I'm not sure what it is about Southwest, but I came to a few realizations as I sat waiting in the Las Vegas Southwest terminal waiting to go back home to L.A.
SWA is the airline for kids
...particularly kids traveling by themselves, without guardians. My first flight was riddled with those damned things. They were everywhere! My coworker actually got up and left one seat to move one row behind because of a screaming kid. I mistakenly sat next to a little girl with Down's Syndrome who wouldn't STFU. I just sort sat there trying to answer her billion questions while everyone was boarding around me. I'm sorry, but when you fly you just want to be left the hell alone; but there's no way to ignore the poor abandoned child's annoying and unintelligible questions without being hated by the whole plane. I got through 2 of her questions and then just sat there, earbuds in hand.
Look, I don't give a fuck where you're going. I don't give a fuck where you're from or about your stupid luggage tag that you insist on showing me, and no, you can't see mine because I didn't check bags. WHAT? BECAUSE I DIDN'T! THAT'S WHY! STFU STFU STFU STFU! The barrage continued endlessly for what felt like 10 minutes (but I'm sure it was really 30 seconds). I was totally stunned and wondering what my best course of action was.
I was about to grab her extra chromosome, throw it down the aisle and tell her to go fetch when this angel appeared before me and asked if she could sit bitch. I normally would have been disappointed to have my elbow room taken from me, but I never jumped up so quickly and so cheerfully saying, "Oh, Yes!! YES!" without being naked before in my life. She was amazing. She was my human shield.
My angel fielded the incessant questions. I was now invisible to the little girl. The lovely lady tried in vain to ignore many of her questions, but the girl wasn't having it. She'd repeatedly tap her on the shoulder, "Do you... Do you.... Do you.. Huh? Huh? Huh?" until she finally relented and responded. I kind of felt bad for her. I mean, that bullet was meant for me. I chalked it up to survivor's guilt and continued reading my Blender.
I still had images of the whole ordeal running through my head minutes later. "What would I have done?" I thought. I think I would've lost it as soon as she tapped me. I don't know how to interact with children. I'm neither kid friendly nor mother approved. I probably would have just stood up and started asking if Jack McClellan were on the plane and if he wanted to swap seats with me. By the end of the flight my saviorette looked haggard. I'm not sure what sort of parent sends her down's-impaired child unaccompanied and abandoned on an airline, but there's a special place in hell for her, and it sure as fuck better not be next to mine.
SWA is the official airline for wheelchairapalooza
Southwest is also inexplicably the airline for people in wheelchairs. Seriously so many fucking wheelchairs. It was like a Christopher Reeves fan club conference just let out. Our plane was further delayed because they announced they had 10... TEN "wheelchair customers" to deplane. We had almost as many preboard. Why? How? It's statistically infeasible!
Besides, how the fuck to they get them up the steps to the plane at the Burbank airport??!? I guess I just always just assumed they loaded them in the baggage compartment. I'm telling you, they lie to get preboarding. I don't put anything passed seniors. They know how to work the fucking system.
People, especially old ladies, are batshit... BATSHIT insane over the cattle call A,B,C queuing up of Southwest's. Seriously, I told my coworker (she'd never flown big brown bus before), "Watch this. Let's get up and go sit by our letter. Watch what happens." First we just stood up and picked up our bags. Dude, people just start looking—I mean full on looking, slowly starting to clutch their bags, looking at their watches.
Then we made our move to the line and stood there for a few moments before we sat down. You could feel people getting up behind us in our wake. It was like a wave across the crowd as people rose and started lining up. It was nuts, and we were responsible for it happening at that moment. People were visibly annoyed that we moved early, but as another would get up, more would follow. Within like 45 seconds, the line went down to the next gate. Lemmings! Lemmings!!! BWAHAHAHAHA.
I must admit I could get used to having that kind of control over people. This must be how Steve Jobs feels all the time.
Hurry up and wait
The flight was delayed (I know! Southwest? Amazing, right?!?) because of an equipment malfunction with the jetway. We waited for like 20-30 minutes while they kept thanking us for our patience as they were trying to fix it. Suddenly, without notice, they started moving wheelchairs off the jetway at a frenzied pace. I looked out to see them hooking up one of those things to tow the plane. I let out a, "Gah! They're moving us to another gate," which I realized a second later was something you really should keep to yourself.
People around me looked up after I said that, and a stampede started in the direction of the wheelchair convoy. The guy next to us nudges his wife, to the point of pushing her, frantically calling out, "C8, honey! C8!!!"
Suddenly, as the crowd is running, without warning, this old lady totally eats it rushing to the other gate. I mean full on, face down, eating carpet.
She's total fucking road kill.
An alarmed gate attendant rushes to her to help her up, but the stampede doesn't let up. People just step around her on their rush to get in line first at the gate for their harrowing one hour flight. I wish I'd had my phone camera up to start videoing it. You'd be watching on youtube right now with some Benny Hill background music.
After our sprint, we then sat at our new ABC staging area, not moving for another 20 minutes while they moved the plane and the previous tenants of our germ tube could deplane.
I can totally see why the producers of the TV show Airline chose Southwest as the carrier to film. The airline is just totally setup for lulz.