Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Want My Frequent Flyer Miles Back

When you fly you need plane reservations. Only seagulls and Bob Hope can do without them.
I just flew in from California, and boy, are my arms tired.

So I made reservations online using my frequent flyer miles, because I can’t afford to fly back and forth between New York and San Francisco and pay for it. Do I look like a one per-center in my blue jeans and T-shirt?
I won’t say which airline simply because they have lawyers on retainer and I don’t. Actually they have nothing to fear from this post.
Not the actual plane I flew on

After I made reservations, I learned friends would be flying the same day but two hours earlier. So I clicked my way to a reservation change from 8:30 AM to the 6:30AM flight and put myself in a seat next to my friends. But I soon discovered I had also clicked my way from a 12,500 miles charge to a 25,000 miles charge. And then insult to injury: another 25,000 mile charge appeared. My account had dropped 50,000 miles and I’d only spent 12,500.  Just like when I invest on Wall Street (which since the Crash of 1989 is never).
Not as bad as all that

My first remedy was to talk online with Alex. Alex was an automated voice and a pretty picture of a European woman who responded to my typed questions in a soothing feminine European voice. No matter what I asked, she told me she was sorry she couldn’t help me and told me to look at the window that popped up and find the answer there.
Is this the party to whom I am speaking?

I found a 1-800 phone number and dialed it. A kindly, authoritative European male voice told me my wait to speak to a human was three minutes—easy, I could surf the net for three minutes and delete my web history later.
Going for the cute dog lover audience

Sure enough in three minutes I spoke to the first of my three friends at the mileage service center and the reservations department. I’m a student of accents, so I guessed they weren’t born in Brooklyn or the Bronx. Staten Island, maybe, but that was a distant 7th on my list. I won’t say which southern Asia country I guessed because that might sound prejudiced, and I’m anything but prejudicial toward people in other countries or immigrants from any country. Immigrants are the blood transfusion of America. Without them, I’d have to eat at Irish restaurants, and a potato and a six-pack isn’t my idea of a seven-course meal.
Hint: It's one of these countries

My three friends were most desirous of resolving my issues (since around 1990 I stopped having problems and began having issues—nice change.). But our communication dilemma was this: although they understood me fine (of course, I speak American), and even though they spoke flawless English—well you know. It was difficult, even though I had the phone to my good ear. Eventually we were all on the line together in a conference call for one hour and twenty-six minutes. They invented the word polite and exercised infinite patience with my requests to repeat and slow down. When one asked me four times for my PIN, and I didn’t know it, she said it wasn’t a problem, and she  created one for me. And then she asked me for it to confirm my account. I came close to crying only when Mr. Reservations asked me for my reservation confirmation number which was in an email I received a month ago. Not a problem, he said, and we proceeded without it.
Should I write it down?

Low and behold Ms. Customer Service admitted there’d been a mistake, even though she couldn’t fix it. Mr. Reservations put me on hold for 18 minutes to go talk to his superiors. No problema. I’m retired and had 18 more minutes of surfing. When Mr. Reservations returned, he informed me it was my lucky day, all was forgiven, and he restored the missing miles to my account. He enquired if there was anything else he could do to help me. I toyed with asking him about global climate change and world peace, but decided to be satisfied with my miles.
Don't press your luck on climate change

We hung up, and that’s when I cried. We need people like that here in Brooklyn. If they come, I hope they’ll open a restaurant. I love their food.
Typical Brooklynites going to dinner

Bonus joke for those who stuck with me and read all the way to the end:
New Yorker 1: “Why can’t those immigrants speak English?”
New Yorker 2: “Which immigrants?”
New Yorker 1: “The ones from England.”
Find the true New Yorker

Thanks for taking the time to read. See You again.

Photo credit: Google Search


  1. All the while I'm thinking, Christ, how many miles does Doc Hurley have? If that'd happened to me, I'd have been in the red on my miles just like I am in my bank account. Good post, Doc.

    You still need to add the google plus followers button on the side so all of us G+'ers can follow follow?

    1. Thanks, Buzz. My credit card adds to my frequent flyer miles. That plus I was stalking Hilary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. Damn, she flew a lot.

      I have a Google+Followers gadget at the very bottom of the page. And a gadget in right sidebar that links to both my G+ profile and allows people to add me to their circle. And a gadget that lets people follow by email. Did you mean something else?

  2. Go to my blog and look at the follower listings on the sidebars. There's two different kinds. The one is for people in your circles, and the other is for people who have swam in your Kool-Aid and ready to form a new colony in South America with you (they get it automagically whenever you post something).

    1. Thank you, Buzz. I think I got most of your excellent and hilarious blog ripped off by now. My Kool Aid: you have such an eloquent manner about you.
      I left word at Word Press to let folks know The Lunatic Assylum is moving lock, stock, building, and monopoly game to Blogger, and invited them to come with.