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Author Topic: Fucked by Airplanes
Reed
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So I'm back on the road this week. I'm supposed to be attending a conference at the San Francisco Airport Westin.

I am currently in a very nice room in the aforementioned bespoke establishment, but my luggage is not.

You see, to get here, the most reasonable flight plan I could find using Elsevier's online travel money saver thingy was to leave Baltimore yesterday at 3:45 ET, connect through Dallas at 7:10 CT and arrive here at 9:00 PT.

But we sat on the tarmac in Baltimore for an extra hour or so, something about a storm. And it was a hellish flight too. I don't think I've ever had such little legroom. The film was "Miss Potter" but we didn't get to see the end.

So the plane landed in Dallas at 6:55, and then they took their sweet fucking time hooking up the jetway thingy, and I was in the way back and everyone in front of me casually got their belongings together, etc. And, of course, the gate for my flight to SF was in another building, so I had to take that tube thing, which seemed to move slower than most. However, I barely made it to my connecting flight. I was the last one they let on the plane. The guy at the gate acted like he was doing me a fucking favor by letting me on and told me to run on the jetway (in retrospect, I should have flopped down like an italian footballer and claimed that his instruction to run caused me to trip and cause emotional damage. $3 million please). I was gracious, when I really wanted to scream "Look, this is not MY fault."

So anyway, I got to SF, but of course, my luggage did not. After seeing my bag not arrive, I went to that little room where you tell them about it. The nice woman there easily discovered on her computer that because of the tight connection, the bag didn't get on that flight, but would be on the next flight, at 11 pm, and that they'd bring it round the hotel, which is about five minutes away.

So I left with the impression that my luggage would arrive by midnight, and I stayed up to see that happen.

Then I fell asleep. I woke up at 4 am and called down to the front desk. They said it hadn't arrived.

So I called the 800 number on the slip the American Airlines employee gave me. It led to an automated phone tree ("Did you say, Branson, Missouri?" "NO -fucking virtual bimbo- SAN FRAN-CIS-CO!!) that told me that they know where my bag is and that it will be delivered within SIX HOURS of 730 AM. What the fucking, fuckity fuck fuck FUCK, is that all about!!! It was supposed to arrive last night, and you're going to give it to me today at noon?

I don't know what to do. The conference has started - I'm missing potentially article-worthy presenations on investment in neurotechnology - but I'm not going until I get my stuff. I need it. For various stuff-distribution reasons too dull to get into, I don't have anything in my carryon bag other than my laptop, my book for the plane ("Then We Came to an End" - Excellent), my Mp3 player, and other stuff I need for the meeting (recorder, notepads).

So here I am, in the same clothes I wore yesterday. I'm not presentable to a bunch of Medtech execs I've never seen. Whenever I fly, my choice of attire is based on what will be the easiest to deal with going through the ridiculous security system we now have at US airports. I've got Adidas Gazelle trainers, loose khaki trousers with a nylon belt, a long-sleeve black t-shirt (nothing written on it, just plain), white athletic socks and a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap. I really need a shave (but of course I put all that gear in my checked-in luggage, lest they think I'm going to blow up the plane with shaving cream and a razor. I didn't shave this week because that first shave after several days off looks the best, and I wanted that to be my look when I made my first impression on these people). I can't go to the meeting like this, can I? It will represent our publication horribly? This is awful.

So my plan is to just sit here, get some other work done, and hope my bag shows up and I can clean myself up and attend most of the conference.

What should I do?

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hobbes
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Ooh. White socks Reed. That's where you went wrong.
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die grosse linke Hand
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Just go to the conference and explain that the stupid damn airline lost your bag.

Or go and buy a new suit, toiletries and stuff and claim it back on insurance against the airline.

Ms Hand lost her luggage for six days from a flight the other month and had schoolkids hand-written exam coursework in it, if that makes you feel a little better. It is a horrible position to be in.

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die grosse linke Hand
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I missed he had white socks. Its got to be option 2.
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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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quote:
Adidas Gazelle
Good choice of trainers....Bad luck for the other stuff. There is nothing you can do about this so don't beat yourself with a stick.
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Matej
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Are you on a daily stipend?

Go out and buy some new stuff, make yourself presentable, explain anything you are missing, and bill it to somebody else (airline or empoyer maybe?)

