Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jamaica Me Crazy!

Ire. A Jamaican word that means good, happy, okay.

And that's what you magically become the minute you step foot onto this island nation of reggae, rum, and Red Stripe.

But before we get all good and happy, let's backtrack to the night before Fran and I were to leave. Back in the still snowy climes of Southern Colorado, all snug in our beds. It's 11:30 PM. The shrill sound of the phone ringing pierces the silence. Fran fumbles for the handset in her sleepy coma.

"Hi, this is American Airlines. Your flight that was due to take off in 6 1/2 hours has just been canceled. "

How's that for a wake up call?! As the glorious idea of our long awaited vacation begins to crumble, Fran becomes increasingly more irritated because the American Airlines costumer service agent isn't being very helpful in explaining exactly why the flight was canceled, or in helping us find an alternate route to our rum soaked destination.

"Well, we can get you on a flight that leaves at 7am to Miami, with a five hour layover, but you won't get into Montego Bay until 8pm. Or we can get you on a later flight, but sadly you won't get to your destination until the following day."

Several layers of hell instantly froze over. A five hour layover in Miami was about as appealing as walking barefoot across a bed of broken glass. Or watching an episode of Dancing with the Stars. And getting in a day late and missing a day of all inclusive vacation time? Uh, not gonna happen.

Fran made it abundantly clear just how unacceptable those options were and that she needed to find us another flight on another airline. The American Airlines agent hotly refused saying she wasn't able to search other airlines because it wasn't their policy. Needless to say Fran was peeved! And rightfully so. Instead of acting like a professional, courteous, costumer service rep, the persona non grata on the other end of the line actually said something to the effect of (and I'm paraphrasing): "If you don't calm down I'm going to end this conversation."

And that's how American Airlines became Shayotovich Airlines. ;) Come fly our friendly skies were we serve you more than one teeny tiny hermetically sealed bag of something resembling pretzels and a thimble full of your not-so-favorite beverage of limited choice.

Have you noticed how airlines are increasingly treating its passengers like livestock? Seriously though I am writing one of my patented "You just pissed off the wrong person" letters so I expect next year's vacation airfare will - at the very least - be taken care.

But I digress. Back to our story...

Fran rhetorically repeated the line back to her in utter amazement. Since I was nearby I heard what she said and immediately told Fran to ask for a Supervisor. Long story short: the Supervisor "somehow" managed to not only get us another flight (on another airline) that got us there an hour earlier then we were originally supposed to, but we got bumped up to first class. "Not your policy," huh?

And that's how our vacation started.

Tune in next time when you'll hear the mating call of the not-so-rare male Jamaican Rum Runner ("Aaaaayeyeyeyeye!") and a Scottish Highlander's phone etiquette ("I've lost the will to live."). Until then... keep the Red Stripes chilled and the reggae loud. I'm.... OUT!


Jamaica Jackie said...

We've all been there - I had a recent experience with British Airways. What can you say, the travel industry is less than impressive these days...hope it didn't cast a shadow over the rest of your trip! Best wishes and good luck in your future transportation adventures ;)

Eli the Mad Man said...

Oh no... once we landed - "ire." ;)

Just wait till I get to the return flight portion of the story. OY!