Thursday, March 29, 2007

Things I learn from airports

A few fun facts I picked up today:

-Buses in England are as wonky as ones in Northern Ireland. Sometimes, they'll decide to just remove themselves from existance for half an hour or more. During rush hour.

-A late bus can make you miss your train. A missed train can make you miss your flight. And no matter what anyone tells you about where the flybe desk at Manchester airport is, you should ignore them. They're probably lying to you because they think it's funny when people run around the entire airport.

-Flybe does not do standby. They also don't let people check in for flights when they still have time to run for it. They'd much preferr charging you eighty quid for a new flight. Sixty four, if you spend a lot of time bargaining and don't mind a 6-hour layover.

-Manchester Airport has a prayer room. It's quiet, non-denominational, and the chaplaincy doesn't mind if you basically spend the whole day there. And it's pretty empty, except for the occasional Muslim who comes in to do prayers (between flights or on their work breaks).

One of these things made me happy. The others decidedly did not. I'll let you figure out which was which.

So today's challenge in the struggle to walk cheerfully over the earth was perspective. On the first count, reminding myself that it wasn't the end of the world, and even if it was pretty much theft on flybe's part, at least I had the sixty quid for them to steal. The second was remembering not to take it out on airline staff, because it wasn't their fault. It was partially the fault of the airport staff who lied to me (twice) about which terminal flybe was in, and partially the fault of the lady who told me the doors were closing in seven minutes when I knew for a fact it was fifteen, but it was not the fault of the ticket counter lady who told me they don't do standby. She can't be held responsible for her company's (idiotic) policies.

Being able to sit in a quiet room for a while made it much easier to calm down, to the point where I was actually able to smile and appreciate the flight when it finally departed (at 5:30; my original one was at ten past eleven). I love flying, really. Airports and airlines notsomuch, but flying itself is pretty cool.

So today's lessons from airports:

-Way really does open, even if sometimes it does it extremely inconveniently, and I should be thankful when it happens, even if I'm pissed off that it shouldn't have had to. Because just when it seems like it's just my day to be mocked by the almighty, I get a prayer room.

-Flybe still loses at life. While there may be that of God in every person, I'm fairly certain the inverse is true of corporations. Especially airlines.

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