The Southwest Timetable Winner on the True Meaning of Thanksgiving

Overbooking, Southwest

It’s certainly a coincidence that the winner of the signed Southwest timetable is none other than Robert Stack, the author of the True Meaning of Thanksgiving. Robert by far had the most comprehensive entry, and in fact took many photos of timetables, airplanes, and a little alcohol. I think this is probably my favorite:

Stack, Wild Turkey, Southwest

Yep, that’s Robert drinking a bottle of Herb Kelleher’s favorite, Wild Turkey. He has the page turned to Phoenix flights, and yes, that is the current US Airways and former America West headquarters in the background. I’m going to assume that it’s the epic battle between those two airlines over the years that has caused Robert to finish the bottle.

So, congratulations, Robert. The timetable is yours. And now, I’m happy to present this year’s version of the True Meaning of Thanksgiving.

Dear traveler,

It is time to set aside the iPhones, Droids, Blackberries, Crunch Berries, netbooks, wiis, and other gadgets of the day to reflect upon this glorious time of year. For Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and the airport eagerly awaits your arrival. For the True Meaning of Thanksgiving shines forth for those who wish to see:

Thanksgiving is not a time to give thanks.

Thanksgiving is a time to get bumped.

For while most find crowds, lines, waits, and little cheer in their holiday travels, a Silver Liner awaits for those who arrive prepared. The airlines know that some don’t show up for their flights, so when things get busy there are more bookings than seats. And often enough, most everyone will show up; then the luckiest get stopped in place with a bump. Those in the know then smile, for they know that a true Thanksgiving meal will patiently wait until Friday. For Thanksgiving Day is reserved for arriving nice and late, bumped and laden with vouchers.

Things are calmer now than they were before. Oil prices are no longer spurting over new horizons, so airlines are not falling like dominoes. The economy is crawling up the other side of the cliff and the vertigo that was raging a year ago is abating. The furious fee frenzy finds the feeless flyer feeling fine and flying freely. Fee fads flourish; the new fees focused for flying for the holidays just help to highlight the finest days for winning the riches of the bump.

So follow the leaders who find their true selves at Phoenix Sky Harbor, the Hub of Riches, in the spirit of America West Airlines, the all time stuffingest of the airlines of yore. Thanksgiving will find me flying the feeless fleet, for they have been filling their planes more furiously than in years gone by. So I share sweet dreams of a new generation of riches awaiting at every gate.

May your vouchers beget more vouchers with the finest of chain rebumpings,


Links to The True Meaning of Thanksgiving, years past:

I’m taking the rest of the week off to spend time with the family. I hope all my US readers have a happy Thanksgiving. See you back here again on Monday.

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14 comments on “The Southwest Timetable Winner on the True Meaning of Thanksgiving

  1. Taking the rest of the week off to spend time with the family?! I would think Thanksgiving should be a busy time for the concierge :-)

  2. Let me rephrase that, Ron. I’m taking a break from the blog. I will be working on the Concierge all weekend. If you get stuck, I’m working!

  3. OMG!! That photo!!! LMAO ROTFL -0

    Clear the streets….Parker has left the golf tourney hehe.
    Have a great Turkey Time Cranky!

  4. Ron beat me to it — and I should probably ask in yesterday’s post’s comments, but how do you deal with vacation, sickness, sleep? Or have you been able to expand the Concierge business such that there are several crankies staffing the google voice line? ;)

  5. For now, I’m on call 24 hours a day. As you can imagine, my wife isn’t thrilled with that. But I’m working on adding more people as we speak. I have to be careful to add someone who can give great service, and there are some candidates that I think are quite capable so far. But for now, it’s still just me. We’re driving to Phoenix today and I received an urgent call from someone who needed help. I pulled over in (not so) beautiful Beaumont California and whipped out my laptop. Gotta do what I gotta do.

  6. Well, Brett, have a great trip despite being on call. Just stay within 3G coverage — hope you have Verizon, not AT&T :)

  7. I don’t envy you flying this Thanksgiving, it’s always chaos, no matter which airport you are flying in or out of, or which airline. Just relish the experience as something worthy to blog about… No doubt there will be plenty of time for that, assuming there is an internet connection while you are waiting for the plane to arrive, be cleaned, de-iced, or to board.

    It reminds me of a Christmas trip from hell from South Bend (Indiana) down to Fort Lauderdale (Florida) at Christmas a few years ago.

    We were due to catch an evening flight out of South Bend to Detroit with Northwest, then take the connection down to Fort Lauderdale. The weather wasn’t great, it was snowing, and the forecast was horrific, with more storms on the way, and all flights were fully booked.

    Together with my wife and 3 year old daughter we lined up at the gate ready to board the plane, and were practically the last to board. When it came to our turn, we were told that there were only 2 seats available, and that either 1 of us had to be left behind, or all of us!

    Well since the weather was not going to improve and the plane was also about to leave, I had to let my wife and daughter go and try to find another way to get to Florida.

    Of course there were no other seats available, either that night or the next morning, but another option did materialize. Northwest offered to pay me (Check) about $300 and found a seat the next morning on a flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale. There was of course no seat available to get from South Bend to Detroit. Together with another passenger who was in the same situation, we rented a car, drove the 4 hours in a blizzard to Detroit, checked into a hotel, and I caught the flight down to Florida the following day. It was delayed of course, since there had been a lot of snow, freezing temperatures, and there was a queue a mile long for the de-icing equipment.

  8. Southwest….If you have a dollar in your pocket and would rather not travel by Greyhound. Way to ruin what was once a respectable way to travel!

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