Snow at Logan December 20, 2009

Stop the snow, stop the snow, stop the snow

I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to air travel. For the last several years I’ve had status on American Airlines. Once you have status, it’s hard to travel on airlines you don’t. Here’s a quick example…

Our flight to Denver has been delayed three hours. We arrived two hours early (just to make sure we had confirmed seats given how many other flights have been delayed thanks to the Storm of the Century). The line at the regular counter was insanely long. The line at first class was nonexistent. On American, I can pop up to any counter because of having status. With status (or priority access), you get to breeze through check-in and go through an extra-special security line (which isn’t all that super special, but they make it seem like it is so that you feel better).

Today on United, no status, no breeze-through, which meant, wait in the long line. Ok, not so bad right? I mean, we did have a five hour wait till our flight so why worry about waiting in a long line? Because I’m spoiled. And because frankly, there is no reason to wait in an incredibly long line if you don’t know whether all the other people are waiting to check in, or waiting to reschedule flights (I suspected the latter given all the delays).

I wanted to cut the line and go right to the computer check-ins. My travel partner, we’ll call Mr. K, did not agree. He wanted us to wait in the line. Everyone else was waiting in line, thus we should too.

But as I mentioned, I am spoiled. I walked up to the agent managing the line and inquired as to whether this line was for rescheduling or check in. She said it was for people waiting to talk to an agent. I said we were just checking in. “I’ll pull you from the line when you get closer,” was her response. Closer to what? There were 50 people waiting to talk to an agent, and 10 computers open with no one using them. We were about 45 people back…didn’t it make sense for us to just go use the computer now? Mr. K again disagreed and convinced me to be good and wait in the line.

Five minutes passed, ten, then fifteen. Did it matter? That meant we still had four hours and forty-five minutes till our flight. For me it did. I asked Mr. K to hold my bags and did the limbo under the ropes to get to the computers. I started the check-in process. We didn’t need an agent, we just needed our bags checked and our boarding passes printed.

I finished pressing all the right buttons, and Mr. K was convinced. He jumped from the line with our bags.

We checked in. Only four and a half hours left to wait! Hurrah.


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