United Airlines sucks. They’re broke, busted and disgusting. Let me count the ways.
I arrived at Charlotte-Douglas this morning in plenty of time for my 9:55 a.m. flight to Washington-Dulles. No problems in Charlotte. I e-ticketed, so I had the boarding pass I printed from home in my hand and ready to go.
Security in Charlotte wasn’t bad, although it still annoys me that I have to take my shoes and belt off in a public place because of 11 guys with boxcutters (but that’s another story, isn’t it?)
Arrived at the gate. Boarded the flight. The plane was one of those nasty puddle-jumpers the airlines so lovingly refer to as “regional jets.” They’re lousy. You can’t walk the aisles without knocking somebody or stepping on their toes. You stand up and immediately bang your head on the stupid overhead compartments that are barely big enough to store an I-Pod.
My seat was row 11, almost all the way at the back of the plane. I’m a bit superstitious about where to sit on planes after I read a story once about plane crashes. According to this story stashed in my faded memory banks, most planes break in half and most survivors come out of the rear section of the aircraft. I can’t remember why. But I always like to sit at the back.
Here’s the problem with sitting in the back of one of these Embrayers, or whatever model puddle-jumper it is – you’re basically sitting on top of the shit bucket. An unfriendly odor of Lysol, stank and urine hung over my seat like a dark cloud.
The stewardess – or should I say “flight attendent” – appeared to be not much older than 18 or so. She had poorly concealed her acne and had an annyoing habit of flipping her blonde ponytail like Barbie’s “My Little Pony.”
The plane lurched out onto the flight line, where it sat for some 30 minutes, after which Capt. Chuck (that was his announced name) decided we better turn back and get that pesky valve used to deliver de-icing solution to the jet engines, looked at.