't want to take your jacket now until after I do all the drink service." Usual Continental service is to take your jacket when you sit down, or when they take your drink order. After all, she's here primarily for our safety and I'm here for her convenience. [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

Seated in 1A, there was no seat in front of me. The FA would not let me slide my bag in the little holes under the bulkhead. I'm not sure if I¡¦m technically allowed to do that, but she made a big deal about it when I tried to convince her to let me. She was saying that, "if it was right after September 11th, you wouldn't question me."

While taxiing, the FA sparked a conversation in the front cabin about airline security. I was beginning to get into my well rehearsed opinion on the subject before it became clear that she had no idea what security really is and was brainwashed by the US president saying that "everything possible" had been done to ensure air travel security. She mentioned that she no longer closes the curtain between F and Y. I asked if this was a new procedure or if she was supposed to and she responded, "I can do whatever I want. I'm a flight attendant." I stopped contributing to the conversation at this point. Additionally, she was quick to point out that "[Continental] was the first to complete cockpit door reinforcements." This is not true, although I suspect I know why she thinks this; I heard Gordon announced in a Friday voicemail a couple weeks that they were almost done reinforcing all their aircraft and that he thought that they¡¦d be the first to finish. United Airlines was the first. I did not correct her -- she's a flight attendant! [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

After about 30 minutes at cruising altitude, I saw an interesting sight. In the distance, I saw a small jet approaching us. It came very close ¡V what appeared to be less than a mile away, before veering right (our left) and rapidly decreasing altitude. I have no depth perception, so distance is purely based on the apparent size of an object; accuracy may vary.

The "snack" served in FC was one of the usual "cold plate" that is serviced on shorter flights during meal time. Chicken, shrimp cocktail, vegetables, peanuts, chocolate, and a hot roll. This was my first opportunity eat today, so I devoured mine within minutes. It was very good, as usual, and was just enough food to get me by until dinner on my connecting flight.

Prior to landing, the FA sitting in the front jump seat shouted out, ¡§how far are we from the ground? How far?!¡¨ Everyone looked at her, out the window, and at each other, but nobody was sure enough to respond. Then, she shouted out, "Do I have time to close an overhead?" Quite a few of us replied in the affirmative, and she proceeded to sprint down and up the center aisle to shut an overhead bin in the complete back of the aircraft.

The rest of the arrival was smooth and we were in the terminal about five minutes early.
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Old 11-10-2001, 12:22 PM   #4
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November 9, 2001 IAH-ATL (Continental 1620, 1A, 737-300)

Jack escorted me to the gate and hung around for a few minutes, before taking off for his flight. It was suggested that I upgrade a young, blond female that caught his attention so that he could get her number. However, he was uncomfortable with this approach since she appeared to be traveling with a group of friends. Alas. After he left, I probably heard the gate agents say, "Sorry, first class is checked in full" about twenty times. What was exceptionally humorous to me was there was a line of six or seven guys with elite tags that each asked the question. I was standing ~25ft away and could clearly hear the conversation, so I can't imagine what they were thinking.

One pax got upset with one of the gate agents and demanded a supervisor when they insisted that he fly with his bags. Apparently, he had flown standby to Houston and given up confirmed first class seats the whole way so that he could arrive in ATL a few hours earlier, and now he was being denied boarding to this flight. The charcoal-suit-supervisor was arriving from the jet way when I boarded. I saw him board, so apparently he had it taken care of. My girlfriend was similarly denied the ability to standby ATL-IAH a couple weeks ago for the same reason. Very annoying, especially since I know that they don¡¦t consistently match the pax with bags on domestic flights. Ahhh, I love the false appearance of security.

Flight boarded about ten minutes late and departed about five minutes late because it was late arriving. While our aircraft was in line for the runway, we pulled into the penalty box to allow an aircraft to pass. Sure enough, it was Jack's Continental Express plane that passed a very long line of 737s to get past us. First, he steals the upgrade, and now this! [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] He'll be making up for it by picking me up at AUS on Monday evening.

