Airport arrival and then to the check in. Dark Lady is a General when it comes to organisation, so we were briskly marshalled to the check-in desk. She had checked us in the night before, and had been trying for days to get us a seat allocation without success as the airline website wouldn't play ball and kept telling her that she couldn't reserve seats on the aircraft.
With this in mind we arrived early so we could pick our seats.
"I'm sorry, these are the only seats we have available. All the others have been allocated" beamed the woman on the desk.
"All the others have been allocated. We keep a few back."
"We've been trying for weeks, and the moment the flight was opened on the internet twenty-four hours ago we tried to get on to reserve seats and the website wouldn't let us."
"Well I've no idea about that, but these seats are all we have left as the flight is full."
DL was fuming by now as she has a very highly developed sense of injustice. She is not given to shouting (luckily for me) but when she gives you the Paddington Bear hard stare the temperature drops by several degrees.
"You messed up the seating allocation when we went on our honeymoon. Changing it so we couldn't sit together. The year before we reserved seats and on the day you changed the plane at the last minute so we didn't get the seats we wanted. The company I work for always uses your airline for its business travel, and you tell me there is nothing you can do?"
"Can we speak to a supervisor please?"
A person was duly summoned, and the DL politely and patiently explained the situation.
"Sorry" said the supervisor.
I think all that happens under these circumstances is that the higher up the management chain and the larger the salary, the person is trained to say "sorry" with more gravity and sincerity. It amounts to the same thing:
"Hard luck buster!"
We trudged onto the plane for our nine hour flight only to discover shortly after take off that the much vaunted in-flight entertainment system wasn't working. So we couldn't see any movies or anything.
When I say it wasn't working, it was for absolutely everyone else but us. Luckily the children had working TV. Just not the Dark Lady and myself.
"Sorry" said the steward. "I'll try and reboot it."
"Sorry" said the steward. "I'll try and reboot it again."
BOOT... Still nothing.
"Could we please speak to someone in authority?"
A nice lady was summoned.
"Sorry" she said. "This really isn't good enough". She produced complaint forms to fill in, which the DL did - crisply, efficiently and accurately.
I suggested getting wildly drunk and trying to open the door mid-flight. She disagreed and carried on writing.
The nice lady re-appeared with a bottle of champagne substitute.
"Very sorry" she reiterated. "We'll put a note on the computer so that the staff will know about this on your return journey. You are flying back from Miami, and our aircraft are more modern on the route so you shouldn't have any trouble. I'll try and reboot the system once again."
BOOT... Clank whirr. Success! We had movies... two hours late but they were there. Now the rest of the trip should be plain sailing. Shouldn't it?