Usually when I tee up a travel blog post, it’s to blast an airline (Southwest) for some terrible, awful thing they did to me. This post is very similar, but with a twist. Yes, I’m flying Southwest. And yes, I’m stuck in an airport. But this time, oh this time, dear readers, I did it to my damn self.
I had to go to our Woodbridge, NJ office for work. The closest airport to Woodbridge, NJ is Newark. If NYC area airports formed a human body-shaped constellation, JFK would be the linty belly button, La Guardia the sweaty underboob, and Newark the dirty butthole.
If Newark was around during Dante’s time, he would have written it in, and it would have been where C and D list celebrities came to spend their fiery eternity, with one shitty bar and crappy tacos. And one outlet that you had to fight off VERY IMPORTANT TRAVELING WHITE MEN to use to charge your phone.
Newark, based on my current experience right now, is also the fruit fly mating capital of the universe. There are 87 on my table right now. Wait! 88. Hi, little buddy!
Newark is where happiness comes to die.
But I digress.
I had the same return flight as my boss, or so I thought (dun dun dun, foreshadowing). The trip was going wonderfully, until I went to check in for my return flight. I would enter my confirmation number, first and last name, hit enter, and…. flight not found. Okay. Let’s try this again. Cut and paste confirmation number from reservation, to cut down on a chance of error, check license, make sure you have first and last name correct, hit enter.
I angrily emailed our travel agency. I had made the reservation online, so I asked them to please find the proper confirmation code, because mine wasn’t working, and please send it over to me so I could check in for my flight. She sent me back the code I already had.
In full B mode I emailed back, “I have already tried this code, several times, and it is not working. Can you please review and send the PROPER code?’ Not said but implied, ‘Do you think I’m stupid?’ (side note: someone just brought a screaming baby into my shitty taco bar. WELCOME TO HELL, BABY! ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE CHORUS OF THE DAMNED! Mind the fruit flies.)
She emails me back, ‘Your flight was for yesterday, so if you’re trying to check in for an already departed flight, they won’t let you.’ Not said, but implied, ‘Yes. You are stupid. You’re actually a goddamn idiot.’
Well, shit. At this point I call the 800 number. No use leaving a longer paper trail as proof of what a moron I can be sometimes. I will just call and move my flight to the one today, and everything will be fine and I’ll be home for dinner. Right?
Wrong. That flight was sold out, and there was one more seat left on the 5:00 pm. I took the last seat, and figured I would go to the airport with my boss and try to sweet talk my way onto the 1:20 flight. You know, hug the gate agent. Tell her she’s pretty. That you appreciate all her hard work. Slip her $50 and ask if there’s standby.
With confidence in my heart and a spring in my step, I made my way to Newark. (side note, that baby is STILL wailing. It’s like, I know where I am, fuckers. And I’m not going down without a fight. Mom is impressively double-fisting Coronas while bouncing the baby in a vain attempt to make it stop, Dad is trying to catch fruit flies with his mouth)
Turns out, I was not getting on that flight. It was oversold. And my patented Hug The Attendant move didn’t work so well. (Side note to Southwest Employee, Judy: I’m sorry. After my chat with the TSA agent, I realize that it was easy to misconstrue my eyebrow wiggle and lip lick, all while asking ‘Are you sure there isn’t anything I can do to change your mind?’ I was simply offering you an eyebrow and lip wax. The offer still stands.)
I was stuck on the 5:00 pm flight. It was noon. I was trapped in Newark for hours. Well! At least I have $12 chardonnay and $13 guac to give me sustenance!
After a few chardonnays, I realized I could trap and train the fruit flies, making my own Fruit Fly Circus. This seemed like a great business model, until a few more chardonnays in, I realized that due to the nature of the fruit fly life cycle, I already had to replace a quarter of my performers.
After three hours, I noticed a line had started to form for my crappy taco bar. Did this make me feel guilt, as I took up a table doing nothing more than drinking chardonnay and training fruit flies in the delicate art of Straw Acrobatics? No. It did not. Oh, look! Here comes another screaming baby! According to the Angry Mother, this baby’s name was Dammit Sophie.
Dammit Sophie and Corona Baby decided to join forces and scream in unison, even though they were on opposite sides of the bar, and as far as I could tell, could not make eye contact with each other. I just sat there, silently thanking my IUD, wondering if they wanted to see my Fruit Fly Circus.
Just when I thought, this cannot possibly get any worse, it got worse! Flight booked the wrong day, screaming baby, fruit fly plague, overpriced wine, crappy guac, best celebrity sighting was Tony Freaking DANZA, I mean, HOW CAN THIS GET WORSE?
Flight delay. Yes. That’s right, folks. my flight is now delayed. I’m sweaty. I smell like pee and fruit flies (don’t ask), and now I’m dela…. WAIT! They just made an announcement! Our plane is here! IT’S HERE! And, bonus! Tony Danza friggin loves my Fruit Fly Circus! He wants to talk about a possible reality TV show, over in the secluded Family Restroom!
This day is looking UP!
Yours in Newark is still a shit hole,