Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1:30AM on the 19th: The Plight Of The Red Eye

I have always suspected that the 'red eye' flight made available by most airlines is just a cleaver and creative way to screw most people out of money. This has always been just a suspicion, and will most likely never come out in the news headlines, nor be caught by any kind of consumer rights advocate group. But none the less I will personally always suspect!

Several weeks ago, John saved enough money to buy a plane ticket outside. (for those who have no idea, no, he isn't going outside in the yard, 'outside' is what Alaskans refer to the lower 48 and the rest of the world as) So Maryann went ahead and helped him find the best deal online, and of course paid online with "OUR" credit card because he is still in the process of doing the grown up duty of establishing credit. Which I have to commend him on because he always pays his debt and is getting a good standing in the eyes of the credit world. Upon completing the flight itinerary, she let him know that he would be flying out of Anchorage at 1:30AM on the 19th. This is where the airlines get you.

If you 'think' to yourself that line, 5 times fast...."departing at 1:30AM on the 19th" you will realize that in fact it means "departing at 1:30AM on the 19th". But if you are like 7 out of 10 people surveyed, you will in fact miss your flight! Because, you will not be at the departing gate at 1:30AM on the 19th, but rather 1:30AM on the 20th. Confused? Think about it. I admit, I am a dummy as well, because we both have had to re-check our past itineraries with that whole 'red eye', departing 12:00AM-1:30AM crap. Difference between John and us is...he didn't catch it. He never read his itinerary. It was emailed to him.....but he never checked it!!!!! Yes, John missed his flight this morning at 1:30AM! He was going to be there tonight, the 19th, at 1:30AM.

Not sure if this is a common issue amongst the masses of young people who have decided to take the world by the short hairs, and move out on their own, but my observation is that there is an invisible sign on the inside of the door leading to the outside (the outside of the house in this instance, not outside of Alaska). That sign states that 'You are now independent. You have to be responsible for yourself, your actions and how you affect those around you from now on. You will have to make your own way and provide successfully for yourself. You will hit ruts and in some cases potholes in the road along the way, but you have to buck up and brush off. You need to put a positive impression on all those around you so that they will look up to you and respect what you are doing for yourself. You will have to be able to make your own plans, back them or cancel them, and pay the consequences when and if you don't follow through. You have to make your own life, because nobody will make it for you.'

There is of course the fine print on that sign as well, that states something to the effect that 'if you stumble and have to fall, we will help you the best we can (as any parent). But you have to take your licks and learn your lessons. Once is a lesson.....twice is your own foolishness.' The fine print also says something about 'parents being there to help you, guide you, give you sound advice, and support you when you are at a loss.' Somewhere between sneaking his mattress out at 12:45 in the morning back in June and taking two weeks to move his personal possessions out of his bedroom.....our son missed that sign!

Then there is the BofD. The Bank Of Dad. I think we all have banked there at one time or another. This bank is good for a cheap loan, with low to no interest, and most of the time you are never declined a credit line. Here at the compound, BofD has a 24 hour customer access point. Our customer is always on time with reasonable payments, and always has paid his balance down to zero. He is an upstanding customer! Actually, I sometimes wonder if he knows how lucky he really is to have his own branch of BofD available to him. So many kids as well as adults dont!

In doing tonight what any reasonable parent would do, and that is setting him straight on what lesson there is to be learned from missing your flight due to your own negligence, some facts were brought to the table.

Fact 1: Mom bailed you out of this one. She spent 3 hours on the phone to make alternative arrangements so that you would only lose 1/2 of your plane fare. Mind you, it cost an additional $275.00 on top of the $530.00 that was already paid for the round trip fare. Fact 2: As always, the Bank Of Dad was there to make sure that $275.00 was readily available because you didn't have it. Fact 3: The statement; "when I move out it will be a piece of cake because I will always have extra money with my job" dont hold a squirt of piss when you never have enough money to handle "real life situations" and have to alternately pull withdrawals from the Bank Of Dad to do so. So you should really re-think what you mean when you state, "I am always giving all that I make to you (dad). If I wasn't always paying you (dad) back, I would have food in my fridge and the money I need for gas". Hmmmm. That makes sense. Fact 4: Dont crap on the hands that are there to catch you when you fall.....they may not be there one day when you are falling, because they went to wash off all of that crap and missed you!

Am I being hard? I dont think so. Growing up is hard enough. I have been there. Which one of us hasn't. But I think that learning from the school of hard knocks is supposed to build character. I hope it helps to make us more responsible. All in all I have to commend John on his journey through young adulthood. He is doing well so far. We only hope that he will continue to succeed and move forward with his dreams and desires. And for Pete's sake, that he will double check his itineraries in the future! For those of you fortunate enough to see him while he is down there this next 9 days, we hope you enjoy his company. He has alot to do and so little time to do it in. But let me not leave this post with any confusion. Even when your kid is out of the house, raising kids is frustrating as all get go at times, and does leave me talking to myself! He is a good kid that boy, but he has alot of growing up to do!!

A neat little footnote, our blog, Kenai Alaska Or Bust, Adventures On E (see link at the top of this page) was also mentioned: and Basecamp Nikiski all got honorable mentions of sort in the small local community paper last week, in an article about blogging on the peninsula. Hats off to the 3 of us!! Kudos.

1 comment:

The Boehme Family said...

My friend bought her husband a ticket from Anchorage to Arizona. It was for 12:30 a.m. on the 10th. She ALSO bought him a ticket from Kenai to Anchorage at 8:30 p.m. on the 10th. It didn't work so well when he showed up on the 9th to go to Anchorage to make his flight to Arizona on the 10th. And ERA was very unforgiving. He lost $200 AND 5000 frequent flyer miles. Blah Blah Blah they were big jerks about the whole situation... You would think it would happen quite a bit and they would have some kind of system to deal with it. He missed all of his flights and made it to Arizona a whole day late.