Thursday, September 08, 2005

NWA, please buy back my ticket!

I am a simple soul. (Read, "my credit bites the big one"). I have a simple apartment roof over my head, a piano, a guitar, and a computer, and enough to go out for one big night on the town when I turn 59 1/2 in IRAs. So when I find something least this month...the thought occurs, "What do I need this for? There's at least 10,000 homeless people down south who need this more than me." But much of that stuff is of the variety victims of Katrina can't use yet, like cooking utensils, clothes, or books on doing therapy with black gay Jewish dwarves from broken homes (and the women who love them).

But I have something else...a virtual ticket. I planned a trip to France last year that never happened, partly because I didn't have the money to travel while there, partly because I'm sick of France. As a result, I've cancelled my ticket twice. Apparently though, cancelled tickets of the "special sale!" variety don't go away immediately; the money, in effect, remains in a "bank" you can use to buy another Northwest ticket within a year, provided it costs as least as much as the original. I've also had to pay 2 cancellation fees for this "non-refundable, non-transferrable" ticket, so my virtual ticket bank is worth at least a round trip ticket for a Louisiannier/e, or for a volunteer flying from Minneapolis to Baton Rouge.

I figured NW could give me a yes/no answer on this pretty quick if I called: Yeah, I know it's supposed to be non-transferrable, but in this case, if I want to give you *back* the money, isn't there some way we could turn this into a win-win situation? My boss (who, strangely enough, is Peter "Spiderman" Parker's boss too, although we are in totally different lines of work), Animated "Lemon" Buchanan, is traveling along with a bunch of other professionals from the hospital (Animated "Lemon" is a professional airhead, but he also trains dogs and works on a S.W.A.T. team in his spare time). At any rate, excited both at the prospect of knowing a seasoned crisis clinician would accompany the stellar group of doctors, nurses and others we're sending down, AND at the prospect of someone else(anyone, please, as long as they don't micromanage me!!!) being at the helm at our agency besides ol' Animated Lemon, I thought, I'll donate my ticket to him. If they wouldn't let me designate a recipient, I figure I could just stipulate it be used by Salvation Army, Red Cross, or another Christian ministry.

Now, either NWA is waaaaay to big for its britches, or they have their operators filling in for their striking mechanics, because I could not get a single live voice when I called their service line. Everything sent me back around the voice jail cellblock. The reservations operator thought my idea was great, but she couldn't figure out whom to direct me too to find out if I could do it. Just to find out if I could!

Finally, I sent an e-mail.

That was on Monday. Monday morning. 9/5/05. No answer as of Thursday night.


Billy D said...

You work for J. Jonah Jameson? Cool!
I wouldn't hold my breath on that ticket thing. The airlines already have their money. Shameful, but true.

Kelly Norman said...

It's TRUE!

I didn't used to, I used to work for an aging hippie in a mullet, but one day we came to work and Animated Lemon had this buzzcut and had shaved off his beard. He's a dead ringer. As bizarre sometimes, too.