I'm flying out of CMH
on 20071017, and I'm flying Skybus Airlines
for the first time. My air travel expectations, pre- and post-20010911 have
always been something like: I'll be lucky if I actually get to fly and
luckier still if my checked bags show up. I've always assumed that I'm
going to get bumped from my flight, somehow. My bags will be lost
(while containing, no doubt, irreplaceable items of great sentimental value),
and I'll be stuck sleeping in some stupid airport.
Arriving late at ATL inbound from ORL (where the flight was delayed for no
particular reason that was explained to us lowly passengers-- erm-- paying
Customers) and missing my connection to DAY did nothing to improve my
opinion of air travel. Having my 11 y/o sister in tow made it even less fun.
Finding out at 1 o'clock in the morning, after waiting in 2 long lines for
over 3 hours, that we weren't going to get to fly until 6 o'clock was even
less fun. Having to be back from our "discounted" hotel room by 4 o'clock to
clear security in time to catch the next available flight back to DAY was
just icing on the cake.
If I'd been alone, I'd have probably slept in the terminal, but that wasn't
an option with my kid sister there. That wouldn't have made it any better--
just cheaper. As it stands, I put the airline industry, in terms of the
corporate adherence to the ethic of 'shit on your Customer' just above, say,
wireless telephone network operators.
To my mind, if I want to be sure that I'm somewhere at a specific point in
time, I'd drive, and leave plenty of time for traffic. Air travel, I assume,
is unreliable and likely to leave me stranded somewhere. With the crazy security theatre antics
that abound today, I'm even more jumpy than usual. Added to the very real
and significant fear that I have of being mistreated by my airline itself is
the possibility that I could get arrested, fined, cavity-searched, shipped
to an off-shore prison, or made into an un-person by the TSA. Great fun.
So, with all that in mind, I'm reading the Skybus Help Center
page for baggage, and I come across this tiny gem of humor.
The following items may not be carried in any baggage, checked or
Paints, Christmas crackers, items with internal combustion engines such as
chainsaws, model aircraft, lawnmowers, motorized garden gnomes, etc.
Ain't that a kick in the pants? I wonder if anybody else has ever noticed
this. Using our friend Gooooogle, I can find no
other pages containing the phrase motorized garden gnomes.
I'm really not sure what to make of "Christmas crackers", either.
Skybus seems to have a certain air of smartassedness about them. We'll see
how they actually do in getting me to where I need to go.