Air on the Side of Caution

Your America West Itinerary

Travel Itinerary

Thank you for choosing America West for your airline. Below is your travel itinerary. We’ve done everything you can to remind you that you’re flying America West at all times. We know that you’re going home to surprise your father for his birthday, so we’re going to make sure to keep it full of suspense and fun!

2:00am. (pacific) Friday morning: Finish your work, turn in your Gilmore Girls recap, pass out.

5:00am. Good morning! Wake up! Shower. Pack. Gather last minute things. Charge computer. Find all adapters for cell phone and computer. Leave, sure that you’ve forgotten something.

6:00am. Say goodbye to Eric at the airport. He repeats, “Call me if you need anything” so many times, you’ll be sure to think he’s jinxed your flight.

6:10am. Decide not to smoke a cigarette, but check in at the gate just to be sure.

6:30am. We’re going to ask you for a ticket. You’ll say that you’re e-ticketed. We’ll tell you that you aren’t. Here’s where you start to kinda cry and we hand you a 5-minute phone card to call someone who cares. We will not let you on the plane. At all. We’ll tell you that you have purchased a plane ticket, and we can see that you’ve paid for it, but we won’t let you on the plane without a piece of paper that says so. Yes, we could make you one, but we won’t.

6:40am. You’ll begin your on-hold process with Lowestfare.com. This is after you tried to call expedia.com. You can’t even remember who you made your reservations with, can you?

6:45am. You’ve stopped the panic, and realized that there’s no way you’re catching this 7:00 flight. It’s at this point you remember that you had to call lowestfare.com right after booking your flight to give them your Los Angeles information.

6:55am. On the floor of the airport, you’ve looked up the last itinerary that lowestfare.com sent to tell you your flight times. As you’re scrolling through, looking for a phone number to call, you find the small print mixed in at the bottom of the email that says, “Your tickets have been returned. Please contact us as soon as possible.”

6:56am. Kicking and screaming. You throw a tantrum that makes the three-year olds around you shake their heads in jealousy.

6:57am. Still on hold with lowestfare.com, you start talking to strangers, trying to get anyone to care. No one cares. No one cares about you in all of LAX. You’re a big loser that’s going to have to take a cab home because you don’t have a plane ticket.

7:00am. Lowestfare.com will play a strange game with you here where they will ask you to run up to the gate, beg to be on the plane and tell them your ticket is lost. The flight attendant will laugh at you and say that you’re never getting on that plane.

7:10am. Lowestfare.com will scold you for ten minutes, telling you that they didn’t have any LA numbers or addresses to reach you, so they kept sending the email with the subject line “Travel Itinerary” with a basic itinerary and a statement that your tickets have been confirmed with the tiny bottom print saying that you don’t have any tickets. You’ll try and explain that they should probably flag the email or mention that you need to respond to it, instead of starting the email with “don’t reply to this email.” They don’t want to hear you. You realize that they think this is all your fault. You explain that you already called with your new information. They couldn’t care any less.

7:20am. You’re on hold.

7:40am. They’re going to book you on another flight. This will cost you an additional $300. $225 will be returned to you in three months when lowestfare.com sends the ticket you never got back to them. You are shocked, outraged, exhausted, and agreeing. You don’t even know which credit card they just charged.

8:00am. Instead of going to have a cigarette, you buy two magazines and head over to the ticketing counter to get the boarding pass for your flight that leaves in an hour and a half. They ask you for your credit card and want to charge you another $300, saying you never paid for your ticket.

8:10am. You’ll never book a flight again for the rest of your life.

8:11am. You hate everyone.

8:12am. You hate surprise birthday presents.

8:15am. During all of your fits and rants and arguing, suddenly the charge comes through from Lowestfare.com, and they give you a boarding pass. You ask to confirm your flight home. They tell you not to worry. You worry. They don’t care.

8:27am. Cigarettes and magazines in the freezing rain outside LAX. You’re playing Outkast on your CD player. You check your watch like you’ve got OCD.

8:36am. You’re pretty sure you’ve developed OCD.

9:00am. Panicked that you’re going to miss the flight in an hour and unable to feel your hands from the cold, you walk back in and find your gate.

10:15am. They’re letting you on a plane. Good golly.

10:55am. There will be a slight delay on this plane as everyone in the world has decided to fly on it. This is because the flight you were originally supposed to be on was cancelled, and now everyone that was on that 7:00am flight is on your flight. By the way, it was free for them. $300 for you. They even knew that that flight had been cancelled while they were taking your money.

11:30am. (mountain) You’re in Phoenix, where you must haul-ass across thirty gates to make your connecting flight.

11:47am. You’re on another plane. You’re making phone calls to say your arrival time.

11:59am. There’s something wrong with the plane. They’ve asked you to sit still and wait for a few moments. You begin cursing.

12:10pm. There’s something wrong with the plane. Something is cracked. They can’t have you sit on the plane for a moment longer because your life is in danger. You leave the plane.

12:23pm. They don’t know if or when there will be another plane to take you to Houston.

