The problem with being an insomniac, even an insomniac with a cache of tranquilizers, is that there are no half measures. There’s no “turning in early”, there’s no” quick five hours of shuteye”, there’s only unconscious or no. And when you have a 4:30 wakeup call, the answer is usually no. So it was no surprise that I arrived at Logan Thursday morning underslept, undercaffienated, and thoroughly unprepared to deal with what lay in store.
The fact that my flight was cancelled didn’t really bother me at first. With the help of my meds I’ve become pretty good with handling problems as they come, not getting overwhelmed, and not overreacting. I was very nice to the gate agent that helped me rebook my itinerary, and hey, my MIA > CUN leg was business class! So it would take me a little longer to get to Cancun. No big.
I used my time at Logan to explore compensation options for the inconvenience caused by being rerouted through Puerto Rico, and was shocked (shocked!) to discover that the only way to be in touch with this “legacy carrier” is through email. There is no phone option for customer service, not even if you go through reservations, and the rebooking line was hours long. I didn’t have that kind of time.
By the time I got to San Juan, my good spirits were starting to flag. I was dying for a cigarette, absolutely starving, and, inexplicably, sweating bullets. There was only one restaurant in the whole airport, overpriced of course, so I was forced to spend nearly $30 for a lunch of quesedillas and Presidente. I think this was what started me on the path to ruin – money really stresses me out. I wrote a nasty email to AA in an effort to boost my spirits, but no dice. I arrived in Miami ready to spit fire.
Luckily, the customer service agent at MIA was eminently free. Unluckily, the only help she could give me was food vouchers, which would have really helped in San Juan but were almost useless in Florida. “Not valid for alcoholic beverages”, the vouchers said. I briefly considered using them as toilet paper before heading to the nearest restaurant and ordering the most expensive thing on the menu.
My meal was predictably subpar, my mojito tasted like mouthwash, and my bill came to $11.75, no change (I should have gotten $8 back, after food). Around that time, my mood turned from grey to black, a very dangerous mindstate where I fantasize about setting random objects on fire and beating up asshat fratboys with my bare hands. Even the prospect of free drinks in first class did little to buoy my spirits.
And hey, know what’s really awesome to do when you feel like tearing out your own toenails with rusty tweezers? Visiting an international airport in a non-english speaking country! Customs was a nightmare – I got bumped and jostled by some self-important native, I got yelled at by the agent in Aduanas, and the cavalcade of taxi drivers outside the airport was just too much for me to bear. I spent the 45 minute ride to the resort in stony silence, trying to decide whether I wanted to weep or throw myself from the van.
I mean, really though, what was so bad? Air travel isn’t particularly arduous, you just sit around and wait. It’s not like I had anything to be stressed out about, I got one leg in business class, I had Ativan if I’d wanted it, and people were generally polite and friendly. So I don’t know what turned me to the dark side (I suspect the 4 paltry hours of shuteye in the two days before my trip), but I do know that I will never fly American again.
I’ve caught up on my sleep now, thankfully, but no response from the airline has been forthcoming. It’s OK though. I am patient. I can wait.
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