Sep. 19th, 2007
Southwest is single-handedly responsible for the collapse of civilization  
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.

Alphabet soup

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.

Mood: fucking cheerful
Listening to: Die Trying - Oxygen's Gone
( Post a new comment )
sisyphus238: Earth and starsisyphus238 on September 20th, 2007 - 02:21 am
You just rocked my fucking world!!! Talk about lulz!

…what sort of parent sends her down's-impaired child unaccompanied and abandoned on an airline…

Possibly a parent fed up with incessant questions and hoping said child will get lost in transit.
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Just Markmarklevoyageur on September 20th, 2007 - 02:26 am
Survival of the fittest
I'm just waiting for the airlines to implement festival seating.
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strbksslkstrbksslk on September 20th, 2007 - 02:28 am
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's the funniest thing I've read in a very long time!

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Markmahka42 on September 20th, 2007 - 02:48 am
Oh, why I stopped flying Southwest such a nice long time ago.

Although, I got a lovely email today saying that they're keeping open seating, but with a new cattle call system. Cattle call is still cattle call.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 04:54 am
oh i just read about that. although it does sound like 500% better than the current one. This whole line up thing is crap!

i really wonder if it saves them that much time boarding.
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Markmahka42 on September 20th, 2007 - 04:59 am
I don't think it saves them time boarding. But it helps placate people who don't like the fact that you have to wait in line like, 1.5hrs before your flight...except that in those 1.5hrs, another 2 flights will depart from that gate, which just causes one giant mess.

I'd be really interested to see Southwest go international to a developing country and see how their cattle call boarding goes. Even with assigned seats, boarding is already quasi-cattle call. With this sort of thing...oh the drama!
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 05:04 am
it does seem they get a lot of aircraft out of one gate at one time. "Is this the right gate? I noticed it has a different flight number."

"Oh, that's the current flight boarding. We have two more flights out of this gate before yours."

"But... how? we're supposed to push back in 45 minutes?!"

i'm not really sure how they do it.
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Markmahka42 on September 20th, 2007 - 05:07 am
they don't clean the planes. i think i've made peanut butter several times.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 05:09 am
that would explain why I had to purell my tray. there were like 5 different colored drops of dried out liquid in the cup holder.
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danthmanes on September 20th, 2007 - 05:17 am
Mmmm peanut butter :)
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Ian Cochranelankyguy on September 20th, 2007 - 03:00 am
Cattle call? Oy! Lemmings! Lemmings! *LOL*
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Mozretaliashun on September 20th, 2007 - 03:25 am
yar, they announced today a change to their cattle call seating, everyone will be issued a number in sequence that goes by what time they checked in, and that's how the ABC boarding group will be decided, not who gets there first, but by that number.

they also not gonna preboard families with small children anymore
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james__sndchasr on September 20th, 2007 - 03:31 am
SWA is also the official airline to transport people down to hell.
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Musikermusiker on September 20th, 2007 - 03:42 am
F-ing hysterical... you made my day.
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Troy D.: Amtrakamnewsboy on September 20th, 2007 - 03:43 am
SWA is always a last resort airline for me... if Midwest gets me there cheaper, I'm all about them... with AA and NWA in 2nd and 3rd.
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dirigiblesdirigibles on September 20th, 2007 - 04:05 am
That's why I don't fly SWA. BUR is only like 6 miles from my house, but given the choice between SWA out of Burbank and an assigned seat out of LAX, I'll brave the 134/2/5/110/105 drive any day.

And if they're going to change it so that you board the plane in the order you check in, why not simply assign seats at check-in? That way you can have window seats board first, or the back of the plane board first, or both, so that there's not this huge traffic jam on the plane when you get on.

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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 04:56 am
yeah, i don't get it.

although... i do like BUR so much more than LAX if I'm driving/parking.
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Bobby: suck itshouldvesmiled on September 20th, 2007 - 04:13 am
If the precedent from Airplane! is to be followed, you're supposed to wither away and/or kill yourself when seated next to somebody who won't stop talking.
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The People's Exhibit A: gollydavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 05:01 am
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zedinbed on September 20th, 2007 - 03:41 pm
I love your icon!

Fellow Canadian love.
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arwyrarwyr on September 20th, 2007 - 04:45 am
Oh my God! I've never flown Southwest and now I probably never will...
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!!The Sexiest Darius Ever!!: Dork ststormi on September 20th, 2007 - 05:15 am
I laughed... I cried... I even peed a little...
As entertaining as "Davids vacation on SWA" stories are, you have got to try new things.
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danthmanes on September 20th, 2007 - 05:45 am
Your hatred of SWA cracks me up, yet I notice you keep flying them. Hmm :) Except for the cattle call seating and the minimalist attitude to cleaning the plane between flights, is SWA really any worse than anyone else?

Honestly, I've never had a worse experience than flying US Airways through Philadelphia. Worst airline + worst airport = hell. The only thing they neglected to do wrong was crash the plane. Hours late both directions. Lost luggage. Having to sprint to catch my connection only to end up sitting on the tarmack for two hours because the line up planes waiting to take off was pushing 100. All the components of a bad flying experience were there.

And Philadelphia's airport is the most ghetto airport I've ever seen. Old dingy, ugly, and with aisles are so narrow that when a luggage cart drives by, you literally get pushed up against the wall. Given the circumstances, the drivers are remarkably courtious: " Get out da way!! Dayum!"

Conclusion: SWA has nothing on US Airways.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on September 20th, 2007 - 06:08 am
i only fly them when i have to, which has only been twice in the past several years. it's nearly unavoidable traveling from l.a. to either norcal or las vegas. I would never fly them any farther than that though, but i'm sure i'll to fly them again. i don't hate them as much as i hate their seating, and they're just always, always, always late.

but... air travel sucks, so colorful stories abound. it just so happens my last two trips were SWA.
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bryansecularzealot on September 20th, 2007 - 01:49 pm
No snakes on the plane when you them...
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reverend_cary32 on September 20th, 2007 - 03:09 pm
Holy shit! This is the funniest thing I've read in a WHILE! I love you for it!! :-)
At least the DS girl didn't want to hug you....or did she?
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zedinbed on September 20th, 2007 - 03:40 pm
As bad as it sounds ....

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perry: c&h LMAOcompositeur on September 20th, 2007 - 05:04 pm
Holy almighty crap, that's funny.

*multiple suppressed laughter in the workplace*, damn you very much. =)
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