The first class FA decided to have things her own way. She refused to check anyone¡¦s jacket or coat until right before we took off. I'm not sure why, but she had to say 9 or 10 times, "I don't want to take your jacket now until after I do all the drink service." Usual Continental service is to take your jacket when you sit down, or when they take your drink order. After all, she's here primarily for our safety and I'm here for her convenience. [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

Seated in 1A, there was no seat in front of me. The FA would not let me slide my bag in the little holes under the bulkhead. I'm not sure if I¡¦m technically allowed to do that, but she made a big deal about it when I tried to convince her to let me. She was saying that, "if it was right after September 11th, you wouldn't question me."

While taxiing, the FA sparked a conversation in the front cabin about airline security. I was beginning to get into my well rehearsed opinion on the subject before it became clear that she had no idea what security really is and was brainwashed by the US president saying that "everything possible" had been done to ensure air travel security. She mentioned that she no longer closes the curtain between F and Y. I asked if this was a new procedure or if she was supposed to and she responded, "I can do whatever I want. I'm a flight attendant." I stopped contributing to the conversation at this point. Additionally, she was quick to point out that "[Continental] was the first to complete cockpit door reinforcements." This is not true, although I suspect I know why she thinks this; I heard Gordon announced in a Friday voicemail a couple weeks that they were almost done reinforcing all their aircraft and that he thought that they¡¦d be the first to finish. United Airlines was the first. I did not correct her -- she's a flight attendant! [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

After about 30 minutes at cruising altitude, I saw an interesting sight. In the distance, I saw a small jet approaching us. It came very close ¡V what appeared to be less than a mile away, before veering right (our left) and rapidly decreasing altitude. I have no depth perception, so distance is purely based on the apparent size of an object; accuracy may vary.

The "snack" served in FC was one of the usual "cold plate" that is serviced on shorter flights during meal time. Chicken, shrimp cocktail, vegetables, peanuts, chocolate, and a hot roll. This was my first opportunity eat today, so I devoured mine within minutes. It was very good, as usual, and was just enough food to get me by until dinner on my connecting flight.

Prior to landing, the FA sitting in the front jump seat shouted out, ¡§how far are we from the ground? How far?!¡¨ Everyone looked at her, out the window, and at each other, but nobody was sure enough to respond. Then, she shouted out, "Do I have time to close an overhead?" Quite a few of us replied in the affirmative, and she proceeded to sprint down and up the center aisle to shut an overhead bin in the complete back of the aircraft.

The rest of the arrival was smooth and we were in the terminal about five minutes early.
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Old 11-13-2001, 12:47 AM   #5
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November 9, 2001 ATL-SFO (Delta 221, 4B/1B, 757-200)

I arrived in ATL and headed to gate A1, where a DL agent had informed me that my flight would be leaving from. I noticed as I walked to A1 that the destination indicated on the monitor over the gate was not SFO. I thought it might be a mistake, so I walked up to the gate desk, where seven Delta employees stood around chatting with each other. I stood there and was ignored for about 45 seconds before one of the gate agents informed me that the SFO flight would now be leaving out of A6.

I walked back to A6 (you walk by 6 to get to 1) and proceeded to the gate desk, which was unattended. I stood in front of the desk, hoping to attract a gate agent. A line of 5 or 6 other passengers gathered behind me within a few minutes while I waited, waited, and waited. The flight was scheduled to begin boarding in 25 minutes, so I was hardly early for check-in. I waited some more. Finally, after about 12 or 13 minutes, I saw the most lethargic woman of my life slowly walk down the concourse and head towards the gate. She took perhaps the longest possible route as she wandered towards the gate. She checked me in without incident and I went to sit down to await boarding.

I watched Delta’s plasma screens with minute-by-minute boarding information. Really sleek, except in my case, where there was no correlation to the actual boarding time. I stood up during the beginning of boarding announcements and was ready to be the first to board. Just before I presented my boarding pass, I heard an announcement overhead, “Passenger Baker, please approach the gate desk.”

I was selected for a ‘random’ security check. My favorite lethargic gate agent had put some latex gloves on and was ready to do the security check. I wasn’t bothered by this (although annoyed that I’d miss by priority boarding and possibly lose overhead space) until I watched her carefully and noticed that she missed a bottom compartment in my suitcase that has my keys, key ring, and such. Although she thoroughly searched the rest of my carry-ons, every piece of clothing, etc, ignoring one compartment completely invalidates the entire search. I had to boot my laptop for her, turn on my PalmV, cell phone, rim, mp3 player, Bose headphones, and a few other devices. After she said I was all clear, she wanded me down, commented that she liked my shoes, and I was on my way.

