In order to board a plane I need a few cocktails. Flying makes me extremely jittery and I wig myself the F out just thinking about the impossibility of a 10 ton heap of metal being able to defy gravity.
So I found myself in an airport sports bar this Monday morning, awaiting my departing flight from Los Angeles.
Me: I’ll take a vodka and 7, please.
Bartender: Sure thing. ID please.
Me: You bet! I’m very flattered as I turned 40 this year.
Bartender: Wow! You look fantastic!
Me: You are getting a huge tip.
Anyway, the new thing now is that for $3 more, the bartender will make it a double. Why wouldn’t ya? As I ordered my second cocktail, the bartender announced that pretty girls from Tennessee drink for free*! Hurrah! The second drink went down a bit too quickly as I noticed the time for my flight was quickly approaching. I thanked the bartender and left him a better than average tip. He filled my glass and fed my ego and after all that’s really all I want my bartenders to do.
I skipped out of the bar feeling footloose and fancy free. I smiled at passersby and arrived at my gate to see the “A” folks already lined up to begin boarding. Awesome timing! I glanced at my number and then snuggled into my grouping according to the ticket. I stood next to a blonde lady and we both remarked how this new system is supposed to make things more efficient, but in essence seems to confuse more people than it helps.
I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and there was a small Hispanic woman who seemed to be somewhat lost. She held her ticket up to my face and said “Que“? Oh geez.
I looked at her ticket and saw that her flight number was different from mine, and the destination was in Texas, not Tennessee. Uh oh. I shook my head and said “no”. She looked scared. I quickly glanced around and tried to find an agent to help. I grabbed the blonde lady and said, “this woman is not on our flight and doesn’t speak English”. “Oh no!”, she replied and began trying to motion to the woman that she was in the wrong line. The line started to move as people began to board the plane.
The Hispanic woman was still saying “Que?” and walking towards the boarding entrance.
Well, screw it, I thought. It’s her own damn fault she can’t speak English, I’ll just let the Boarding agent deal with her. Still feeling like I’m a good person for trying to help and extremely full of myself, I breezily handed my boarding pass to the gate agent and bopped into the tunnel to board the plane. Suddenly I heard a loud beeping followed by cries of “STOP! MA’AM! STOP”!!
I quit walking and turned around. “This is NOT YOUR FLIGHT!!“, yelled the Boarding agent. “This plane is going to Houston”!!!
Even better, I got indignant and said, “But my ticket says GATE 11“!
The Boarding agent pointed to the number above her head. It read “13”.
As it turns out, I speak fluent dumbass.
* that man certainly had people skills