Flat Beds Fly: Elite-less airlines Lie with immobile movers

I’m still reflecting (gnitcelfer) on our trip to Wyoming. During my HP days I flew every week. I commuted from Zurich to London or Frankfurt. (Sometimes to Hong Kong or New York.) It was a grind to get up early and head to the airport. When I left HP, I was sure that, unlike Darius, I wouldn’t miss the flying. But… Nazy and I were in Idaho Falls…

“That will be $25 for each bag,” the ticket agent said.

“You’ve made a terrible mistake,” I replied. “I am a
Platinium, eh, Gold, eh, Silver Frequent Flyer.”

“I don’t see that,” the clerk replied after checking his computer.

Faded Silver,” I thought as I extracted my expired Silver Elite card from my wallet.

“Check it again,” Nazy interjected.

“And you’ll be in Boarding Group
5,” the agent continued.

“That’s the
last group,” I replied. “It’s an insult.”

“You got a good deal on the ticket, so…”

“We got an exit row seat on Delta and we had absolutely
no status there,” I replied, shocked to discover that United was able to assign boarding status based on ticket costs.

“You have no status here either.” The clerk was unfazed.
Brightened Dan and Nazy

“If I’m in Group 5, there won’t be room for my carry-on luggage,” I continued. “Oops,” I thought as I caught him looking at the size of the carry-ons.

“We’ll just go now,” Nazy said, saving the day.

How the mighty have fallen,” I thought as we stood in the basic TSA line. “They don’t even have a TSA pre-check lane,” I told Nazy.

When I left HP, I had more than 2,000,000 Hilton points and about 500,000 Frequent Flyer Miles on the St
*r Alliance. I went to the front of every line. And, even though HP enforced economy-class travel, my ‘status’ often resulted in upgrades. It is over. I’m now relegated to queues populated by the clueless infrequent flyers. My hotel points are gone. My platinum cards are filed in the family archives. I am dreary and despondent.
“You could just pay for first class tickets,” Nazy interrupted.

“Dreary and despondent doesn’t make me a profligate spendthrift.” I replied.

When we got back home, I plopped into bed. The bed responded with a:


“What was that?” Nazy asked.

“The bed collapsed.” I replied. “The box spring fell through the bed frame.”

“How is that even possible? Didn’t you install it properly?”

“Of course I installed it properly,” I replied. “
I wish we hadn’t sent the bed slats to storage in Anaheim,” I thought.
Baby with puppet

“Where are those pieces of wood that hold the bed on the frame?” Nazy asked. “Did you break them?”

“I definitely did not break them,” I replied, accurately.

“Did you lose them?”

“I did not lose them. The movers misplaced them.”

We made a trip to the local hardware store for replacement slats. (Note: Readers who feel a need to ask why I hadn’t made the hardware trip when we initially installed the bed are kindly requested to suppress that need.)

Because of the bed coll
apse (My side sagged), I began paying attention to TV mattress commercials. Now I’m wondering about the divergent approach taken by airlines and mattress manufacturers.

“The airlines,” I explained to Nazy, “tout ‘lie-flat’ beds.”


“And the mattress ads feature beds that adjust into a sitting position.”

“They claim that position eliminates snoring.”

“I’ve flown a lot of long-distance, economy class flights, my dear. People can snore while sitting up. I’m not sure they can sleep while sitting up.”

You can sleep while sitting up,” Nazy replied. Accurately.

Swiss International Airlines

I had just boarded Swiss Flight 138, an Airbus 340, to Hong Kong. It was a late night departure. Somehow, I had managed to avoid the Travel Department’s ‘lowest publish fare’ mandate (Zurich to Prague to Shanghai to Hong Kong and Zurich to Brussels to Amsterdam - via train, to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong). I had used my exalted Frequent Flyer Status to garner a prime aisle seat. Fortunately, the person sitting in the middle seat was even more petite than Nazy - so I had a lot of room.

Disclaimer: The ‘more petite’ person in the middle seat was also younger than Beaujolais nouveau wine. There was a baby in that seat. It was fine, because I planned on sleeping like a baby.

As a skilled and experienced traveler, I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep as soon as the doors closed and the engines started. I stirred a long time later. As usual, I had muscle kinks as well as an assortment of aches and pains. Mental calculations that correlate these aches and pains with the amount of time spent sleeping yielded good news.

I bet we’re somewhere over the Himalaya Mountains,” I thought. “Only a few more hours to landing.”

The person in the window seat opened her shade. We were at the de-icing station.

This,” I thought, “is going to be a long flight.” And with that, the petite baby began to cry.

End Flashback

Baby and Cat

Beds and Airlines fade into insignificance in comparison to the other major event of the week. Melika and Tom moved. The move had been delayed twice as renovation took (surprise!) longer than expected. A planning foible meant that the nanny’s rooms were finished, but the master bedroom was ‘sans toilet’. The hot tube was installed, but the oven hadn’t arrived. The fireplace was beautiful and functional even though it was 100 ℉, but there weren’t any light fixtures in the nursery. In short: it was an awesomely typical home renovation project.

“We can’t decide what to do, Dad,” Melika explained. “We could stay with friends for a couple of weeks until everything is done.”

“A couple of weeks?” I replied skeptically.

“Or we could just move into the guest bedroom now - and live there while they expeditiously wrap things up.”


“Or we could lock ourselves in the old house and …”

“Well, Melika, you and Tom survived Burning Man in a U-Haul. You can probably live in an incompletely finished Santa Barbara home for a couple of weeks.” I interjected. “
Or a couple of months,” I thought.

They decided to move in - but when they got to the new house, they couldn’t find bed linen. They went back to the old house - their bed hadn’t been packed, but they couldn’t find bed linen their either. They called us. Luckily, we were able to locate our bed linen.

baby at music class

The baby, aware that something is awry (all of his things are in boxes) has responded as directed by his survival genes: “When something is amiss, don’t sleep through it.” Monster, the cat, also knows that something is going on but, unlike Tom, Melika and Tiger, he is able to sleep through it.

The move should be (basically) complete this weekend.

For last week's letter, please click here

Dan and Nazy with Einstein

nazy, dan and albert einstein

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