Freudian Slips: Planes, Pains, and Automobiles.

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 24, 2005

Planes, Pains, and Automobiles.

Looking for luggage in all the wrong places.
What happens in Las Vegas should stay in Las Vegas. It almost did. It all started when an anonymous member of my family decided to book a gambling trip to Las Vegas through Travelocity over the Internet. Early on, he tries to correct Travelocity's mistake of booking four friends on one return flight and himself on a seperate flight 12 hours later. He was stonewalled by Southwest Airlines, who insisted that the purchased tickets were non-transferable and non-refundable. Travleocity wiped their hands clean saying the restrictions were part of the agreed upon business contract. Southwest assures him that flying standby is the answer. Under advisement from a fly by night operation, he cancels his midnight flight to fly standby for an addtional fee.
Add impatience and $150.00 to your checkout cart.
The 12:30pm plane takes off with his friends. There are no standby seats. Laying his burden down, he puts his luggage on the plane. He waves adios to everyone familiar.
The 1:30pm plane has no extra seats to fly standby either. He continues to sit, wait, and stew. When the 2:30pm plane from Las Vegas to Philadelphia is overbooked, he goes ballistic. The only other Southwest plane going into Philadelphia is the midnight run, which he cancelled himself out of to fly standby for the extra $150.00.
He scrambles to find another airline with a plane that leaves before the witching hour. He books a flight minutes before takeoff on a plane that has already finished boarding. He doesn't care about paying twice for the same flight in the same airspace. He wants to go home.
Add revenge and $330.00 to your checkout cart.
His olive skin and makeshift plans attract a great deal of attention at the airport. Security personnel question his intentions. He tells them of his woeful travel plans gone awry. They frisk him. He questions their intrigue with him.
"You pay cash for a one way trip two minutes before takeoff and board with no luggage carrying only a brown paper bag." mocks a hulking security guard. "You better believe I'm going to search you."
"It's a rented DVD player in the bag." he replies.
A little roughed up and massaged, he runs down the tarmac after the plane. He settles in his seat and enjoys the ride. Several hours later, the plane lands in Baltimore, Maryland not Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Oops. Now he is 200 miles from home without a car, luggage, or means for pickup. Other family members try and pick him up at Philadelphia Airport. Neither he nor his luggage can be found. He failed to tell anyone that he asked the original airline to hold his luggage. Nobody knew he hastily changed plans and boarded a different flight and flew into a different city to the south. So while the luggage has been put to the side by the airline, family members frantically look for it on the carousel. Everything is indeed going round and round...but the luggage.
Meanwhile back in Baltimore, he goes to book a rental car but every vender is completely sold out because the Preakness is in town, one of the biggest horse races of the year. He calls other friends and family members who have not yet been summoned to the airport to reclaim his luggage. One by one people go to the airport to try and reclaim the lost luggage. Eventually, a car is found but it just so happens to be a midsize vehicle. You don't say. So a simple $19.99 rental turns into a $69.00 rental.
Add aggravation and $69.00 to your checkout cart.
"I'll take it." he says.
In a surprise move, he informs the car rental company that he won't be returning to Baltimore. Neither will the rental car. The car is headed due north because his plane landed in the wrong city. After some discussion, he gets permission to drive to Philadelphia International Airport. Little did they know, the airport was where he was headed anywhere because he still had to claim his luggage and return the brown-bagged portable DVD player he rented from his Philly flight to Las Vegas.
The trip home is now on its 12th hour. The dog and pony show is zipping along the Interstate 95 corridor when he sees police sirens following him. He gets pulled over by a Maryland State Trooper and cannot talk his way out of a speeding ticket.
Add insult to injury and $100.00 to your shopping cart.
Thirty minutes later, what does his eyes deceive him? He sees police sirens following him again on the same road. He is pulled over again. Now when this story was being told to me, I asked whether it was the same Maryland State Trooper who pulled him over the first time?
"No, the first State trooper wasn't as nice as the second."
I ask, "So you didn't get a second speeding ticket?"
"I got another ticket but this State Trooper was a whole lot nicer about it."
Add blatant disregard for the law and $100.00 to your checkout cart.
On the ride home, he wonders how long before the speeding tickets will cross state lines. Points have been levied against him. Losing your driver's license is crippling.
Add mental anguish and a conservative $1000.00 in insurance surcharges to your shopping cart.
The City of Brotherly Love contests his arrival. When he returns the rental car at Philadelphia Airport, he was surcharged for taking the car out of state, charged an additional set of state taxes, and was billed for eclipsing the allotted miles at land speed records. He claims ignorance of all of the above and protests mildly.
Add next time read the fine print advice and $169.00 to your checkout cart.
He is beleaguered by now. Flying standby all day, driving an extra couple hundred miles, and paying out the wazoo just to make it back home in a condition best described as shambles. He has been taxed, tolled, fined, and passed over. By now, all of his gambling buddies are sleeping off the jetlag, dreaming of jackpots on one arm bandits. So maybe he wasn't expecting the next question.
"Did you fill up the gas tank?"
"No."
"That is going to cost you. We charge $7.00 a gallon."
"What? Come on. Isn't the $169.00 for a $19.99 rental enough already?"
After some argument about the car being returned with a half tank of gas, both sides reach a workable compromise. "I see your point." The sales representative relented. "Leave $10.00 on the center console and I'll forget about the refueling costs." Talk about one arm bandits!
Add levied bribery and $10.00 to your shopping cart.
He walks about ΒΌ mile back to Philadelphia International Airport. He realizes he cannot lawfully get to the other side of the terminal to return his rented DVD player without a boarding pass or travel documents. He tries to buy something but the fine upstanding kiosk business has a hold on his debit card. He places an emergency call to the kiosk but only one guy is manning the store. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of deny-yourself-nothing customers lined up jockeying for just released DVD movies. Like a bump on a log, he sits inside a security office with a crumpled brown bag between his legs. He figures every security camera must be producing film on him by now. So he sits there waiting for the kiosk guy to take his 15 minute break. He calls family members about his luggage. He learns that even though the luggage got as lost and misplaced as he did, the luggage beat him home by hours. He calls family to let them know he is at the right airport now and ready for pickup. He makes it home light in the wallet and tired as hell.
Add one expensive vacation to Las Vegas to your checkout cart.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well...better leave Las Vegas 12 hours later! sometimes it is better to be a travelling bag then a travelling man. chi

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is too, too damn redicules to be anything but the truth. What a bum trip. I hope your relative won in Las Vegas. ET

6:54 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

Funny, for all that he laid out in the end; he could have booked a first class ticket to Philly.

I had a similar thing happen to me once.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Chi,
You probably made it back to Italy in half of the time.

ET,
Truth is stranger than fiction. Family is stranger than truth.

Pax,
hopefully you got into less trouble then in Sin City.

7:39 PM  
Blogger justrose said...

once my luggage got left behind, in toledo, of all places.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Justrose,
Holy Toledo! As long as peanuts weren't served on the airplane you probably considered it a good trip.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that sucks - but as an employee of a legacy air carrier, the story in a little bit is satisifying to see a negative Southwest story 8-)

1:00 PM  
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5:56 AM  

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