Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Essentials of A.M. vs P.M. When Flying
If you're a regular "Slight Detour" reader tuning in around 8 a.m. PDT, you'll could be sipping on your coffee and reading this just about the time I'm stepping off a flight from Spokane to Boise at 9 a.m MST.
If all goes well, I'll be feeling very fortunate at the time, especially thanks to the option of checking in online 24 hours before a flight.
Since Southwest Airlines seats are determined by first-come-first-serve based on check-in time,it's wise to be right on the mark when checking in with your computer or phone.
If your timing is right, you may even land a seat in the A section and have your first choice of seats rather than dealing with the unknown by NOT checking in online and possibly having to sit almost on the rear-end john or worse yet, IN THE MIDDLE of any row.
I had enough experience as a child sitting on the "hump" between my two older brothers to know early on that it's wise to avoid the middle seat at all costs. In fact, it's almost as important to me as sitting at a restaurant withOUT my back to the door.
After all, as a frequent flyer (to the bathroom, that is), I know that having to climb over someone to get there can be awkward, uncomfortable (for both parties) and sometimes not soon enough.
In addition, passengers on either side have unlimited potential for making life fairly miserable during a flight for any unfortunate middle seat dweller. I won't go into that in detail, but will suggest that sometimes their physical abundance can lead to discomfort in an already sardine-like existence.
Anyway, usually checking in online can have its benefits, especially if the boarding pass shows a big fat bold-faced A and especially if it reads A-1.
Now, I've never been fortunate enough to have such an assignment until today, and I'll confess that it was not my speed that nabbed that designation for me.
Instead, it was my really stupid oversight that led to a flight change and an upgrade.
The upgrade came because I did my very best to check in at the precise second that the clock struck 9:05 yesterday morning, but then a bunch of red text told me I was too early.
So, I tried again. Again, too early. By the time it was 9:08, and I was still getting red ink all over my check-in efforts, my eyes finally zeroed in on the reason why.
Yup, I tried checking in at 9:05 a.m. rather than the 9:05 p.m. which I noticed for the first time yesterday about 9:08 a.m.
Let's just say, that realization set me back, just a bit. ^%$#HS%$$%! SD#%^%&!!!, and all that, including, "Marianne, you STUPID idiot!"
For one brief second I actually thought about leaving the itinerary as was, which would mean landing at 11 p.m., getting my rental car, arriving at my motel in Nampa at approximately 1 a.m. not far from the Idaho Center where my sister is showing her horse tomorrow.
If I was really lucky, I might get about three or four hours of sleep before my sister would be getting up and wanting to head to the Idaho Center to get her dressage horse, cleaned up, saddled and warmed up for her 9 a.m. class.
Not fun, I thought. So, I got on the phone, called Southwest, waited for 20 minutes for a live person to answer (and, yes, the wait included a potty break). When the live voice came on, I immediately told her I had really screwed up.
Well, those people are waiting for fools just like me, especially cuz they know you are at a disadvantage and desperate and that they could charge just a little more to get you in to the A section on your new flight.
Whatever it takes, I thought at the time. I just want to make the already expensive flight worth the effort, and obviously, the earlier option where I had screwed up presented some doubts about that.
Give me the upgrade, I said, even after she had just referred to me as "Sir."
All that said, I've been up since OH, DARK THIRTY PLUS, am stepping off a plane in Boise, about to go get my rental car. Hope they give me one two hours earlier than scheduled OR would that be 16 hours earlier than scheduled?
Actually, I did notice the correct a.m. and p.m. times when I booked the car a week or so ago, so I think I'm okay there.Just have to bargain for picking up my car a couple of hours early.
With luck, I'll have a full day of enjoying the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals at the Idaho Center and maybe a decent night's sleep before we get up early tomorrow to help and cheer on Laurie as she competes with her young horse.
Never a dull moment, especially when you have a dull brain.
There IS a plus side to this whole story. It could have turned out a whole lot worse at 9:05 this morning when I went to board my 9:05 A.M. Southwest flight that did not exist had I not tried to beat the crowd and check in online.