Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kaiju and airline change fees

I'm not normally one to promote my dreams, but I enjoyed one last night:

So I'm waiting with my luggage at a bus stop in front of a gas station somewhere in southern Japan for a ride back to the airport (while I'm supposedly in Japan, the street -- a wide boulevard somewhat reminiscent to Geary Boulevard in San Francisco's Outer Sunset District -- has right-side driving). Suddenly a giant monster, in the shape of a male Japanese college student (several hundred feet tall, with glasses and teased black hair) began attacking the city while speaking nonsensical Japanese (how I knew it was nonsensical, I don't know).

The kaiju circled the gas station a couple times, as I hid under the station's awnings, then eventually moved on without attacking. Seconds later, an American Airlines 757 (below, right) landed in front of me on the wide boulevard, the side of the plane opened like a DeLorean, and someone asked if there were any Americans around.

I somehow immediately knew it was a State Department evacuation flight and climbed aboard. Right behind the open cockpit, there was a luggage rack like one would find on an airport bus, where I first put my suitcase then climbed into myself. I watched as the pilots took the plane off the street, narrowly avoiding buildings, then up to cruising altitude and engaged the autopilot.

I then walked toward the rear of the plane, past the first class and economy seats to the back, where there was a small kitchen and a community room with a recliner. With all the twenty-somethings about, it reminded me of a youth hostel. I was about to go back up front to fetch my laptop from my bag so I could sit with it on the recliner, when I noticed the short, dumpy flight attendant.

At that point I asked her where the plane was heading, hoping it was a west coast destination like San Francisco or Los Angeles. To my disappointment, she said "Newark." I asked if we would get a note saying we had boarded an emergency evacuation flight so I wouldn't have to pay United Airlines a change fee to switch my Osaka-SFO flight to EWR-SFO. The flight attendant didn't know.

It was only then that I woke up with fright.

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