Planes, No Trains, And Automobiles

It Sure Takes A Long Time To Save $40
Yesterday I decided to book a one-way ticket on United Airlines. This ticket was the final piece of the puzzle for a trip that I am taking this summer. Normally I don’t interact with people when making plane reservations any longer; I usually do this via the internet. However for this ticket I was forced to book via the phone because I was trying to apply a $40 voucher that I received from United when I switched my flight plans last September. With taxes looming and yesterday’s car troubles I figured that if I can keep an additional $40 in my pocket I’ll do whatever is necessary.

I had already done all of the research necessary to book the ticket prior to calling the agent. I knew the price, flight numbers, and had also checked out seat availability. This should have been a slam dunk.

No matter, this transaction took about twenty-five minutes to complete. First, actually second because the first thing I did was opt out of the automated booking process because I knew that would be useless in this scenario, I had to reconfirm the flight information with the agent. Then she had to go through this long, elaborate process which included asking me questions about the voucher, and then telling me where to mail the voucher. That’s right, I must mail this voucher in order to get it applied to my reservation. I was told that I must mail the voucher today or tomorrow so that it could be received and processed in time. WTF? What sort of archaic system is United using? Are they employing monks to do their work? I never could find out why this whole series of shenanigans was necessary. This is a voucher that they issued to me! It must be in their database, right? Certainly they could do the math…

$250 ticket – $40 voucher = $210 charge to the credit card number I supplied.

Seems pretty fucking simple to me. But no, this is not how United does its business. Can we figure out why the airline industry is losing money?

All this hassle for $40. Dear United, I hope that you are not surprised if I don’t leap for any offer that you may give me in the future. It’s too much work for me in order to get things done.

ITP Flickr Pic
I would fly Delta


…if they would supply competitive rates. Sure, I know they’ve just bailed themselves from bankruptcy, but charging twice as much as your competition is never a good business plan in my world.

As For Me I Don’t See Tree Removal As “Progress”
Early last week all of the trees fronting the office building in which I work along with many other large specimens along the street were knocked down. Late last week we were informed as to why.

It seems that we have not learned from the mistakes we have made. Perimeter Center Parkway, a road which currently runs from the new mega shopping center north of Perimeter Mall to just beyond Hammond Drive (at least until that already-late I285 overpass is completed) is being transformed from its four-lane current state in the name of “progress.” In the process all trees large and small, which in case you don’t recall provide oxygen necessary for our survival, are being knocked down.

The plan is to widen the road for turn lanes, a bike lane (which no other connecting roads have, so whose risking their lives to get to these new lanes?), and a new traffic signal (yes, that will help with traffic flow!).

The project is supposed to last a year. Check back in eighteen months to see if they have completed it.

Bonus ITP Flickr Pic
This tree will never be seen again

Fall Colors #2

??? – 2007, R.I.P.

They Are Going To Win It All, Aren’t They…
First off, I think the blondes made a huge mistake in Yielding Eric and Danielle. I think that they over strategize and that what will ultimately be their downfall. I realize that they couldn’t have known that Joyce and Uchenna had not made their connecting flight, but it still seemed like a short-sighted move to me, even if a Yield was the cause of their demise last time around (although I thought that it was a missed turn if I remember correctly). I still want them to win it all, but that’s just me thinking with my other head.

I cannot believe that Joyce and Uchenna took such a chance with the connecting flight. Do you think that they actually performed all of the tasks once they landed in Kuala Lumpur, or did somebody just go out and put a card telling them to go directly to the pit stop since all of the other teams had arrived and they were due to be eliminated? If nothing else I have learned from their mistake. That United flight I booked has a nice cushy layover in Chicago.

I think Mirna lives in her own world — one I hope never to visit. I never expected those two to make it this far. I want to give them credit for doing so, but they annoy me so much I cannot.

Could somebody explain to Danielle how to wear a bicycle helmet? She looked like a damn unicorn with that thing on backwards. And she did some nice damage to that bicycle as well. Even with the help of a local boy/man I was surprised that she was able to get that thing back to the paper truck.

I still miss having Rob and Amber on the show.

CD Pick Of The Week
Two good picks exist today. Rosebuds have a release called “Night Of The Furies”, but I am going in the other direction by picking “Cassagada” by Bright Eyes. I listened to the majority of Cassagada online (legally through AOL’s CD Listening Service) and while it seemed to be typical Conor Oberst I still enjoyed it. It’s getting good reviews from the critics as well.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – meh
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing My Morning Jacket — “One Big Holiday”
Website Of The Day – Although I have too many books in my “to be read” stack I have to give props to someone who takes an alternative and rather humorous approach to marketing a book. Check out No One Belongs Here More Than You to see what I mean. And if you are a more efficient reader than me, buy the book and give us all a review.
Exercise (b)Log – 20 push-ups, 50 sit-ups
Mode Of Transportation To Work – My car (I chose a thirty-minute morning commute and a chance to leave at work at 4pm over the hour-long morning commute and having to stay to 4:30pm and have an hour-long commute home on Marta)

April Goals
1) Lose two pounds. (starting weight 202 lbs?)
2) Run no fewer than thirty miles.
3) Do twenty push-ups and fifty sit-ups at on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays.
4) Read three books, specifically
4a) “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York”
4b) “Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job”
4c) “50 Fast Digital Photo Techniques”
5) Take Marta to work at least ten times.
6) File my Income Taxes. (since they are due in two weeks I better get this done)
7) Wear “nicer” clothes to work at least one day a week.
8\) Cook dinner at home at least two nights a week.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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8 Responses to Planes, No Trains, And Automobiles

  1. Stacy says:

    I really, really, REALLY want to draw on all my appliances now.

  2. Amity says:

    Yes, U&J were told to just go straight to the pitstop. They usually do that when one team is SO far behind and it’s an elimination round. I was surprised that the cha-cha-chas didn’t get penalized for buying their newspapers instead of collecting old ones. They’re the only reason I’m still watching this season.

  3. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Yeah, I forgot about the cha-chas buying their papers. I was surprised that they didn’t get penalized as well.

  4. Steve says:

    It scares me a little that you can find these bizzare websites… if you put this much energy into finding a cure for cancer or ending world hunger, we’d be pretty close by now.


  5. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Nah, cancer and hunger are too complicated for my wee little brain. I used to put this much energy into finding a girlfriend but gave up on that. Now I devote myself to finding all that is bizarre on the internets.

  6. Barb says:

    Team cha-cha-cha was so funny fighting about everything that episode. And why should they get penalized, I don’t think the clue said they HAD to get throw away papers, it just said they needed 8 hands worth. It was dumb, as they might need the money he spent later, but I could certainly see how Danny got to that point. Maybe they will have to go out & beg….

  7. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    I thought that the clue stated that you had to collect the papers from people as recyclables. Therefore I didn’t think you could buy them, even if they were old papers from a store.

    At one point I didn’t think that they’d have enough money for the cab. But apparently they were smart enough to save some.

  8. Andrew says:

    Joyce and Uchenna lost sight of TAR’s golden rule… “Never finish last”. When they saw that all of the other teams were on a later flight, they should have changed to that flight. At that point there would have been no chance of arriving later than the other teams. Unless you’re struggling with completing the road blocks and challenges, stick with the pack and give yourself a fighting chance at the grand prize.

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