Me No Likey Southwest Airlines

     The first time I ever flew Southwest Airlines was this past Saturday.  I actually never heard anything about Southwest before so not sure what I was expecting. I do know that bags fly free, well the first two anyway. Which begs the question: Why would one human being need THREE suitcases for one trip?  I didn’t see Julia pack ONE suitcase in Eat, Pray, Love and she was traveling to THREE countries. Oooh, three. I see a theme. (Song break:  “Come and knock on our door. We’ve been waiting for you…”)

     When I got to security the TSA agent saw my logo emblazoned shirt (I was heading to a work event in Philadelphia and was dressed for such). He says to me, “Hey, you got a free shirt.”  Confused, I reply, “I actually work for the company and I’m heading to a work event. Hence why I’m wearing this shirt.”  I thought that convo was over but he retorts, “Yeah but at least you got a free shirt.” Dude, what? Is the economy and shit so bad that I should be excited that I have  a polyester buttoned down shirt from work that I got for free?!? I’m pretty sure that if I were canned tomorrow, I’d have to return it. So technically it’s not free. But hey, thanks for playing dude. Can I go through now?

      Shout out and thanks to the (unsuccessful) Shoe Bomber. Because of him, I have to take my shoes off at security. Needless to say, it’s the summer, and I’m not wearing a thick pair of wool socks. Sadly I am sockless. And now have to stand barefoot in Terminal E at Logan Airport. On that disgusting rug.  Barefoot. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies.  (Speaking of Logan Airport, did you know it was named after General Edward Lawrence Logan? I would give you more information but he went to BLS {Booo! BLA – All the way!!!!!} so I don’t really feel like talking anymore about him. Please feel free to educate yourself on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Lawrence_Logan)

     But that was not the best part. Oh no. The best part was that I got to go through the NEW x-ray machine thingy…you know, the one that sees EVERYTHING – like under your clothes everything. When I nervously chuckled and assumed the position, with my hands and arms above my head, the FEMALE TSA agent standing by assured me, “No one looks at it.” I said, “Excuse me? NO ONE looks at it? Then what good is it?” 

     She replies, “No one here in this area looks at it. The image goes somewhere else.”

     Oh, that’s comforting. So somewhere else, out of eye and ear shot, someone is seeing me virtually naked. That’s great. I’m sure those bastards don’t make any jokes at all ever.  Where the fuck are my shoes? This feels like a bad walk of shame and I didn’t even get laid. I wish I could’ve added a disclaimer to my image: “Dear TSA Agent, I have recently lost nearly a hundred pounds due to bariatric surgery. Rapid weight loss is NOT a friend to skin stretched out by fat overtime. Hence all of this going on under my FREE shirt! xojmo.”

     So remember how I mentioned the tidbit about never having flown Southwest before? Well I’m usually early for flights, but I wasn’t today and the gate area was really full. I couldn’t find a seat number on my ticket so I stopped an unfriendly, short, stubby Southwest employee who could not possibly be less enthused about explaining the seating to me. I’ll get to that in a minute, but when he was done I wanted to say, “You’re fucking kidding me right? What is this? Hooters Airlines? Aren’t there rules and regulations in place? Clearly not.”

     Listen up folks. This is how the shit goes down on Southwest: There are no seat assignments. You have a letter and a number on your ticket. A boards first, obviously. Then B, then C. I assume there is nothing after C but WTF do I know? I’m still perplexed by this system. But I digress. Then there is a number. Let’s use B 42 as an example. Then there are poles near the gate with numbers on them. 1-5, 6-10, 11-15 etc. And so on and so forth. Then they start up again on the other side. 35-40, 41-45, etc all the way up to 60.

     They make an announcement: “’A’ Passengers please line up.”

     So then you have to shuffle your way over to these poles and line up within the numbers of which your ticket number falls. Then they board the A passengers 1-29 (the passengers on the right side of the poles.) Then the B passengers can line up there. But the other side of the poles still has the higher numbers for the A passengers.

     THEN, once you get on the plane – you can sit wherever you want. Anywhere. Did you hear what I said? It’s kind of like a first come first serve situation. It’s bizarre and wacky. Not a fan.