Once on the 757, I turned left and headed to my seat. Of course, there was no overhead space left over row 4 after my extended “security” delay.

The first class cabin of a 757 is pretty cramped. I think it has one more row of seats than the continental 757s that I’m used to. Additionally, much of the cabin looked very dated. The full-size TV monitors that hung down from the ceiling very much dated the plane.

The hot towel service consisted of little white towels that were soaking wet in scalding hot water. After my seatmate made a mess with his towel, I held mine over the aisle and squeezed out an incredibly amount of water.

Dinner was a choice of steak with potatoes (my choice), salmon with green beans, or chicken with couscous. When the FA brought out my linens, I was unable to pull up my tray table. After we both made multiple attempts at getting it to come up, she apologized profusely and moved me to an empty seat, 1B. Dinner was served with a small appetizer, your main course, and chocolate sundaes for desert.

Towards the end of the flight, I wandered up to the front galley to get something to drink. Forgetting that Delta only serves Coca Cola products (ATL-based company, go figure!), I asked for a Dr. Pepper and ultimately engaged in a long discussion with the FAs about who owns Dr. Pepper and so forth. I spent the last 45 minutes chatting with the very bored FAs and getting the scoop on the pax in the front cabin. They told me about a passenger on the flight who had given his seat in F to his girlfriend, and then tried to “steal” the seat next to her by getting the gentlemen in that seat to move to an available seat in the front. He ultimately couldn’t convince the FAs to “cut him some slack,” or the gate agent to legitimately upgrade his girlfriend. So, after takeoff, he made another move to the front cabin. He was again asked to leave. This time, he took his girlfriend, but then demanded that his F meal is served to him in coach, which they refused to do.

We arrived without incident in SFO about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

November 12, 2001 SFO-ATL (Delta 2167, 1B, 767-200)

It was raining in SFO. I arrived at the airport about an hour before the flight. After waiting in the first class/medallion check-in line at the front ticket counter for about 10 minutes, I was checked in without incident. I asked for a priority tag to be put on my checked bag, but the ticket agent said that there was already a first class tag on the bag. She pointed to a tiny little part of the tag on the bag that said (in a small font) “FIRST.” Incredibly useful. I considered protesting, especially since I could see the green “PRIORITY” tags in plain view, but didn’t feel motivated enough to bother.

When going through security, I was (of course) selected to be pulled aside to get wanded down. I hate, hate, hate, that the idiots won’t let me get my laptop and bags before being searched. I dislike that anyone can run off with my things while I’m ~25feet away, or that my bag with my laptop is being slammed into the end of the x-ray machine while the large suitcases hit it from the other side. Most of the procedures don’t actually increase security, so I guess it’s reasonable to institute some ones that decrease another form of security. They don’t ultimately care if my briefcase with thousands of dollars of electronic gear, my US passport, and countless business documents are stolen. They’re protecting the nation from the people that are paying their hourly wage, after all. Bless them.

Although most security people will ask me to fold down my belt buckle or left up my pant legs, this guy felt comfortable doing all that himself, which involved touching my pants and belt area quite a bit. While holding the wand, the phone that I handed him from my pocket, and pulling out my belt buckle, I said, “Wow, it feels like it’s already Friday!” He failed to see the humor.

Right before the flight was to begin boarding, the gate agent announced that the flight attendants were caught in traffic and that they’d be arriving in 10-15 minutes. 20 minutes later, the flight attendants arrived, boarded, and began their pre-departure checks. We boarded about 35 minutes late and ultimately took off about 50 minutes after schedule.

The 767 cabin was almost as dated as the 757 that I flew to SFO. There was pretty limited space in the F cabin and no personal entertainment systems. An older Woody Allen film was playing on the projection screen along with some incredibly lame CNN made-for-air “news” and E! “Celebrity Homes” show.

