Reason No. 43

Because of a coffee pot malfunction, an American Airlines flight to Lima, Peru was held on the ground in Miami.

Because they  needed to find a vacuum to clean it up- something clearly beyond the pay grade of the management team-American left the airplane wide open at the back. For at least a couple of hours in total. The reported temperature in Miami that too-damn hot October evening was 89 degrees.

Because American does NOT care about the health or safety of passengers, they blithely herded a full load of meat, a.k.a. customers, on board.The fact that the airplane had not been pre-cooled and was wide open to Miami swelter didn't seem to concern AA. Neither were the passengers concerned, at least not at first.

In the beginning passengers, fanned themselves and helped those who were beginning to suffer from the steam room heat. A disembodied voice made one short announcement. And then there was silence.

AA didn't bother with informative updates for the passengers as the clock ticked on. One passenger began to have an asthma attack. Children cried, people fanned desperately. Temperatures were estmated at over 90F.

No water was offered from the absentee flight staff. Ice had to be sought by the concered husband of asthmatic.

Finally, the passengers were advised the plane was ready. Then another 15 minutes passed in silence, as the plane sat and sat, and sat. In total, about 90 minutes had past since being herded aboard.

Once in the air, did the employees rush to hydrate the faint? Not exactly. Swill called food was plunked down folllowed in 10 minutes by liquids.

Things happen in business. The difference lousy and the excellent companies is how the problem is handled. In American's instance, there was no offer of a glass of wine for all the long suffering passengers. American did remind the passengers that wine costs $7 per miniature mini bar bottle. After all, don't let the little people get in the way of CEO Gerard Arpey and bosses in Suits bonuses.

As to the consistantly rated excellent, numero uno-WWSWD, what would Southwest do? Something more fun and appreciative of the paying customer I hope.

As for that blast furnace that Floridians claim to love while living in while they actually live in chilly air-conditioned to a frosty beer stein 65F homes, phooey. Reason no. 43 I love living in Chiacgo is weather that you can adjust to with less or more clothing.That and Lands End cold weather deliciously cozy coats. Another excellent company.

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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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