Monday, May 15, 2006

The Yankee's are Leaving!!! The Yankees are Leaving!!!

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to fly out of Charleston’s airport but I swear you’d think you were flying out of Petticoat Junction.

My wife and I had “confirmed” seats on United Express to Chicago. There was one skycap outside for all the airlines in this area. He checked our bags through TSA to Chicago but said he couldn’t print our boarding pass and that we had to get it inside at the counter.

If you’re facing the United Express counter you’ll see the Continental Airlines counter to the left and the Northwestern Airlines counter to the right. There was no one working at either of those counters.

A young baby faced rotund man named “Judson” was working the United Express counter by himself.

“How y’all doin today? You flying outta Charleston?”

“Yes.” (No, I come here to be strip searched by Homeland Security. I’m 48 years old it’s the only action I get that doesn’t cost me anything. Putz)

“Well we seem to have a problem with your “confirmed” seats.”

“What do you mean you have a problem?”

“Well ah see your "confirmed" seats but the computer says they’re “unconfirmed.”


“Well suh you have unconfirmed confirmed seats.”

“Uh huh… and how can my confirmed seats be unconfirmed?”

“Beats the heck outta me suh, (well someone should)
ah‘ve never seen anything like this.”

“Well then just sell me two confirmed seats and we’ll be fine.”

“Ah can’t do that suh, this flights overbooked.”

“Really? Well you’re sending my luggage to Chicago maybe I could hitch a ride with my luggage!!!”

“Now suh, theirs no need to be angry. Ah can get your luggage back.”

“I don’t want my luggage back I want my confirmed seats to Chicago!”

“Your unconfirmed, confirmed seats, suh.”

“This is nuts. Do you not see the stupidity here? How can I have unconfirmed seats if the seats are confirmed?”

“That’s a good question suh. It isn’t us suh, but ah see you didn’t purchase the tickets from United directly maybe you should contact Expedia?”

“I’m not contacting Expedia. I need a flight out of Charleston now, today. I have a grandson about to be born and I need to get out of here and back to San Diego.”

(My wife was remarkably quite while I proceeded to have a melt down with “Judson.”)

“Well suh why don’t you check with Continental Airlines right next door and see if they have any available flights while ah have a skycap retrieve your luggage.”

(I now have become that problem airline traveler that everyone in line behind hates. I could feel their eyes stabbing me in the back. Finally my wife says something.”

“Honey just relax, I’ll go check with Delta and you check with Continental to see if there are any flights available.”

What happened next is almost impossible to believe or describe. I leave the United Express counter and walk “three feet” over to the Continental counter while I wait for my luggage. After fifteen minutes of waiting guess who comes over to help me.

You got it.

“How y’all doin today? You flying outta Charleston?”

“YOUR @%#&%*G KIDDING ME RIGHT???!!!!!!

(I now have the attention of every TSA official in the airport. Of course there were only two of them; I think they shared one brain.”

“Look I apologize for losing my temper but I need to get back to San Diego.”

“Ah’m sorry sir we don’t have any flights out of Charleston today.”


“Have you tried Northwestern suh?”


“Ah’ll just go over to the Northwestern counter for you suh.”

(He walks six feet away and fiddles with the computer for five minutes.”

“Yes sir we do have a flight via Houston that will get you into San Diego at 10:30pm tonight.”

“Thank god. I need to get my wife, don’t go anywhere.”

“Uh… Suh… Ah only have one seat available.”

“One seat? One seat? ONE SEAT????”

“Uh suh? You have a vein poppin outta your head.”

“ONE SEAT!!!!”

I then see my wife running towards me from the Delta counter at the end of the terminal building.

“Delta’s got us taken care of. Since we flew here on Delta they needed to release our seats on United Express in order to confirm our confirmed seats.”

“You realize you’re staring to sound like Judson now.”

“Just check in at United Express again and we’ll be fine.”

I walked three feet to my right so Judson could check us in at United Express… Just as our luggage was being returned to us…

“Here ya’ll are two confirmed seats on flight 6788 to Chicago. But… um… ya’ll need to check your luggage through TSA again.”

“I need a mint julep.”

“Ya’ll come back now ya’hear.”