Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What could be worse than a Southwest flight?

My title is misleading because there really isn't anything worse than a OAK to MIA flight on Southwest and making 2 stops and a plane change along the way. Lucky for me, I didn't take Southwest to a business conference in Miami. I took a direct nonstop flight from SFO to MIA on American, but boy, it felt like a Southwest flight! The conditions reminded me of a crowded BART train and a delayed SW flight (meaning the cabin hasn't been cleaned).

The long 5.5 hour flight between SFO and MIA seemed longer than it already is because the cabin temperature was so high! Some people were sweating profusely, and the heat, as expected, brought out many assortments of body odors. The lavatories have not been cleaned and you can smell the urine from 10 rows away. I had to keep on applying lotion around my neck to mask the scent.

People were very grouchy and unwilling to make room for others walking down the aisle. Babies were screaming, making the conditions even less tolerable. The beverage cart was slow to move down the aisle, and we had no food service, but only the option to buy cold sandwiches or mixed snacks that used to be free. Meanwhile, you can smell the food from first class and see the empty champagne glasses brought to the back of the cabin by attendants for disposal.

One man in particular was completely inappropriate. He got upset at the man in front of him for leaning his seat back! He yelled, "there is no room for you to lean back. see where my knees are? i am cramped." The flight attendant had to reason with him that everyone has the right to lean back. But the man continued on about the crowded conditions and pushed the seat in front of him forward, each time the passenger tried to lean back. Totally immature and inconsiderate! If he wants space that bad, why doens't he just fork out the $$ for a first-class ticket??? Oh..he can't afford it? Well, just sit back and don't cross your legs, like the rest of us!

I took BART to the airport for the 2nd time during this trip, and while the ride was long and I missed some train connections which made my wait even longer, it is still a more ecnomical and traffic-free way to get to the airport. I urge everyone to try it out!! But, be prepared to have a book or stack of magazines to read because it is a LONG ride.

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