My travel day yesterday seemed to mimic a chapter from Ruinair, one of the books I’m currently reading for review. It started at Chicago O’Hare airport in the early hours of the morning with a transfer through Los Angeles (one of the world’s most ill-designed airports), continued on through San Francisco airport around midnight, and eventually ended with a rental car and a drive to Sacramento. We arrived in Sacramento around 3:30 a.m., grateful to finally be at our destination and call it a day.
The pleasant surprise of the marathon travel misadventure were the happy attitudes of our two young daughters. With only a couple of momentary exceptions, they were patient, optimistic, and agreeable throughout the greater part of the long day and night. I suppose it helps that they’ve both been veteran travelers with their own passports since they were each less than a month old. Our four-year-old even had to sit in a middle seat between two strangers by herself for one leg of the flight. Even though it was the middle of the night and she was horribly sleep deprived, she just sat there with her seatbelt fastened, perfectly behaved, and wrote in her journal.
As with many things in life, when you’re travelling, it’s always the people with whom you interact that make the experience positive or negative. Our girls played and made friends with a few other kids at the airport, which helped to pass the time.
The person who receives the big shame-on-you-for-being-so-nasty critique is the United gate agent at LAX. He seemed to make it his personal goal to twist the term ‘customer service’ into as bad an experience as possible for everyone, co-workers and passengers alike, who came within six feet of him.
The people who receive high marks were the staff at Alamo rental car. Even though we were very late picking up our car at the end of a long day, they were courteous, helpful, and professional across the board.