Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

Shame on You, American Airlines and God Bless This Flight


It’s no secret that airline travel is not the most enjoyable experience. Sure it’s nice because it enables you to go to places more quickly and conveniently than other modes of transport, but aside from that? It’s no picnic.


Add to that, the fact that I am so deeply in bed with American Airlines; what with frequent flier miles and such, and things just get worse. You see, American is in the process of a Chapter 11 reorganization which seems to have rendered many of their employees grumpy, and, quite frankly…..rude.


I was actually anxious, driving to the airport today, anticipating how American Airlines was going to screw me this trip.  


You'd be amazed.  


I was first on the upgrade list, but didn't make the cut (darn), but secured a nice emergency row seat instead.  The flight was jammed, so I pre-boarded with priority.  There was an attractive man sitting in 14A.  I took my seat in 14C and we were soon joined by 14B.  

This boarding process was particularly brutal for some reason.  There must be a connecting flight to China or something.  Nothing against the Chinese, but this particular very large group may well never have been on an airplane before. Add to that, a language barrier, and it was like herding cats trying to get this large and unresponsive group to their seats with their countless carry on pieces.


Anyway, along comes a young man with a boarding pass for 14F, but someone is already in 14F.  So they both do the 'look at your boarding pass thing' and the one seated in 14F says, "Whoops.  I am in 14A".  Fine.  Except there is already someone sitting in 14A.  So they did the 'look at your boarding pass thing' again, and sure enough, both boarding passes said 14A.  So we rang the flight attendant call button, as the Chinese contingent continued to block the entire aisle trying to find overhead space for their (far more than) 2 carry-on items per person.


The flight attendant made his way down the aisle, took both boarding passes and said "Which one of you is Mr. Walker?"  Both men raised their hands.  Ah-ha!  There in lies the problem.  ….except that one is Robert Walker.  And the other is Terry Walker.  


Now here's the really cute part.


Both boarding passes say Robert Walker.  


Do I have to go into detail as to why this is so troublesome?  


Let's….because I have like 4 more hours to kill , am still at about 90% battery life and got raped to the tune of $17.95 for an internet connection on this flight, so I am damn well going to get the most out of it.

1.It's wrong because Robert Walker was able to check in twice and was issued 2 identical boarding passes.

2.It's wrong because the man that was Terry Walker was able to check in as Robert Walker.

3.It's wrong because Terry Walker who checked in as Robert Walker was also able to check 2 bags as Robert Walker upon check in.

4.It's wrong because when the real Robert Walker checked in, he was allowed to check 2 more bags in, despite being told he had already checked 2 bags.

5.It's wrong because the attendant who checked in Terry Walker as Robert Walker didn't realize that the name on the FLIPPING ID DIDN'T MATCH.

6.It's wrong because the TSA agent who checked Terry Walker's ID for a second time, didn't notice the discrepancy in names, and even went so far as to put the little "check mark" next to the name "Robert Walker" on the boarding card, even when Terry Walker's ID said Terry.

7.  It's wrong because when you hand your boarding card to the check in clerk at the boarding gate and it's scanned, there were no bells, whistles or sirens that went off indicating that a man with the same name was already supposedly ON THE PLANE.  Nope.  Just scan, "beep" , and "enjoy your flight."

8.It's wrong because Terry Walker didn't even have a seat on this plane, but somehow managed to get 2 bags checked on it and we are now somewhere over Nebraska without Terry Walker but with his bags.

9.And finally, it's wrong because Robert Walker snores louder than a 737 engine and is now sitting 2 seats away.


I am sorry and I realize that I am sort of making light of this by joking about it and all, but it seems to me that all the inconveniences of airplane travel that we are told are in order to keep us safe? Total FREAKING joke.


Shame on American Airlines. Shame on TSA. To be clear, I am in no way implying that either Misters Walker are up to mischef, but this morning's turn of events was frightening and shocking.  God Bless this plane that it land safely.

Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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