Lunch was offered with a choice of a steak with potatoes (my choice), chicken risotto, or asparagus pizza. Of course, ice cream sundaes were offered after the meal. Service was very good throughout the flight.


November 12,2001 ATL-AUS (Delta 1643, 2B, MD8

Quote:
Involuntary Reroute
November 12, 2001 ATL-IAH (Continental 1021, 3F, 737-300)
November 12, 2001 IAH-AUS (Continental 223, 5C, 737-800)

Since my DL SFO-ATL flight was late, I missed my CO ATL-IAH flight, which was Continental’s last flight of the day out of Atlanta. Continental was gracious enough to protect me on a DL ATL-AUS flight after asking very nicely and presenting my gold elite card, even though they were separate reservations and under no obligation to do.

After having CO endorse my tickets over to DL, I proceeded to the gate area for my flight to AUS. I was told that I couldn’t check in until one hour before the flight. Completely understandable since it was about one hour and five minutes before the flight and I wouldn’t want to interrupt her flirting with another DL employee.

I waited five minutes and then I checked in and was given a coach boarding pass. I pointed out that I was involuntary rerouted by CO as a result of DL’s delayed flight and that I lost my confirmed first class seats on CO as a result of their error and didn’t want to get downgraded because of that. The DL gate agent looked at me directly and said, “It happens every day and it’s not my problem.” After graciously and sincerely persisting with a warm attitude, she ceased to respond to any of my questions and after a few prods just said, “Find a red coat if you want.” Lovely girl.

I walked down the customer service center that’s just a few gates down and explained the situation. He was much friendlier about it and agreed with my position, but said he didn’t have the authority to confirm me in F since CO had only purchased a full Y ticket for me. I ultimately used 5000 Skymiles to upgrade and he cleared me a seat immediately. End result is that I don’t have to sit in cattle class for two hours, but it still left a sour taste in my mouth. Arguably, it was my risk to book two reservations back to back, but it truly would have been a good customer service move to put me in F for the flight, especially since it was 50% empty.

I walked back to the gate and saw “BAK/D 2B” on the top of the cleared list on one of Delta’s beautiful plasma screens. Although I could board with my original boarding pass and get a new receipt printed immediately, I decided to be a bit of a jerk and go ask the rude gate agent. She was less than thrilled to print out my new boarding pass for me, but I enjoyed the awkwardness.

I was the lucky winner of another security check. Again, I was able to make it through the extended security screening while having some compartments not checked, even though he went as far as to examine the inside of the top of my shaving crème, cologne, etc. I chatted with him while he did his “security” check and he admitted that the screenings were not random. He explained that those with usual traveling patterns and such are selected by the computer and their boarding passes are flagged. He complimented my luggage set and not my shoes this time, although the shoes that were complimented by an earlier DL agent were in the luggage that he searched. :smilie:

At one point when he was sorting through my boxer shorts in front of a large group of people, I asked him, “do you think that this is more awkward for me, or you?”

“Me. No question. It’s really bad doing this and they’re eventually going to get someone else,” he responded, “This is so weird going through someone else’s stuff.”

“Fair enough,” I responded and let him close up my bag and start to wand me down.

After clearing the security check, I boarded the flight and chatted with Jack via my RIM until wheels up. Usual late-night beverage only service with a few packaged snacks offered in F.
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Old 11-13-2001, 12:47 AM   #6
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November 9, 2001 ATL-SFO (Delta 221, 4B/1B, 757-200)

I arrived in ATL and headed to gate A1, where a DL agent had informed me that my flight would be leaving from. I noticed as I walked to A1 that the destination indicated on the monitor over the gate was not SFO. I thought it might be a mistake, so I walked up to the gate desk, where seven Delta employees stood around chatting with each other. I stood there and was ignored for about 45 seconds before one of the gate agents informed me that the SFO flight would now be leaving out of A6.

I walked back to A6 (you walk by 6 to get to 1) and proceeded to the gate desk, which was unattended. I stood in front of the desk, hoping to attract a gate agent. A line of 5 or 6 other passengers gathered behind me within a few minutes while I waited, waited, and waited. The flight was scheduled to begin boarding in 25 minutes, so I was hardly early for check-in. I waited some more. Finally, after about 12 or 13 minutes, I saw the most lethargic woman of my life slowly walk down the concourse and head towards the gate. She took perhaps the longest possible route as she wandered towards the gate. She checked me in without incident and I went to sit down to await boarding.

