To the folks at Delta International Check In, the TSA and anyone else in the travel industry with a bad attitude I salute thee……with my middle finger.
Many of my loyal readers and Facebook friends know that I travel a lot. I don't travel nearly as much as I used to but still I travel a good portion of the time for work. On a regular basis you can see my status on Facebook (En Route ATL-Wherever). I have been on the road for 3 weeks straight and I have had it up to my frontal midsection with people in the travel industry with a bad attitude. You see it’s a two way street. I am keenly aware that working in the travel industry is harsh and thankless so I go the extra mile to ensure that I have empathy for the folks on the “other side of the counter”. The rub for me is when I run into someone that doesn’t understand the meaning of ownership and responsibility.I am sitting at the bar of Ecco – Hartsfield, a wonderful high end restaurant in the new Hartsfield International Terminal. Yes…many of you may not be aware that Delta and the airport combined resources to build a truly incredible terminal that is dedicated to international travel. I love it because it is completely disconnected from the Domestic terminal and I don’t have to arrive 3 hours in advance for an international flight. I was thanking my lucky stars about that because as luck would have it I spent an additional half hour in traffic on the connector on a Saturday afternoon. To the Atlanta master planners and the idiot Atlanta drivers that created the traffic jam on a Saturday afternoon….FU.
Now here comes the fun part. I get to the international parking deck with 1 hour and 10 minutes to spare. That’s plenty of time to get to the gate as I have already checked in and have by boarding pass. First is the experience with the shuttle bus driver. If you have ever seen the movie Lethal Weapon 3 and remember the chase in the very beginning of the movie where the armored car driver Delores falls in love with Mertaugh, this is our shuttle bus driver. When she was ready to go, she was ready to go, threw the bus in drive and took off…all while a lady was still trying to get her bags situated and starts yelling “ya gotta siddown maam”!!! As she drove aggressively out of the parking lot, the warning bell on the vehicle was indicating that she did not have her seat belt on which was yet another indicator that she did not care about her safety let alone the safety of the people on board. So to the ATL Parking shuttle service driver I will name Delores….FU.
I continue my journey and only a few feet away from Delores is the wonderful kiosks that I use to check in or get my updated boarding pass. Expecting a normal response and speedy check in the unit informs me that it is too late to check in and to see and agent. Normally I don’t mind talking to an agent but today was going to be an exception. The person looks at the screen and grimaces…all to tell me “your late sir”. “Late?? What do you mean late” I retort. She informs me that the plane is departing from International Terminal E. I respond by explaining that there is no international terminal E…only terminal E. She explains that the gate has been changed. I show her my slick Fly Delta app and it says to go to the International Terminal. She responds that yes that means International Terminal E. Then I freak out….she has now crossed the line with me when it comes to accountability. You see…Atlanta want to great pains to separate the international terminal. Every road sign now points to 75 South which puts you on the opposite side of the airfield from the old Terminal E. Terminal F is the location where every departing flight for international travel is located…period. If Delta decides to change gates to another terminal then it is their responsibility to fix the problem. She told me that I should have been at the airport 3 hours in advance. I informed her that my Fly Delta app did not inform me of any changes of gates and that I have been checking it since I left the house at 4:00. So to the gate agent that thinks it is my responsibility to make sure that their methods of communication work properly and is unwilling to help…. so to these wonder people I say FU. Luckily I was able to get on a flight 4 hours later.
Then comes the TSA inspection point. Note to the TSA and the Atlanta airport. You can eliminate some costs and service the public better by installing a recorded message about what you are supposed to leave on or take off with the slick video that is language agnostic. That way I won’t have to listen another Delores say the same thing over and over again…each time with more loathing as she sees folks screw up her instructions because they either don’t understand English (gee you are at the INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL after all), are first time travelers, or are elderly and/or handicapped. Your money would be better spent if you were to use these folks to help people instead of repeat instructions verbally over and over again in English only. Oops I’m sorry that would require hiring someone that actually cared about servicing people. So to the TSA agents with a bad attitude and to the TSA itself that is a useless entity….FU.
You might be laughing your tail off as you read this or you might be thinking that I am a really negative person that is whining about my “rich person problem”. You may be a little right about the rich person problem as this is exactly what I have. If you think you know what I mean by FU then you would most likely be wrong….watch this and find out my true meaning of FU is in the context of this entry.
To the folks that make my flight great I just salute you (Amanda). You are talented in people skills and genuinely care about your customers and your company. Where is my next bottle of wine??