Ever since the merging with US Airways, American Airlines’ primary objective seems to be filling every possible seat and flying their planes as full as possible. Actually, all airlines try to do this, and the biggest of them (AA and UA) put their full planes (read: their profits) ahead of their customers by overselling the heck out of each flight, and having many passengers eagerly waiting for a seat on “standby”. The problem here is that if you miss a connection, you’re basically screwed because they’re giving away your seat and you’re going to sit on your hands hoping to get a seat at some point, somehow, to your final destination. To hell with your vacation or work plans.
I had this epiphany a few weeks after swapping air travel stories with another passenger during a Southwest flight from LGA to DEN.
Recently, I’ve been flying a lot on JetBlue and Southwest. This month, I’ve booked two trips with JB. That’s right, I’m turning my back on Priority Status with AA because JetBlue schedules are better, fares are lower, and their seats are more comfortable.
Over all, I’ve been very happy with JB. Then, on June 19th, 2016, this happened: I was greeted by a Jet Blue pilot who was commuting home (on this very same flight, a month ago). He recognized me (probably because I talked his ears off last time) and he wished me a happy Father’s Day. Hey, I know that’s no big deal, but I’m like a kid in a candy store when I get to chit chat with professional pilots about airplanes and about their jobs. So for this guy to acknowledge me made my day.
After we arrived, like a knucklehead, I’m the guy who left my phone in the seat-back pocket. Of course I was in a hurry to exit because I had to pee for about 2 states! And I didn’t realize I had left my phone until I exited the secure area at Dulles airport. No way to double back to the gate! UGH! So I went to the check-in counter and asked the agent for help. He made a call and asked me to take a seat. 2 minutes later, he came over and told me they found the phone and to go to the office by baggage claim to retrieve it. By the time I got there, the phone was waiting for me.
It’s been about two years since I got my check ride.
While flying, I’ve had the privilege of seeing some of the most beautiful things imaginable, from incredible sunsets to entire cities whisping by beyond the clouds. Given that I was actually flying the plane, I’ve only been able to capture a fraction of them. To celebrate this 2-year anniversary, I threw together a little video of the few moments I did manage to catch.
A BIG thank you to my flight instructors who made it possible for me to realize a dream that I first had when I was 4 years old.