I watched Delta’s plasma screens with minute-by-minute boarding information. Really sleek, except in my case, where there was no correlation to the actual boarding time. I stood up during the beginning of boarding announcements and was ready to be the first to board. Just before I presented my boarding pass, I heard an announcement overhead, “Passenger Baker, please approach the gate desk.”

I was selected for a ‘random’ security check. My favorite lethargic gate agent had put some latex gloves on and was ready to do the security check. I wasn’t bothered by this (although annoyed that I’d miss by priority boarding and possibly lose overhead space) until I watched her carefully and noticed that she missed a bottom compartment in my suitcase that has my keys, key ring, and such. Although she thoroughly searched the rest of my carry-ons, every piece of clothing, etc, ignoring one compartment completely invalidates the entire search. I had to boot my laptop for her, turn on my PalmV, cell phone, rim, mp3 player, Bose headphones, and a few other devices. After she said I was all clear, she wanded me down, commented that she liked my shoes, and I was on my way.

Once on the 757, I turned left and headed to my seat. Of course, there was no overhead space left over row 4 after my extended “security” delay.

The first class cabin of a 757 is pretty cramped. I think it has one more row of seats than the continental 757s that I’m used to. Additionally, much of the cabin looked very dated. The full-size TV monitors that hung down from the ceiling very much dated the plane.

The hot towel service consisted of little white towels that were soaking wet in scalding hot water. After my seatmate made a mess with his towel, I held mine over the aisle and squeezed out an incredibly amount of water.

Dinner was a choice of steak with potatoes (my choice), salmon with green beans, or chicken with couscous. When the FA brought out my linens, I was unable to pull up my tray table. After we both made multiple attempts at getting it to come up, she apologized profusely and moved me to an empty seat, 1B. Dinner was served with a small appetizer, your main course, and chocolate sundaes for desert.

Towards the end of the flight, I wandered up to the front galley to get something to drink. Forgetting that Delta only serves Coca Cola products (ATL-based company, go figure!), I asked for a Dr. Pepper and ultimately engaged in a long discussion with the FAs about who owns Dr. Pepper and so forth. I spent the last 45 minutes chatting with the very bored FAs and getting the scoop on the pax in the front cabin. They told me about a passenger on the flight who had given his seat in F to his girlfriend, and then tried to “steal” the seat next to her by getting the gentlemen in that seat to move to an available seat in the front. He ultimately couldn’t convince the FAs to “cut him some slack,” or the gate agent to legitimately upgrade his girlfriend. So, after takeoff, he made another move to the front cabin. He was again asked to leave. This time, he took his girlfriend, but then demanded that his F meal is served to him in coach, which they refused to do.

We arrived without incident in SFO about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

November 12, 2001 SFO-ATL (Delta 2167, 1B, 767-200)

It was raining in SFO. I arrived at the airport about an hour before the flight. After waiting in the first class/medallion check-in line at the front ticket counter for about 10 minutes, I was checked in without incident. I asked for a priority tag to be put on my checked bag, but the ticket agent said that there was already a first class tag on the bag. She pointed to a tiny little part of the tag on the bag that said (in a small font) “FIRST.” Incredibly useful. I considered protesting, especially since I could see the green “PRIORITY” tags in plain view, but didn’t feel motivated enough to bother.

When going through security, I was (of course) selected to be pulled aside to get wanded down. I hate, hate, hate, that the idiots won’t let me get my laptop and bags before being searched. I dislike that anyone can run off with my things while I’m ~25feet away, or that my bag with my laptop is being slammed into the end of the x-ray machine while the large suitcases hit it from the other side. Most of the procedures don’t actually increase security, so I guess it’s reasonable to institute some ones that decrease another form of security. They don’t ultimately care if my briefcase with thousands of dollars of electronic gear, my US passport, and countless business documents are stolen. They’re protecting the nation from the people that are paying their hourly wage, after all. Bless them.

