It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to concentrate on my fear of flying these days; there are just way too many distractions.
Let me set the scene and start with a quiz:
How can you tell which flight is going to Florida?
Why that will be the gate with twenty seven people chillin’ in wheelchairs of course!
Now don’t get your undies in a knot I’m not making fun of people with REAL handicaps, I’m just pointing out an obviously well known “secret” to priority boarding on SouthWest Airlines: If you approach the gate agent and tell him or her that you have a mental or physical problem, (s)he MUST allow you to board early..
No need to identify your problem….you just go right on ahead to the front of the boarding line and avail yourself of the pick of the open seating arrangement once you get on the plane.
Arrive with a “service” dog?
Head of the line.
Head of line.
Got “small” kids?
Head of line.
Bad hair day?
Head of the line..head of the line!
But nothing beats the airport wheelchair..that’s head of the line before all of the other head of the liners..it’s the pre-priority club.
And yes, there the rest of us will all stand in our lines for suckers..my husband holding the tickets he paid extra for so we could board earlier and get “good seats.”
Needless to say, the grumbling started immediately yesterday as we waited and people began cracking loud jokes about our “miracle flight.”
It seems these flights to Florida are called “miracle flights” because so many of these (mostly retired) folks in wheelchairs experience miraculous healings once they arrive. Now by arriving I don’t mean landing..heck no! You gotta play this out until you get to your Uber. You see a fleet of wheelchairs will be waiting at the gate upon arrival ready to whisk the parade of pre-priority people on wheels down to baggage claim- and YES- they all get off the plane first.
Back to the scene in Baltimore:
Once all of the pre-priority and priority folks had made their way onto the plane, the gate agent picked up the mic and sarcastically announced that the flight was full and we all had to try again tomorrow…
A forced laugh rippled through the crowd but patience was clearly being tested. I think the final straw was the twenty-something looking girl who boarded ‘head of the line’ priority with a pony-sized dog that looked like a cross between a pit bull and a great dane..and yes, he had a “therapy dog” vest on.
To add insult to injury, once we got close to our destination our plane had to circle the airport for 15 minutes to allow Air Force One to land… (You know, presidential landing priority.) That extra time in the sky put us an agonizing five minutes outside the 7am-7pm window to pick up our own (non-therapy/regular) dog at the kennel..ugh.
So we drove to our favorite little Italian place to console ourselves with a quiet dinner instead of the anticipated reunion.
As we left the establishment a little while later, we passed an elderly couple eating their spaghetti outside with three spider monkeys crawling all over their shoulders.
I am NOT even kidding!
You just KNOW they get primate-pre-priority-pre-boarding when they fly..
C’mon, you just know it.