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Thread: NAHBS = Fail

  1. #1
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    NAHBS = Fail

    Or, "Wordbiker proves what an imbecile he is"

    So...the plan was to get my sorry behind to NAHBS, take lots of pics of the awesome bikes, meet some cool folks and potential business contacts, then get back home with stories to tell. Things...went wrong.

    I'm certain that I'm in the minority in almost any crowd when admitting that I have flown a total of two times before this. Heck, I wasn't even planning to fly, but to drive...until my boss convinced me the trip would be so much easier by plane. Considering my truck has some serious mileage, it could've been worse than it turned out.

    OK, so I book the trip through a site popularized by a certain starship captain. The times and prices look good, so the trigger is pulled.

    Fail #1: The departure time is not noon as it showed, but postponed to the next flight, 3.5 hours later with 3 hours layover instead of less than one. I'm easygoing, I can deal, but that would cut into my Friday night exploration of Austin. All I really want to see is the show, and since my wife called and confirmed that's the earliest flight left available, I roll with it.

    Fail #2: When I show up, the flight has been delayed for an hour. My plans to meet a friend in Denver for dinner didn't look like they'd work out anyway, so again, I roll with it. I arrive with apparently some time to kill, so after finding the departure gate, checking the time and selecting the sports bar just 150 feet from the gate, I settle in for a $10.75 burger and a beer.

    I'm seated by a guy from very near where I grew up and have a nice chat. He leaves and I check the time, still a good 20 minutes before the flight is scheduled to leave. I wait for the check. While waiting, the thought did occur to me that a waitress in an airport restaurant has to really be on top of the game, you know, since a delay could make someone miss their flight.

    Big Fail #3: A check of the watch shows me there's still ten minutes before the flight. I get to the gate...and it's eerily empty. I ask a gent if the plane has boarded. "Austin? Yeah, they're all gone."

    I pound on the gate door and eventually someone comes out. I can see that the plane is still sitting right outside and tell her, "That's my plane, I need to board!" She says cooly, "You missed it. Go to Customer Service." "Seriously? You can't let me board?" "No. Customer service is 1/4 mile that-a-way." "But...the plane is right there!" I get to CS and about 30 people are in line.

    At this point I started to sweat a little, though the line moves fairly quickly and I've cooled down a bit. "The next flight we can put you on to Austin leaves tomorrow." "What time does it arrive?" "After the show is nearly over (paraphrased)." Not willing to take a trip to Austin for the mere thrill of flying, I ask when the next flight is back home. "In less than an hour, I'll put a hold on it for you. It will also cost an additional $150"

    OK, a quick phone pow-wow with the wife brings up the idea that I can somewhat salvage the trip if I can stay in Denver with my buddies, then fly back on my planned return flight on Sunday, at least saving the extra $150. After another trip through the line, now with 40 people in it, "No, it doesn't work that way. You booked the flight from Austin to Durango. " This logic fails me. Why would it matter if I only took half the flight?

    Figuring that there's just no way around it, I get on the kiosk and try to book the held flight. Between either a bad connection, the noise of the airport or the sneaking suspicion that English is not the native language of the agent, she starts booking the flight. "It leaves when?" "8:15. " "It's 8:05 now, I'd never make it." (I begin wondering what time it is in whatever country she's in) "What's the next flight?" "9:50." "Book it Danno." "No, you have to go through the line again, I can only confirm it...and it will be an additional $150." Now there's 50 people in line. *facepalm*

    Minor Win: When I finally do make it through the line again, sweating that I'll miss yet another flight, I get another agent. She confirms the confirmation, hands me a boarding pass...and doesn't ask for payment. I ask her specifically, "What do I owe?" She gives me a dismissive wave and I sprint off to my gate.

    Obviously, I made it home. Now is the struggle to try and recoup the money spent...if at all. My wife has spent 2-1/2 hours on the phone already, and gotten a promise of $50.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  2. #2
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Did you got your complimentary pat down by airport security?
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Are you hiring for a personal assistant, Wordbiker?
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Did you got your complimentary pat down by airport security?
    Not even a grope and a wink.

    The experience actually concerned me a bit. Security was minimal at the small rural airport. Sure, they scan you and everything, but I saw lots of ways around it. Once I got to the international airport, I wasn't checked again.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  5. #5
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Are you hiring for a personal assistant, Wordbiker?
    No, but I do have "points" owed me by an airline I hope to never do business with again. *facepalm*
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Departure time =/= boarding time.

  7. #7
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Can somebody sum this up in 20 words or less?
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  8. #8
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    The best burger evah?

  9. #9
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
    So many sayings, so little sig space.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGuy View Post
    Can somebody sum this up in 20 words or less?
    Interesting story about a guy who learned the realities of airport bars and flight departure times. -16 words.

  11. #11
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
    Departure time =/= boarding time.
    ^^ This. On the boarding pass in small print it usually states that boarding time is 30 minutes before departure. The departure time is when they are expected to pull away from the gate with everyone on board.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    ^^ This. On the boarding pass in small print it usually states that boarding time is 30 minutes before departure. The departure time is when they are expected to pull away from the gate with everyone on board.

