Rubber Bands and Chewing Gum

Bill and I flew back to Denver on Southwest Airlines yesterday. I really like Southwest Airlines. Unlike Frontier, you are allowed two suitcases plus a carry-on bag at no cost. You also can make changes to your flight plans without them requiring you to give them your first-born child. Still, the process to attain a seat assignment is challenging.

If you’ve flown Southwest, you know that you are able to confirm your flight exactly 24 hours in advance of your flight. At that time — and not before that time — you will get your designated place in line. The closer you are to the front of the line, the better your chances of getting a good seat. Of course, you can pay cash money and get a seat assignment, but what’s the fun in that?

Our flight was scheduled to leave yesterday morning at 11:35. So Sunday morning at 11:34, Bill had entered all of our information and had his finger poised just above the button confirming our tickets. He watched the clock on his computer tick down, and the second — THE VERY SECOND — it said 11:35, he pressed the button. We were given the B41 and B42 spots.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Anyhoo, we made it to the airport in plenty of time, because we are the opposite of our kids and want to allow time for any kind of delay. We, of course, had no delays. However, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:30, the Southwest people made an announcement that our plane was going to be delayed by an hour. You had to have the hearing of a superhero to understand what the Quiet Talker was saying over the intercom, but I could understand enough to know that it had to do with the mechanics of the plane. And then, about 15 minutes later, they announced: never mind, the plane (which was in the air on its way from Denver to Phoenix) seems to be fine and we are going to leave on time after all. Hmmmm. Did the pilot have a Swiss Army knife that he used to repair whatever had made them nervous 15 minutes ago? Maybe some duct tape? Chewing gum and a rubber band? I’ll never know, but we made it home safely.

Bill and I are heap big Uber riders. It’s nice to not have to burden our friends or family by asking them to take us to the airport. Because who can say no? I changed most of their diapers. So Uber is the answer. We have had interesting Uber drivers in the past, but the one who drove us to the airport in Phoenix yesterday was one of the more interesting drivers I’ve met.

When in AZ, I always ask the drivers if they live in the East Valley, because Phoenix is SPREAD OUT. Many do not, but he said he did. He lived about 10 miles south of us in a community called Queen Creek. But he went on to tell us that he only drives Uber twice a day for a total of two trips. His office is in one of the West Valley cities. So he will pick up a customer — often going to or from the airport — on his way to and from work. That way he can write off part of his mileage as a business expense, and use the HOV lane to boot!

I asked him how he determines the destination of his passengers since they don’t have that information until they accept the rider. He said that Uber drivers are allowed to designate their destination twice a day, thereby making it more convenient when they are starting out from home and returning later in the day. So he just puts in his office address in the morning and his home address in the evening. He doesn’t always luck out and get a airport passenger, but he always gets someone reasonably on his route.

Now we’re home and today I will move onto Thanksgiving preparations.

One thought on “Rubber Bands and Chewing Gum

  1. The passengers in the front of the SW flights snicker at us as we walk by to the back of the plane and are thinking “buy your seat, fools!”

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