Confession of Disappointment

In this life I’ve chosen to lead (to the extent that any of us choose) I do a decent amount of travel. Not a lot, I’ve got friends that do a lot, but not a little either. It’s sort of middle of the road like a lot of other stuff I do. Last year I did do enough that I got “gold status” with Delta. It comes with some nice perks and fortunately Delta is almost always my most inexpensive option and so I get to take advantage of those perks.

One perk is upgrades. Last summer I flew first class for the first time in my life. It was a free upgrade on a short flight, but still, I got to sit up front and eat with silverware while drinking from a real glass. In back it would have been a bag of peanuts and a plastic cup of soda. Pretty cool. Though I try not to get used to it. I’ve found that I’m happier when I’m satisfied with the not so fine things in life as most of them are out of my reach.

This week I was coming home from a work trip and had 2 legs to get home. The first leg was the long one, and I confess, I was really hoping for an upgrade. Alas it was not to be so. I felt a momentary twinge of disappointment, but quickly got over it. I didn’t pay for riding up front, and I’ve gotten to do it a few times now. Those were special gifts and I shouldn’t expect it.

What took the edge off it, was that another perk is I get first pick on the better seats when I book my flight, another perk of status. So I wouldn’t be up front eating a nice meal, I still had a nice exit row seat where I could stretch out.

I spend a lot of time picking my seats when I book a flight. If two routes are equitable in time and price I’ll go with the one that has better aircraft or seats available. The Seat Guru web site has become my favorite tool when I travel.

When my boarding zone was called, I got in line, and handed my ticket to the gate agent when it was my turn. Exit row tickets make the machine beep more than normal. There was no excited beeping. I felt a twinge in my stomach. I walked down the jetway, hung out waiting to get on the jet, and then quickly found 23C. There must have been an equipment change because this was nothing like what I saw when I booked the seat, and when I reviewed it the night before. The exit was rows away. And this is where the confession part comes in, because in that moment I was very disappointed. I looked forward and back, thought about the 3 hours I would spend sitting here and wasn’t too happy. I mean, I’m a Gold Medallion Sky Miles member. I’ve got a little gold plastic card with my name on it that says so.

It’s funny how quickly I get used to something that I haven’t earned and don’t deserve. I did travel enough to get that status, but it wasn’t like I personally paid for the tickets. My work did on the long hauls that made the difference. I’m lucky that I can hop on a jet and be home in just a matter of hours rather than the days it would take to drive, or the months it used to take not all that long ago when horses and wagons were involved. I was able to partake in the miracle of human flight.

I should also mention that the couple who ended up sitting next to me were absolutely delightful people. They had been in Phoenix to watch their son play baseball for the Chicago White Sox. He’s in the minors but had been called up for a couple spring training games. I had so much fun talking to them. The flight flew by and I was sad to see them go when we parted ways at the gate.

I was embarrassed inside for how I’d been about not getting the kind of seat I’d wanted. It reminded me of the now classic video with Louis CK about how everything is amazing but nobody is happy. It’s below here. I do have to give my Louis CK disclaimer. He’s very funny and I love this clip. I loved it enough to look for his other videos on youtube and learned quickly that he’s crude and vulgar way past what I can take. So you’ve been warned. This is from network t.v. and is much tamer than what he does in other venues apparently.

Modern Travel

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love living in the future. Last week I flew to Indianapolis for meetings on Thursday morning and was home before the kids got out of school on Friday afternoon. It was two – 1 hour hops each way. The last leg home was on a Boeing 757 and I had a seat just forward of the starboard wing and engine. I love the contrast of the engine so close and the ground so far away. So I dug out my phone ( radio off per FAA regs) and snapped a few shots. This is somewhere between Atlanta, GA and Orlando, FL. Nothing special but it looked very cool to me. Click on the little ones for the big ones.