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Flights to Boston

Well, I have to say that I am pretty indecisive with the Oneworld Alliance
treatement of me during my flights to Boston. The Finnair portion of the
trip from Stockholm to Manchester was a solid 5.0/5.0. The American
Airlines portion gets a 2.5/5.0.

When I got to the Finnair check-in desk, it turns out that I knew the
check-in agent. So he tried to comp me for business class, but the system
wouldn't allow him to do that. So he did the next best thing...he
re-assigned all of the people sitting next to me so that I had the row to
myself. Then he put people in the rows in front of me and behind me in the
window and aisle seats. That meant that I could sit in the middle seat all
to myself and just relax and stretch. Which I did. The other cool thing
about Finnair flights is that they are dedicated to getting you as drunk as
the staff. So the drinks are flowing like water. I arrived into
Manchester drunk enough not to get pissed off about anything.

At the Manchester airport, since I can't get into the lounges anymore, I
put on my Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones, my workout mix on my MP3
player, and just tuned out. I ate a bit (I had an apple and some cranberry
juice), and in my drunken stupor, decided that to compliment my 1996 bottle
of Cristal, I would also purchase a 1996 bottle of Dom Peringnon. Not sure
that I will drink them at Steve's brunch in Atlanta. I have been a
collector of wine for so long, that now that I am 28 years old, it's time
for me tastes to refine and move onto the high-grossing stuff. So I have
about 9 bottles of vintage and reserve champagne.

So, to get back to the point, I am on the American Airlines flight from
Manchester to Boston as I type this. It's one of their 757 planes booked
as a single class of service. However, there is still a first class (let
us call it "economy plus"). They put their status members in the first
class seats, and then non-status cattle in the back. So I got into the
front of the plane. Sure, the food is exactly the same, but what do I
care? It's the seat that counts. Couldn't be more relaxed...

...Until an American Airlines flight attendant wants me to move to the
bulkhead in the "economy plus" section. I protest, because I think the
contrary to popular opinion, the bulk heads have less space for someone who
is 197cm tall. He then tells me that actually, there is a couple that they
are moving into my seats and that I basically don't have a choice but to be
reaccomodated. Can you tell that I was upset? I told him in no uncertain
terms that I am sitting in the seat that I paid for and that according to
the ground agent in Manchester, was pre-booked. There were two other rows
with seats by themselves, and that he was free to ask them. I also told
him that I write regular letters to the executives in charge of loyalty
programs of the airlines that I fly, because I think that it is important
they hear where their service fails, AS WELL AS WHEN THEIR SERVICE IS
GREAT. I also point out that I was offended that he had somehow made a
determination that meeting those other customer's needs were more important
than mine. I further protested that his tone was incorrect (I don't *have*
to move and I would have sued American Airlines if he had tried to accuse
me of violating a federal law of not following a flight attendant's
instructions because he would not have been able to prove that my refusal
to move jepordised the health and safety of the passengers or crew).

So the male flight attendant then goes to the lady in the bulkhead and
tells her to move to the free seat next to mine. So she does without
question. I don't mind sitting next to anyone at all, so I welcome her and
we chat for a bit. About 15 minutes later, the Purser (head flight
attendant) comes and tell the woman she is welcome to move back to her
preferred seat at the bulk head. Before she leaves, she tells me that the
male flight attendant told her that she had to move because they wanted to
use her row as a serving area. A different story than what he told me.

We purser subsequently told us that the reason he was trying to free seats
was for the flight attendants to use.

He basically lied.

And for that, the letter of disappointment I will draft is going straight
to the office of CEO, as well as the complaints division of the FAA.
Leadership starts at the very top here, and if the flight attendants are
going to lie, and they want that representing their company, then I want to
AA leadership to acknowledge that no administrative or personnel action
will be taken because it's basically OK for employees to lie when they
want.

Shouldn't I be angry? I think so. And with the mellowing alcohol now
leaving my system, and my refusal to pay US$5 for an under-sized cocktail,
I imagine I should get some work done instead.

Will update you all later. Upon landing, I have an emergency appointment
to get my hair did, and a pit-stop at KFC (yummy! yay! yay!). I have no
plans to visit anyone in Boston, since if I go to see friends and not
family, I think that is wrong (see my other post about not wanting to visit
the family because I would get yelled at for not being able to visit
everyone in the 16 hours I have in Boston).


Love and Kisses,

Rodney

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