IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
I HATE MYSELF
30 January 2008
Well, it's finally happened. I knew it would happen sooner or later, but it's happened just at the absolute worst time.
The first baby shower for Laurel is February 23. There is another shower, for couples, in March and Walt and I have been talking about flying down together for that. (That means I can split up all the things I already have for the baby into two different showers so it doesn't look so overwhelming! Or I could just go shopping again :) )
Express Jet has just started low-cost flights from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. It only costs $69 one way. That puts it on a par with the cost of driving the 8 hours to Sacramento and whatever it may cost over the cost of gas is more than made up by the ability to get there in only an hour, rather than 8 hours (each way!). (Some people make it in less time, but I generally drive the speed limit and it takes me a good 7-8 hrs to get there.)
Previously, we had to either pay an astronomical amount to fly on another airline to Santa Barbara (something over $300) or fly to Burbank, rent a car, and drive 1-2 hrs up the coast to Santa Barbara, then drive back to Burbank for our return flight. Or take the train, which costs as much as the cheap flight and takes longer than driving (11 hrs, if the train is running on time).
The great thing about having Express Jet available to us now is that it would allow me to fly to Santa Barbara more often after the baby comes, so that I have a chance of not being a stranger to our grandchild.
Walt suggested I get an Express Jet frequent flyer card, certain that we would definitely get use out of it, since we would be traveling so often.
I eagerly signed up for the frequent flyer card and then went to book my first flight on Express Jet.
I have to review a show on Friday, so I would hop the 9 a.m. flight on Saturday morning and be in Santa Barbara in time for the shower, then leave mid-afternoon on Sunday. The mid-afternoon flight was more expensive (but better than having to drag someone out to the airport at 8 a.m. to get on the cheaper flight).
I was very excited when I booked the flight. I'm all set. Baby Shower here I come.
Then I checked the luggage requirements. I don't need really more than toiletries for an overnight, but I do have these shower gifts to bring too and wondered what, on a small plane, would be the restrictions.
The link about baggage took me to their general FAQ page.
And there it was.
Rules for "people of size." It appears that because I am a "person of size" (i.e., fat), I may not be permitted on the plane unless I buy a second seat.
Southwest has had this policy for a long time but I have never been questioned about it, despite the fact that I am obviously a "person of size." I am always afraid that someone is going to stop me before I get on a plane and tell me I'm too fat to fly, but since the flights are generally all full up, they can't very well sell me a second seat.
Being fatalistic, I am already seeing the handwriting on the wall. If I am able to get on this plane...this time...without having to purchase a second seat, what will happen when I go to fly home again? What will happen the next time? and the time after that?
I'm already seeing the number of times I can see our grandchild diminish because of the whole damn 300+ mile distance thing and because the airline may feel I'm too damn fat to fit on their plane.
Even if I were to start dieting again now, it would be over a year before I could be considered a regular size person. I was a "person of size" when I flew to Australia -- and I had lost 85 lbs. (but Singapore Airlines had no size restrictions).
I called Express Jet and they could give me no information, but after being initially sympathetic, the woman's voice turned very cold and I was told I really should buy a second seat; when I pointed out I would be sitting in a single seat row, she said I could "try it" at the airport and see what happens. I am sick at heart, fearing that I will be turned away at the gate and suffer not only the disappointment of not being able to get to the baby shower, but the humiliation of being rejected in front of all the other passengers. And even if I get on the plane to Santa Barbara, will it be a fight every time I have to board an Express Jet plane?
I may have finally done it. I may have eaten myself out of an early relationship with my long-awaited, already much loved grandchild.
The whole thing makes me want to cry...and probably eat, dammit.
I've cancelled my flight, my boss has given me the weekend off, and I'm going to take the train to Santa Barbara. I called Express Jet to cancel the flight. There is a $50 cancellation fee, which they would not waive even though it was only because of their rules that I cannot fly. I explained that it had been my intent to use their plane at least once a month for the next couple of years and she said she was very sorry they could not do business with me.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2865