An Absolute Raving Ahole

January 26, 2011

in Passenger Stories

I never upgrade. This isn’t because I’m cheap, but because I’m broke. My fiancée and I are in the middle of immigration hell and immigration hell costs, so while others may be able to choose that option, I can’t. That said, I sometimes wish I could…

This has resulted in hellish flights, but this time took the cake with hellish connections. My mother graciously gifted me some of her Air Miles to fly from Saskatoon to Manchester to visit my gal this past Christmas, but these Air Miles bookings are always worse (and definitely different) on the itinerary than they are just 5 minutes previous on the phone during booking. Oh, and no seat selection. Boo.

As it turned out I was booked to fly on Air Canada from Saskatoon – Toronto – Copenhagen – Manchester. Ugh, not looking forward to this, but…

Saskatoon – Toronto was uneventful. In coach where it’s always cold and the leg room is sparse.

Toronto – Copenhagen was the unmitigated shits. It was one of those enormous air bus things (seated 3 – 4 – 3 across the cabin) and I was smushed against the cold window with a smelly dude with body overflow in my seat. They have to get the luggage balanced juuuust right on those things I’m told (but I’m probably naive and there’s some other sinister reason), so they dicked around with it for the better part of an hour.

My connection from Copenhagen to Manchester was already tight, but this made it worse and I missed my connection along with 6 other people. Someone directed me to the transfer counter where some paper-saving jerk behind the counter put me and a strange man on the same transfer ticket. At this point I was tired and dizzy from not being able to sleep or eat much (I’m a Saskatchewan girl and paying $8 for a burger is NOT okay).

What this meant is that we were forced to go to the transfer counter together and explain the situation. First it meant a huge hassle at security as they wanted to know why it had worked out that way and why it had been handwritten in red pen. He called some woman over and she proceeded to SCOLD me like a small child. I asked her politely to please not scold me as I hadn’t done anything to provoke it, and she proclaimed that I had a “bad attitude” and stormed off. I didn’t understand the point of my ticking off, but the other guy and I managed to get through.

At the KLM ticket counter, however, the guy who was sharing my boarding pass turned into the most absolute raving asshole I’d ever met, telling the people who were trying to help us how bad the service was, how he was some Starpower Special Snowflake Card Holder Extraordinaire and he was going to have their asses in slings blah blah. The first agent put up with him for about 3 minutes before telling him he had a “bad attitude” (I agreed with her, actually) and refused to serve us. The next agent had already printed MY boarding pass when the guy started in on her about the crappy service, etc. Even though now I was REALLY tired and snapped at him to shut up, she took away my boarding passes (MY boarding passes!) and refused to serve us. By the time the third agent came around I turned on him after getting her attention and gave him a stern, “Shut up and let me handle this,” and managed to politely navigate her towards my already-printed boarding passes and got it into my hands.

I didn’t see him on my flight to Amsterdam (rerouting HELL) nor did I see him in Manchester, which was his final destination. I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t care. All I know is that, rounding the corner to my gate with minutes to spare with my boarding passes in hand, I was 5 cities, 4 countries and 29 hours gone and soon to be spoilt within an inch of my life. Flights from hell can elicit the BEST sympathy from the one who loves you best!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

moi January 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

wow, this does sound like a pretty terrible flight. unfortunately, the thing that sticks out in my mind is that you wouldn't pay $8 for a burger. really? that's a pretty standard price unless you're at a mcdonald's or similar terrible fast food place. i'm glad you're only representing saskatchewan as being cheap, i don't want anyone to think all canadians are like that.


Kate January 27, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hi moi… OP right here. It was sort of meant to be a joke because my last stop before Copenhagen was Toronto and it IS ridiculously expensive there! Luckily I'd brought snacks and was fed on the plane.

As for not wanting anyone to think all Canadians are "like that"… cripes. When I hear someone use the phrase "like that", I just have to comment on the ambiguity cop-out. Sorry, but I do. Most of the time I hear it when someone wants to refer to a gay or lesbian but is too homophobic to spit it out. Frankly, I've heard enough of it… being from SK. 🙂

"Like that" in this instance… you wanted to put me down but you didn't want to assign a value or name to what you think I am? Go on… here's a few to start you off… cheap, stingy, miserly, etc. or, considering I stocked myself well with healthy food and bravely look forward to airplane food as a distraction from the pain in my knees… sensible, economical, prudent.

I'm just trying to gently encourage you to make a value call next time rather than use that phrase. It makes things more interesting.


Dina January 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I used to feel like that about an $8 burger when I lived in semi-rural Washington State! (Although years of living in Sydney has cured me of it. ;D)


moi January 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Ah, it didn't really appear to be a joke in the story.

When saying "like that", I had just said cheap in the same sentence. "Like that" was intended to refer back to cheap, I just didn't see any point repeating myself. Had it not been 1am, right before I went to bed, I'm sure I would have come up with something less ambiguous.

Just to clarify, I would never say anything homophobic, being of similar persuasion myself.


Kate January 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I never thought you'd be homophobic or bigoted… just explaining why I tend to protest at the phrase. 🙂


Dina January 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I've been through immigration hell too… my condolences!

I don't get why people think it's a good idea to be rude to gate agents. He or she is the person who gets you on the flight, people! Hello! Do you want to end up seated next to the lav (if you get seated at all)?


Kate January 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

You know, I can't rightly remember where she ended up seating me. All I know is that it didn't suck, or I *would* remember! At least I'm pretty sure Raving Ahole didn't get seated at all. 😉


Dina January 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm

She was probably thrilled to death that you weren't yelling at her like that guy was fit to do!


Kate February 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Weeeelll… I didn't yell at her. I got pretty testy with him before smiling and speaking to her very politely, though (even though I'm fairly certain my smile looked as though it could chew through someone's face!)


Jamie August 6, 2012 at 2:21 am

Here in Germany and in england and in most places in Holland, burgers go up to about a maximum of €5 at McDonalds and even cheaper in loads of other places so i feel your pain for an $8 burger.


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