Albany, NY – Tampa, FL | Southwest #3045 | 3F

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Rough start to this morning. I hit a deer on the way to the airport which will definitely cost a pretty penny in terms of getting it fixed. Then, a runaround with the various police agencies I tried to get to fill out a police report. But, third time was a charm, and hopefully everything will go smoother with the insurance company tomorrow.

I expected the airport to be a madhouse with today being Memorial Day and all. Quite the opposite. I got my ticket, checked my bag, and pranced over to the US Airways ticket counter. The staff in Albany has always been superb and have always been a reason for my loyalty to US Air. I told them about my experience with the reward ticket and they were upset. The shift manager complained about a structure that doesn’t allow common sense to prevail, and asked if there was anything they could do to keep me as a customer. Sure, redeposit my miles without charging me $200.  “No can do.” Ok then, later.

Southwest Airlines has a dirty little secret that was music to my ears. For approximately $20 extra you can get a “business select” seat. This allows you to have a boarding position between A1 and A15 which essentially guarantees a good seat. And they gave me a coupon for a free drink too. Not that I need to rock a bloody mary at 10:00 in the morning, but it was a nice gesture. So, here I am, happily settled in to 3F, no one in the middle, and on my way to Tampa.

The crew had a good time on this Memorial Day flight. They asked trivia questions (which five US state capitals start with the same letter as the state?) and played jokes on passengers. The guy in the first row took the brunt of it. They served his coffee with a fake bug in it, and then a few minutes later came down the aisle with several cups of “fresh brewed coffee.” When he said he’d have one the flight attendant pretended to spill them all over him, but luckily it was a gag and they were filled with ice.

The chatty pilot just tried to convince the plane that flying was better for the economy than driving. His rationale was that the plane burns 700 gallons of fuel per hour but if everyone drove to Tampa they’d burn much more than that. Ummm, pilot dude, you might want to check how many passengers you have on board before making broad proclamations like that. One of these days when I have some free time I’ll do the math. But in the meantime, my crush on Southwest (and yes, even their chatty pilots) continues.

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