Although most security people will ask me to fold down my belt buckle or left up my pant legs, this guy felt comfortable doing all that himself, which involved touching my pants and belt area quite a bit. While holding the wand, the phone that I handed him from my pocket, and pulling out my belt buckle, I said, “Wow, it feels like it’s already Friday!” He failed to see the humor.

Right before the flight was to begin boarding, the gate agent announced that the flight attendants were caught in traffic and that they’d be arriving in 10-15 minutes. 20 minutes later, the flight attendants arrived, boarded, and began their pre-departure checks. We boarded about 35 minutes late and ultimately took off about 50 minutes after schedule.

The 767 cabin was almost as dated as the 757 that I flew to SFO. There was pretty limited space in the F cabin and no personal entertainment systems. An older Woody Allen film was playing on the projection screen along with some incredibly lame CNN made-for-air “news” and E! “Celebrity Homes” show.

Lunch was offered with a choice of a steak with potatoes (my choice), chicken risotto, or asparagus pizza. Of course, ice cream sundaes were offered after the meal. Service was very good throughout the flight.


November 12,2001 ATL-AUS (Delta 1643, 2B, MD8

Quote:
Involuntary Reroute
November 12, 2001 ATL-IAH (Continental 1021, 3F, 737-300)
November 12, 2001 IAH-AUS (Continental 223, 5C, 737-800)

Since my DL SFO-ATL flight was late, I missed my CO ATL-IAH flight, which was Continental’s last flight of the day out of Atlanta. Continental was gracious enough to protect me on a DL ATL-AUS flight after asking very nicely and presenting my gold elite card, even though they were separate reservations and under no obligation to do.

After having CO endorse my tickets over to DL, I proceeded to the gate area for my flight to AUS. I was told that I couldn’t check in until one hour before the flight. Completely understandable since it was about one hour and five minutes before the flight and I wouldn’t want to interrupt her flirting with another DL employee.

I waited five minutes and then I checked in and was given a coach boarding pass. I pointed out that I was involuntary rerouted by CO as a result of DL’s delayed flight and that I lost my confirmed first class seats on CO as a result of their error and didn’t want to get downgraded because of that. The DL gate agent looked at me directly and said, “It happens every day and it’s not my problem.” After graciously and sincerely persisting with a warm attitude, she ceased to respond to any of my questions and after a few prods just said, “Find a red coat if you want.” Lovely girl.

I walked down the customer service center that’s just a few gates down and explained the situation. He was much friendlier about it and agreed with my position, but said he didn’t have the authority to confirm me in F since CO had only purchased a full Y ticket for me. I ultimately used 5000 Skymiles to upgrade and he cleared me a seat immediately. End result is that I don’t have to sit in cattle class for two hours, but it still left a sour taste in my mouth. Arguably, it was my risk to book two reservations back to back, but it truly would have been a good customer service move to put me in F for the flight, especially since it was 50% empty.

I walked back to the gate and saw “BAK/D 2B” on the top of the cleared list on one of Delta’s beautiful plasma screens. Although I could board with my original boarding pass and get a new receipt printed immediately, I decided to be a bit of a jerk and go ask the rude gate agent. She was less than thrilled to print out my new boarding pass for me, but I enjoyed the awkwardness.

I was the lucky winner of another security check. Again, I was able to make it through the extended security screening while having some compartments not checked, even though he went as far as to examine the inside of the top of my shaving crème, cologne, etc. I chatted with him while he did his “security” check and he admitted that the screenings were not random. He explained that those with usual traveling patterns and such are selected by the computer and their boarding passes are flagged. He complimented my luggage set and not my shoes this time, although the shoes that were complimented by an earlier DL agent were in the luggage that he searched. :smilie:

At one point when he was sorting through my boxer shorts in front of a large group of people, I asked him, “do you think that this is more awkward for me, or you?”

“Me. No question. It’s really bad doing this and they’re eventually going to get someone else,” he responded, “This is so weird going through someone else’s stuff.”

“Fair enough,” I responded and let him close up my bag and start to wand me down.

After clearing the security check, I boarded the flight and chatted with Jack via my RIM until wheels up. Usual late-night beverage only service with a few packaged snacks offered in F.
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