     I’m getting a headache just thinking about this. I have MULITPLE problems with this “procedure.”  And guess what? I’m going to list those problems right here.

  1. Stuff like this gives me anxiety. What was wrong with giving me an assigned seat? Then I knew for sure that it was MY seat and regardless of when I boarded, it would be there waiting for me.
  2. The numbering system is not enforced. I know this because I saw people in front of me with numbers on their tickets that were HIGHER than mine. I lined up exactly where I was supposed to be. Those clowns: not so much. And then shuffled up to the ticket taker and that guy didn’t seem to care that number 60 was boarding before number 32. Uh, hello? Then why do you have these ridiculous poles with numbers on them if you let people board willy nilly anyway!? Jerkoffs.
  3. I’m no Steven Slater, but I always thought that the folks on a plane had to be evenly distributed (weight wise). Meaning, we all couldn’t sit on the left side of the plane if we wanted to. But on Southwest apparently we could. I wish we all got together and decided to sit in one big cluster on the rear left side of the aircraft and see if they said anything.
  4. I assumed that we also had assigned seats on flights in case the plane crashed. Then they could find seat 8D and say to my mother “Janet, these were the ashes found on seat 8D. We believe them to be of your daughter, Jennifer. We are so sorry.”  But if I were flying Southwest when my plane fell out of the sky, the conversation would probably go something like this, “Janet, since we have no idea where Jennifer was sitting, we just scooped up some ash from the crash site and put it in this baggy. It could be her, another passenger, or the lavatory. No idea.”
  5. Does Southwest think they are cool, hip and quirky doing this? Or have other airlines done this in the past? I’m confused. I didn’t think it sped up the boarding process at all. Oh and the male flight attendant making the announcements thought he was funny. He wasn’t.  Just shut up and bring me my apple juice!

     The only thing I did like about it was that I could sit up close to the door. That way I can get the hell off once it lands. I don’t bring usually bring a large Yak like suitcase for my carryon, so I don’t have to pull a hamstring taking my bags down and slow up everyone else in the process. And what is up with that anyway? Are you all in such a hurry that you can’t check your bags? It takes longer to board a plane, and then deplane because a majority of the flyers brought their whole entire luggage situation on with them. And I’m not even sure some of those carryons are the legal size. But again, who cares? They don’t care where you sit and they don’t care what you bring on. I mean, unless it is liquid and  is bigger than 3 oz. And I don’t know about you, but everything I use toiletry wise is bigger than 3 oz. And no, I don’t feel like buying smaller saline solution, or small shampoos, or small spray gel. I like to just carry my shit around with me wherever I go. And I’m pretty sure my L’Oreal hair styling products will not blow up the plane. At least I don’t know how to do it. Nor do I want to. I actually want my plane to land, thank you very much. You know who doesn’t want their planes to land: The guys that went to flying school but never bothered to learn how to LAND a plane. Remember those guys? Yeah, they didn’t have large amounts of V05 on them. They had box cutters and a plan. But thanks to them I can’t even take a snowglobe on the plane with me. And that bugs me too because:

     There are snowglobes in the stores in the airport. After I checked my bag and went through security, I saw snowglobes in the stores. Um, ok…so those I can take on? But the one I bought in Disney World cannot come on with me because it might….explode? Or did you think that maybe I wanted to hand carry it home so that it doesn’t get FUCKED in the luggage compartments below? I don’t like how some people are biased against some snowglobes and not others. That pisses me off. Snowglobists!

     I don’t want to end this negatively so let me say some positive things about Southwest – first two bags fly free. The seats are leather and have a fairly decent amount of leg room.

     BUT their only snacks are the tiniest bags of peanuts or pretzels. What is up with that? JetBlue gives you good snacks and personal TV’s in the seat in front of you. I ❤ JetBlue. Sorry Southwest. I think I’ll stick with airlines that actually assign seats, so then that way my ashes can be identified in case of an emergency. Call me old fashioned!

    Ending it on a non-negative note was a no-go huh? Oh well, I tried.

xojmo

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deb8735
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 17:39:53

    you never disappoint me… too funny

    Reply

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