Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s easily my favorite holiday of the year. I’ve been stuffing myself over the last few days to keep myself in top shape for the big meal today.
But for the traveler, there is another reason to love Thanksgiving. Since 1998, my friend Robert Stack has issued his annual letter of joy for all to read. Now, in all its unedited glory, I offer you the true meaning of Thanksgiving for 2006.
The windows are opening and the air-con has finally earned a good long rest
for the long, chilly winter that will warrant the occasional sweater. And
with the change of season it is now time to reflect upon the True Meaning of
Thanksgiving is not a time to give thanks.
Thanksgiving is a time to get bumped.
Nothing is ever easy for the airlines. While people rush to fill
seats like never before, the airlines are not yet basking in the glow of big fat
profits. What the economy giveth, fuel prices taketh away, and so we wait,
patiently and eternally, for the glory days of air travel to resume. And
this year brings yet a new fear: the fear of quart sized baggies
overflowing with liquids, creams, gels, and goos of all kinds, gumming up the
security checks and grinding down the patience of travelers and airline
employees everywhere. No, it will not be a beautiful travel dance this
year, since all beauty must fit inside teeny 3 ounce bottles, or be checked away
to airline bag heaven (known by many as “Philly”).
But for the dedicated bumpee, there is a great silver lining to this story.
Big fat profits mean nothing–and more people filling fewer seats means
everything. Bumping is up! Freebies flow forth furiously! All
hopes are pinned on a banner year for the devotee of the bump. While dark
spots persist–the little, er, not so little airline from New York still clings
to its quaint vision of one person, one seat; the desert laborers toil on to
bounce the phantom bookers–the trend is hopeful. For those at Indy have
been punished for their ancient ways; they are now a mere bump in the airline
history books, to be judged harshly for their myopic vision.
As for me, I am poorly qualified to lead the way for this joyous season
with so much potential. I will try my hand on Black Sunday, with a
perfectly jam packed midday flight home. But I am no role model, for I am
flying out on Thanksgiving Day, wimping out on the great potential of Black
Wednesday. And I am not flying on the airline with the big eyes, eating
bigger and bigger airlines at every meal. I may well be be punished with
empty hands and a deep sadness once the airport din subsides. But there is
always next year, and with any luck, the liquids, creams, gels, and goos spilled
over this momentous holiday will have finally been cleaned up by then.
With hopes for blisters on our fingers from signing so many vouchers,
Links to The True Meaning of Thanksgiving, years past:
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’ll be back posting on Monday.