Dear Delta, YOU ARE TERRIBLE.

Who the heck likes air travel anymore?  Well, other than Duggs because he’s weird like that and really likes riding on planes.  Who?  Why? Air travel in this day and age is awful.  It’s the worst thing any of us can experience, worse than root canals and declaring bankruptcy, because unlike most crappy situations, we know that we are powerless against air travel and that we’re going to have to go through it many times again before our days are up.  Fears of an Air Marshall tackling us and throwing us in Airport Jail and slapping our real names onto the “No Fly List” are so pervasive that the most outspoken of us are horribly afraid to even mention the most obvious of discomforts and problems.  We just shut up, keep our heads down, and fork up ubiquitous amounts of cash to get hassled like steerage on the Titanic and hope to make it to our final destination in one piece.

Well.  I’m taking a stand.  Kinda.

This past weekend I took a little saunter down to sunny (and miserably hot) Florida to go see some long-time pals and get crazy.  It was Cory Lee’s birthday and a group of us surprised him, threw him a party, and had fun because that’s what long-time pals do.  It was great, I’m glad I went, etc etc.  But… the process of getting from Buffalo, NY to Jacksonville, FL is rife with trauma.  I HATE FLYING.

cory, at his bday dinner at la nop

a blurry drunk pic of me at paco’s in jax beach. yeah, taken in the bathroom (classy, classy)

welcome to jacksonville

It’s not that I’m afraid of travel or not savvy enough to know what’s up.  I hate the process that is flying.  I hate carrying things through huge airport, I hate standing in line, I hate going through security, and I hate being crammed into small spaces with people I don’t know, I hate worrying that every overhead bin will be full and I’ll be separated from my precious items that I like to travel with.

Don’t worry, I’m actually really fun to travel with, and like everyone one you know – despite hating every single thing to do with modern air travel, I do it anyways and don’t cause a scene.  So it’s not like I’ll ruin your vacay and cause a ruckus at 10,000 feet.  I’m well traveled, and can house my way through the “expert traveler” lane like nobody’s business, and with my keen sense of direction I’m one mean emm-effer when pressed for time on a layover.  I can run far and fast, while carrying a ridiculous amount of weight in relation to my own mass, and get both myself and my always-oversized carry-ons from one gate to another with impressive grace.  I’m good at traveling.  But just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you like it.

After my weekend of travel, Delta Airlines has the audacity to email me a survey.  In the American tradition and with a temper and wit that would make my Dad proud I decided to let them have it on this survey of theirs (Viper once famously sent Delta a four-page typed letter listing every single thing they had screwed up on a huge international trip of his and Delta responded with four vouchers for business class tickets to anywhere in the world – true story). What follows is an exact copy and paste from my survey.  Enjoy.

screen shot from my stupid survey

I selected “poor” for most choices, and when asked if I’ll recommend this airline to friends or choose it for myself – I said, “not likely.”  While I was brutally honest throughout the whole thing (every answer was as close to the actual truth as I could get and reflects my real experience on this flight), the end of the survey is where I really give them a gem.  Since scrunching your eyes and reading a screen shot is lame, I’ve copy and pasted the entire last entry for y’all:

I’ve selected the choice “not likely at all,” because the truth is that I will never encourage anyone I know to give you one red cent out of happiness with your service or a life(sic; should say “like”) of your company. Sadly though, I’m sure many I know – myself included – will fork over our hard earned money to your sham of a business time and time again.

You airlines have us consumers by the balls. You treat us like cattle, you over-charge us, you’re rude and make us feel like we’re really putting you out. The counter lady in Jacksonville was the opposite of helpful and all she did was talk down to me. You’ve switched to kiosk check-ins for everyone, and that’s fine. But since when in the history of ever has a desk worker at an airline NOT been able to check in a passenger? In my vast, vast traveling experience: NEVER. Even though kiosks have existed for a long time, the people at the counter aren’t just there to waste oxygen. Except this time, in Jacksonville. She looked at me like I had seven heads when I mistakenly asked if she could check me in for my flight. In fact, she seemed like she was offended at the idea alone, and gave me a ton of gruff about, “M’am, you aren’t checked in. Why would you come to the desk to check bags without checking in to your flight? M’am??” My answer being, “umm, because EVERY SINGLE TIME IN THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT PASSENGERS CAN OPT TO CHECK IN AT THE AIRLINE’S DESK.” Why was that mistake so offensive to her? And why the heck do I, a PAYING CUSTOMER, always find myself on the crap end of the Delta Employee attitude stick?

Anyways. Of course though, I’ll cough my money over to you again. I’ll tell my friends to fly Delta, and we’ll all be put through this heinous process an endless amount of times. Because, we have no choice. You’re all like this. It’s worse than a monopoly what you airlines have – you’re the pirates of the sky. It’s like trying to be a drug dealer in an area controlled by violent gangs: the choice to not give you my money and deal with the pain you inflict is just not an option. If I ever want to go anywhere at any time, I must put up with this pageant of terror that is commercial flying in modern times. You will overcharge me, hassle me, treat me poorly, chip away at my dignity and rights… and guess what I’ll do? Come back for more.

you’re welcome. jerks.

At least the weekend was super fun, right?

I didn’t take too many pics this weekend, and I’m super let down by that.  But to go with this post, here are a couple from traveling:

sunset over the tarmac in buffalo, the night i left town

i discovered the coolest product ever in the jax airport: gopicnic, these awesome meals in a box. this is a pic of me opening one up on a flight.

my snacks

I should come back and write about my trip, my pals, the fun times, you know – the good parts.  Hopefully I will soon.  It’s been busy playing catch up after being gone.  Anyways… thanks for reading!

xoxo, HHR

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