Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No Frills, No Thrills

A week ago, I was looking forward to a return visit to the site of last year's vacation, the city of Long Beach in the state of California. As I recall, I loved it and hated it, depending on whether there was anything that my host(s) had planned for a particular day. I didn't want to stay, but I didn't mind the thought of returning for a visit someday, either.

Our family was invited to a special occasion scheduled for next month: a fancy wedding at a luxury resort on the coast at Laguna Beach. This is so special an occasion, that I figured there was no way we would NOT go. My mistake. We can't afford to fly ourselves out there, and our host(s) don't have money to spare for our fare, either. So we're going to miss it.

The main reason that I was certain we would be visiting sunny southern California again is that my wife was looking into air fares. The cheapest deal we could get for the family would be through JetBlue, the inexpensive no-frills airline that is celebrating its first anniversary at the Pittsburgh hub this week. I have never flown before, so I have no firm ideas about what airline is better than others. To me, cheapest is best. The wife was cooking up some scheme where it would be cheaper to drive to D.C., park the car, and fly from Dulles to Long Beach Airport than to just use Pittsburgh International. If I'm trying to save money (for myself or for someone else) then why am I driving five hours to another city to catch a plane? (Hint: She never pays for gas, so she doesn't consider fuel costs.)

After nearly convincing me that this would be a good idea, she announced that she was actually making plans for next year's vacation. No wedding in Cali for us this year. Damn. I was mentally preparing for it, even telling my boss that I would need to take a week off. I hate missing the special event, but at least I get to save some money.

Disappointment caught up with me in the form of a dream early this morning. In the dream, I was really and truly going to California! Actually, it turned out that I was already there, in Long Beach; I just happened to have not left my neighborhood here in Allegheny County, which was somehow in Long Beach now. The idea was to take a small plane from Long Beach to the big airport in Los Angeles (LAX), then fly in a big jet to...where? Pittsburgh? That never became clear. In any event, we were almost ready to leave and head for the airport, when I looked out my window to see a small plane coming in for a landing. It seems that the Long Beach airport was located not far from my house. This small plane -- which I recognized as the one that would be carrying us from Long Beach to LA -- flew too low and looked like it wasn't going to clear the neighbor's house. Somehow the wings missed the structure but the back end of the plane got wedged between the two houses just up from mine, causing our next door neighbor's house to be ripped from its foundations. Otherwise it remained intact as the plane stopped right there.

No one had ever seen its like before! Property was rendered useless, and people's lives were endangered! Naturally, all I could think of doing was pulling out my reservations, calling the airline, and demanding that they not make any trouble for me when I demand a full refund on the tickets because MY PLANE JUST WIPED OUT THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR! ONLY IT AIN'T MY PLANE NOW 'CAUSE IT AIN'T FLYIN' TODAY!

Yeah, like you wouldn't think of doing the same thing under the circumstances.

1 comment:

jipzeecab said...

Back when USAir had a virtual 88 % monopoly on flights out of GPA you could hire a limo for 6 hours, take it to the Cleveland Airport and still save money going anywhere in the US but the USAir hubs.