    And even then, if you're waiting for a delayed flight, that can change. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been waiting for a flight that was "Delayed by three hours", only to have a new crew show up 20 minutes later and "Ooops, we're going now!"

    It's happened enough that I've learned never to go out of earshot of the gate P.A. system.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Not even a grope and a wink.

    The experience actually concerned me a bit. Security was minimal at the small rural airport. Sure, they scan you and everything, but I saw lots of ways around it. Once I got to the international airport, I wasn't checked again.
    Once you're airside, you don't get checked again through your connections, unless you get randomly picked out of the gate boarding lines.

    There's also no significant difference in the level of security been airports, either. I always travel with a Swiss Army Knife with a 4" blade in my laptop bag, because the tools come in handy for my job. I never check bags, so it's all carry-on. In dozens of flights over the past decade, it has NEVER been found, even though I just toss it into the cables/power supply/etc compartment of my bag. It's never even been found on the occasions when I've had bags hand-checked.

    Feel secure yet? ;-)
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

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    ANYTIME I've been delayed or held over, I NEVER am more than 100 yards from the expected gate...

  15. #15
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Soo... did you just fall off of the turnip truck and haven't ever flown before?

    I stay within earshot of the gate within 45 min. of scheduled departure (so ~15-30min before boarding, more if it's a widebody) if at all possible. That means no expensive burgers, no beers, and no conversations. Get it to go and eat it at the gate. And I'm half deaf, so earshot of the gate is REAL CLOSE. Also, check the info displays like your life depended on it. Because as far as getting anywhere is concerned, it does. Stuff changes and it's on you to follow it.

    Also... winter weather and cancellations... can't do anything about that one. The airlines have a lovely violin they can play you in that case. We were really lucky going to Scranton for Christmas and had no trouble in either direction, even with DEN in near-blizzard conditions on the way back.
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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Would you guys stop giving away all the how to catch a plane secrets? I'm trying to land a personal assistant job here.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  17. #17
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    Too many customers + not enough airlines = "They are in charge"
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
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  18. #18
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skijor View Post
    The best burger evah?
    No, but maybe the most expensive.

    It looks like I may be getting about 3/4 of the fare back. Yay my wife's persistence.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mr. Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Once you're airside, you don't get checked again through your connections, unless you get randomly picked out of the gate boarding lines.

    There's also no significant difference in the level of security been airports, either. I always travel with a Swiss Army Knife with a 4" blade in my laptop bag, because the tools come in handy for my job. I never check bags, so it's all carry-on. In dozens of flights over the past decade, it has NEVER been found, even though I just toss it into the cables/power supply/etc compartment of my bag. It's never even been found on the occasions when I've had bags hand-checked.

    Feel secure yet? ;-)
    Really, is there any doubt that the TSA is a dog and pony show?

  20. #20
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fly View Post
    Really, is there any doubt that the TSA is a dog and pony show?

    It's so hilarious it's sad. The last time I was flying out of Nashville, I had just gone through security and was sitting off to the side putting my shoes on, next to a woman who had followed me through. She pulled something out of her bag, and three HUGE cans of aerosol hairspray fell out - they were probably 18-20 inches long. A TSA supervisor happened to walk by, turned white when he saw them, and quickly told her to gather everything up and go into a back room.

    So the X-ray guys not only missed by Swiss Army knife, they missed multiple, huge prohibited cans full of explosive gases. Nice!
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  21. #21
    Cool Beans MangoPumpkin's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about that WB. Should of called me. I would have sent my private jet.

    Anyways, one time they swiped my purse and the scan came back positive for possible chemicals used in making explosives. That was a fun trip.
    I've got your restraining order right here. [grabs crotch] Restrain this!

  22. #22
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MangoPumpkin View Post
    Sorry to hear about that WB. Should of called me. I would have sent my private jet.

    Anyways, one time they swiped my purse and the scan came back positive for possible chemicals used in making explosives. That was a fun trip.

    Try flying model rockets the day before, and see what sort of reaction the swab test gets you. ;-)

    Admittedly, the TSA was very professional about that one. "Have you been firing weapons recently?" "Nope, but I was flying black-power model rockets yesterday." "OK, thanks, take your bags and have a nice day."
    Last edited by mulveyr; 02-26-11 at 10:28 AM.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  23. #23
    Cool Beans MangoPumpkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Try flying model rockets the day before, and see what sort of reaction the swab test gets you. ;-)
    Yeah no thanks, I'll pass At least you had a reason why it showed up. I had no idea why it would show positive so then I had to get the full showdown. They were pretty decent in my case too though.
    I've got your restraining order right here. [grabs crotch] Restrain this!

  24. #24
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    they just said it was positive so they could lay hands on you, those tsa guys are not as dumb as they look.

  25. #25
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Did you got your complimentary pat down by airport security?
    Last time I flew out of PDX there were some HOTTIE TSA gals. I was praying for an especially invasive pat down. But no.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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