By now, regular visitors to this space know that The Curmudgeon has reserved a middle seat on the flight to hell, between two Sumo wrestlers, for the people who run airlines. They’re bad people who dislike their customers and demonstrate that dislike on a regular basis by providing bad service. For those of you who need examples, find past commentaries about the airlines here and here and, oh yes, here, too.
It’s not as if The Curmudgeon has to go far to find this stuff. In fact, it practically walks up to you and smacks you in the face.
Here’s the latest. ESPN.com – not exactly a consumer-oriented, news-gathering juggernaut – reported last week that Delta Airlines, until now not a specific target of The Curmudgeon’s jibes, canceled a flight two Sundays ago from Gainesville, Florida to Atlanta so the University of Florida basketball team could make a Monday night game in Connecticut. The university needed to make alternative arrangements when its own plane needed maintenance and was not available.
So fifty people were bumped from their flight – the Sunday after Thanksgiving, only one of the busiest travel days of the year – so a college basketball team could get to its destination a comfortable and convenient twenty-four hours before it needed to play a game.
As ESPN.com reports, this wasn’t a case of the university seeking any kind of special privileges or attempting to throw around its weight. No, the university said “We’ve got a problem, can you help?” and the good folks at Delta said “Sure. We’ll just throw fifty people off a flight for which they’ve already paid, and for which they all made reservations a long time ago, so we can accommodate you guys.”
And people wonder why The Curmudgeon so dislikes the airlines. The answer: because they make it so very, very easy.