12:57pm. They’re pretty sure there might be a plane in an hour.

1:05pm. You order a double Amaretto Sour in the Phoenix bar. It’s somehow worth the ten dollars. You make giggly, drunken cell phone calls.

1:16pm. You’re pretty sure you’re almost out of minutes on your cell phone.

1:37pm. You’re waiting for that plane to arrive to take you to Houston. America West swears it’ll be any minute now.

2:00pm. You’re pissed you only brought fifteen CD’s. You’ve already finished an entire magazine.

2:24pm. They’re pretty sure you’re gonna have a plane soon.

2:47pm. You’re on a plane, but you’re not getting hopeful yet. You’ve bonded with the Window Seat guy. You’re the Aisle Girl. Middle seat asks if the two of you would rather sit together. You act offended and go back to your reading.

3:39pm. You’re passed out, drooling, finally leaving Phoenix.

6:20pm (Central). You arrive in Houston. You get stuck in a tram between terminals. It takes an hour to find the car. You miss the show you were supposed to recap that weekend, leaving you work to do next week. You arrive in Houston five hours later than you were supposed to. You’re stuck in Friday Houston traffic. You feel that your father isn’t sufficiently surprised enough for the work you put into arriving.

Your mom throws four quarters into the exact change booth and it doesn’t accept them. You both agree that somehow Eric has put a spell on that particular toll forever. It costs two dollars to leave.

Did you have fun on your trip? Let’s go back to LA!

6:00pm (central) Head to the airport.

7:00pm Arrive at airport. Park in scary dark lot that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the airport.

7:04pm America West will now lie to you and say that you must check your luggage. You kick yourself for not just going straight to the gate, where you’re sure everyone will have all their carry-ons.

7:14pm You buy two new magazines for the trip.

7:20pm You argue with the coffee lady for ten minutes the difference between a mocha and a mocha cream. The mocha cream has orange oil in it, which makes you gag. She acts like it’s your fault, and then says it’s her fault and she shouldn’t charge you, but then she’d go broke.

7:30pm Window Seat guy is also on this flight. You avoid eye-contact, as you know he blamed you for the cancellation of the last flight.

7:32pm Window Seat guy is now First Class guy. He tells you that there’d better be no problems.

7:47pm. Everyone on this flight has nine carry-ons. You are livid. It’s also not a full flight.

8:10pm. The flight has been delayed for an emergency landing on another runway. You watch the sirens go off and wonder if you’re about to see a plane crash.

8:27pm. You check your connecting flight and realize that you now have about fifteen minutes to change gates when you land in Phoenix. You start stretching your shins.

9:57pm (mountain). The plane lands. You have fifteen minutes to run thirty gates. You haul ass.

10:12pm. Your flight to LAX has been delayed due to weather. We thought that would be fun. The estimated departure time is now 11:55.

10:13pm. You and First Class Guy almost come to blows over who is responsible for all this shit.

10:17pm. You’ve called everyone that has anything to do with picking you up. They are all pissy, too.

10:28pm. You realize that Phoenix doesn’t have anything open at this hour. There’s no food. You’ve only eaten peanuts. And America West doesn’t even serve the honey roasted kind. We’re cheap bastards that way.

10:37pm. You find a bar and order a pint of whatever it is they’ve got.

10:57pm. Eric gets off the phone to watch Queer as Folk.

11:03pm. You’ve called everyone you can think of that wouldn’t mind a phone call at one in the morning central time.

11:20pm. You walk all the way back to your gate.

11:30pm. They’re still not sure if you’re even going to get to leave tonight. You think about eating the entire box of Thin Mints in your bag.

11:37pm. They release you to the plane.

12:05am. They’re about to take off, promising you’ll be there in an hour.

12:10am (pacific). They are spinning you in circles over the Pacific Ocean, saying there is no place to land.

12:20am. You land. You thought for a moment there when the fog covered the wings and you couldn’t see them anymore, that you were dead.

12:37am. You finally get your moment to walk off the plane. You’re a big pouty mess.

12:49am. There is a problem with the luggage, and they can’t seem to figure out how to get it from the plane to the baggage claim. You lose it and start cackling hysterically, scaring everyone except the people that have been on this flight with you since Houston.

1:07am. You’ve had two cigarettes and the luggage thingy is moving.

1:30am. You’re pretty sure they’ve lost your luggage.

1:31am. You realize you’ve been watching your luggage spin for ten minutes, but you’re so tired you didn’t recognize it.

1:35am. There’s a line to leave. Then there’s a line to cross the street. Then there are no fast food places open. You try five.

2:45am. You swear off air travel forever. Then you remember you have another flight in two weeks.

Thanks for flying America West. We know you have a choice in making your airline reservations, and we want to make sure you remember never to come near us or our chintzy online reservation system again. You’ll never complain about Southwest’s scary-ass boarding pass system again, will you? Thought not. (yourticketswerereturned,callusoryoucan’tgetontheplane) Once again, thanks for flying America West.

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