Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Redemption Comes

This is a two part story of a traveler.

We begin with Part One - The Taxi Ride to the airport last Thursday.
I've been using Yellow Cab exclusively for my airport transportation. And I have to say this last trip was a chink in their chain.
Upon being picked up I was insulted immediately by this driver, we'll call George. He thought my suitcase was too heavy. Now, it was about 20 pounds, which isn't that bad. I let George's comment slid off my back categorizing it as 'small talk'. Fine, no biggy.
George then asked me what the best way to get to the airport would be from where we were and I proceeded to tell him. Having taken a taxi from this location several times before, I have the secret taxi route memorized. George had trouble with my directions and seemed confused. Not really knowing George, I did my best to give him directions in an upbeat manner. George snapped, saying "It's not like I don't know the area dear." Then he blabbed something about how La Tijera to Sepuleveda would be shorter if not about the same distance and fare. It's not. It's farther and that means more fare. Then he went on to say something about how I objected to his route. To which I said nothing. George had clearly passed right by his utterance of - "What's the best way from here?" I ignored George the rest of the trip which took longer than any taxi ride of my life. George solved a Rubix Cube at every long light and proudly displayed the successfully completed cube upon our arrival at the United Terminal. I'm not sure I'll use Yellow Cab again. Even though George was early, he was scary and totally rude.

Next came the kiosk check-in. I am totally a supporter of this technology, but people can't seem to grasp it at all. So many kiosks and people just stand there like they have no idea what to do. There were three kiosks open and I politely urged the ceiling lookers in front of me to step up. They had no clue. SO then three people behind me cut in line and checked in. It was totally rude, but justified. I wish I'd have been faster.
When it was finally my turn a woman accosted me with her ticket because it didn't show a seat assignment. She wanted me to help her. I said, "I don't know. You'll have to ask a ticket agent"
Now, why in the world would I know about her seat assignment? Am I wearing a United Badge? No.
If you are going to go out in public and get on an airplane then you need to be brave enough to ask the people who are there to help you. Otherwise you A.) Deserve to miss your plane and 2.) should really stay home.

I've been calling United, "untied" for years. They have done little to lose that title in the years I've been flying their friendly skies. But here is where that all changes.
I refer you to the post about Sun Country airlines. (Please refresh your memory now, otherwise the rest of this will not makes sense.)
United can accomplish their beverage service with minimal lighting and efficiency to boot. (Not as true on this morning's return flight- but I won't hold it against them, just this once though.) They seem to understand that pouring coca-cola into a plastic cup doesn't take the glaring pink wattage of overhead fluorescents.
This one single simple detail has redeemed the entire airline and absolved them from past sins. A job well done! Untied no more!

I'd also like to give a shout out to the neck pillow. This small, yet pliable pillow is a must on any airplane trip. it certainly helped this non-sleeper, sleep. Hooray!

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hump Day at the Hump

I love sushi but don't partake very often even though I live near the ocean and in this city it's abundant. Fresh seafood that is.

But last night I found a special spot in Santa Monica that was four stars in atmopshere, entertainment value, and outstanding sushi.

The Hump at the Santa Monica airport is a gem. The best part other than the Spanish Mackerel sashimi is sitting at the bar and watching them prepare each dish.

All I'm going to say is squirming shrimp heads and I think you can understand how much fun we had there.

It also a total A-list kind of scene. I can't tell you who we encountered because it's impolite; like pointing. But should you venture out this way you won't be disappointed on any front.