Expect the Worst. Pray for the Best.

by admin | August 28, 2015 8:01 am

We recently spent several glorious days in Boston, with day trips up to Portsmouth, N.H. and Gloucester (pronounced Glostah by the natives), the fishing village made famous by Erik Larsen’s book, “The Perfect Storm.” It was a lovely respite, precious time with my Beautiful Mystery Companion and daughter Abbie in a place we all love. Maybe not in January. We have not tried that yet. My idyllic memories of growing up in New Hampshire are childlike and not to be relied upon.

All vacations must end. The evening before we headed to Logan Airport, I received an email from the airline on which we were flying back to DFW. In bold letters, it said, “You must check in online to avoid extra fees.” I kept clicking and reading and realized in my haste to get the best deal through the online travel site, I had picked the Most Hated Airline in America for our return leg.

Google “Most Hated Airline in America” and you will know which carrier I had chosen to save $20 a ticket. I picked the airline that six years ago stranded us in Atlanta for 13 hours as we tried to get to Boston. The airline rep then basically told us to shut up and deal with it, offered no apologies, recompense or even a voucher. Worse, I had chosen the airline that charges for carry-on luggage, has a lower weight limit (40 pounds) than all the other airlines, which charge extra at 50 pounds. All our luggage weighed more than 40 pounds. We had to pack for nine days, for Pete’s sake. And women were involved. More than $100 slipped from our grasp.

I was stricken, confessing my sins to my peeps. I had messed up badly. We are going home on the airline from h-e-double matchsticks. Likely we will not arrive until Labor Day. My BMC sprung into action, actually connected with a human being in Mumbai (we think). She put the cell on speaker phone and we tag teamed her, complaining about the outrageous luggage fees, the extra charge to sit together, $49 for carry-ons, etc. It was a spirited conversation. (RE: the Google search for Most Hated Airline.) The woman was polite and helpful, but I was desolate. Once again, I had bollixed a trip, and our return home was going to be a nightmare. We elected to arrive at Logan two-and-half-hours early in order to salvage what we could of this looming fiasco.

I looked at booking tickets on another airline, but prices the night before departure were outrageous. And we would have to eat the tickets already purchased. My BMC and Abbie were encouraging. “It will be OK. We will get through this, no matter how bad it is.” I am mighty fond of these two peeps. They put up with a lot from this continually addled man.

My stomach was churning as the cabbie dropped us off at Logan, an airport I love for its ease of maneuvering through. You can get a great bowl of clam chowdah at Legal Seafood in the airport as a last reminder of what you are leaving behind, before heading back to the oven heat of Texas in August.

There were only two couples in line ahead of us at the airline’s ticket counter. Great. They must have canceled all of today’s flights, I thought. Can’t afford to buy fuel, probably. We trudged to the counter, hangdog face. My BMC, who is brilliant at this type of conversation, immediately engaged the customer service rep in our situation. We had called, needed seats together, a break on luggage fees. It turned out the woman in Mumbai had figured out a way to save us money on luggage, though it was still pricier than any other airline I have flown. The Logan agent handed us our boarding passes, ignoring the fact we all toted what looked suspiciously like carry-on luggage.

Row 4, seats A, B and C. Well, that sounds pretty good, I thought.

Yup. We were placed in what used to be first-class seats when this plane serviced another airline. Fat, plush seats, a row to ourselves. The flight left on time, the service was excellent. Yes, bottled water was $2. We split one among ourselves. The plane landed about 20 minutes early.

I expected the worst. And we were blessed far beyond my expectations with the most pleasant plane trip in many years. Lesson learned. Expect the worst. Pray for the best.

Still, I won’t fly this carrier again. Paying $2 for bottled water is just ridiculous.

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