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Reed
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No. I think the Atlantic itself will be bridged before this difference in our two cultures is. Here, sports shoes mean sports socks, which are, by our definition, almost always white. Mine are the really short kind that you can barely see. Lately, I've experimented with some types of black cycling socks and a few other colors, but white is the standard here.

Anyway...

They haven't lost my luggage, they just aren't very punctual in delivering it, so I doubt they'll give me any money for my trouble.

Going out and buying a whole new kit doesn't seem like a good option because I'm out by the damn airport. Finding appropriate vendors for the items I need and then obtaining transport to them would take a while, by which time my bag may arrive. And I don't think Elsevier would be too keen on paying for that, even though they should.

But if I were downtown at the place I stayed last time I was in SF, or somewhere like that, I might do that. There were lots of shops around there.

[ 17.05.2007, 16:35: Message edited by: Reed ]

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ursus arctos
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No socks, reed.

It's California.

And what linke said.

And PLEASE go into the city; it violates the 8th amendment to stay out in goddam Burlingame.

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WornOldMotorbike
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If any of the big U.S. dailies ever publishes my ranting manifesto, Open Letter To America, you'll see a line or two about white socks and team baseball hats. What is it with you people? If you don't wear them, will you be hunted down, like bus drivers will be if they don't give the obligatory hand-wave to a bus driver coming the other way?
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boris
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I like those Adidas Gazelles. I've got a yellow and blue pair that I bought off a bloke in Greece, via ebay, because you can't get half sizes in the UK. Very smart. Shame about all your other stuff, Reed, but at least you've got your laptop and your MP3 player. And room service, I presume. Could be worse.
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Reed
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I did order room service last night, both because I was famished and to vent frustration. Billing $30 for a meal to the company always makes me feel a little better in these situations.

WOM, I don't see what the issue is. Baseball caps keep the sun out of one's eyes and they remind us of what was good and could be good again. White socks look right.

And yes, bus drivers must wave to each other. Indeed, anyone driving a vehicle that requires a CDL must wave to all other such drivers. It's in the Bible, I think.

My Mp3 player is almost out of power and I forgot the charger. But I've got a laptop and OTF, so I count myself a rich man.

UA, it's actually pretty chilly here. I'm not in Burlingame, I don't think. It's Millbrae. And I won't have the chance to see anything. I've got to go to the meeting, then come back to my room and write some articles and then go back to the meeting tomorrow and then fly back to DC tomorrow afternoon. I'm staying out here because this is where the meeting is. Staying at the hotel where the meeting is being held is generally the preferable option, not least of all because it allows you to justify booking a fairly posh hotel.

There is an In-and-Out Burger down the road, but it might be walkable. I've never been to an IAOB, so I might do that.


I've got gazelles in red, black, blue and gray. I'm thinking of getting the green and maybe some new red ones as mine are a bit faded. I wish they had them in maroon.

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Barndoorio
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$30 for a meal doesn't sound much at all. My plain steak, chips and a beer was £22 the other day, which is over $40. I love american food the most about the country, it's sooo cheap! And there's cheese and eggs on everything.
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WornOldMotorbike
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quote:
WOM, I don't see what the issue is. Baseball caps keep the sun out of one's eyes and they remind us of what was good and could be good again. White socks look right.

There is an In-and-Out Burger down the road, but it might be walkable. I've never been to an IAOB, so I might do that.

Nerdly as this sounds, I've wanted to eat at an IAOB too, since reading Fast Food Nation.

As for white socks, they look wrong 100 different ways, but mainly because every single last man, woman and child (without exception, mind) in the U.S. wears them, and always with white runners. The look is as ubiquitous as dockers/khakis, a golf shirt and Topsiders. For that reason, if no other, it should be shunned. Imagine the reaction you'd get. Like Homer wearing the pink shirt. You can do it, Reed.

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Reed
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I'll cite your post if they ask me why I spent so much. We don't have a per diem, but we've been lectured about trying to save money whenever possible.
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WornOldMotorbike
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"Hmmm.....$120 for shoes....not white.
$24 for socks....not white...
$18 for burgers....not McDonalds..."


Bzzzzz...."Reed...would you mind coming in here a moment?"

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