I Get Put On The US Airways “Internal No Fly List”

Oct 7, 2017 by

I Get Put On The US Airways “Internal No Fly List”

“You are banned”: US Airways permanently ban me after I record them.

My girlfriend and I were at DCA, on a return trip from speaking at this conference thing (terrorism has fringe benefits beyond TSA adoration), and the previous week’s US Airways shenanigans were a distant memory.

We’d arrived two hours early, right in that dignity/pragmatism intersection where I’m not so early I’m sacrificing all self respect, but early enough I still have a 50/50 chance of making the flight.

(Describing the terrorist check-in process would at this point be redundant, and will henceforth in this blog be referred to as “the usual.”)

20 minutes passed at the desk, with two employees fumbling with the computer, confused as to why it won’t print my boarding pass (again, “the usual”).

Then two police arrive and take up position behind us. A storm was brewing…

I’m doing the quick math: I’m two months out from embarrassing them on YouTube (or, as popular opinion would have it, embarrassing myself on You Tube), and two days out from recording them again in Denver. This is what economists call “pushing your luck.”

After a 20-count, a mob emerges in this general formation: Guy in suit, woman in dress, cops holding position at our rear.

The woman chimes in:

“You are banned from US Airways.”

With that, an all new badge of honor was added to my already cluttered lapel. My teddy bear terrorism had me banned from the entire country of Canada, the state of South Dakota, the parent’s house of most girls, and now… the biggest airline in the country.

This moment was bound to cause a Black Hole to open: I was filming them banning me for filming them.

Hard to say, but I think they objected to being filmed

“Can we get them to stop recording us?”

The manager began henpecking cops to get us to stop filming with a “can I get a mop over here?” tone.

One thing about cops: They’ll enforce any made-up, unconstitutional law they can invent if it fits their agenda. But treat them like they’re your errand boy and they’ll side with the opposing team just to keep their dignity.

Even Team Terrorist.

“She’s allowed to film.”

And the scene basically unraveled

I jump in like a yipping chihuahua: “It’s not illegal!” (“What he said!”)

US Airways waivers on my refund.

Cop tells us to leave.

US Airways suit lady does the same.

My girlfriend calls them all obnoxious.

Suit guy gives me a number to call, which turns out to be an internal employees-only line, where I’m yelled at again: “Where did you get this? You should not have this number!”

And when it was all over, I was the only person in history holding a video of a major airline declaring them permanently banned from flying, forever.

This is the story US Airways doesn’t want told: Film them rolling over for the TSA, get banned from their airline.

Epilogue, Part I: Unholy alliance

We sat down 50 yards away to book new flights. In a rare moment of US Airways-inspired cop-criminal diplomacy, an officer who had witnessed my blacklisting approached, then offered to borrow my phone and call US Airways personally for an explanation.

Ok, so maybe it’s not cool to secretly record someone who’s doing you a favor, even a cop, but seriously come on. Only a force of great evil (US Airways) could unite cop and criminal, and a scene this absurd would not be repeated in my lifetime. It had to be documented.

(Anti-climax spoiler alert: My phone died before US Airways gave him an answer.)

Stop me if this is too philosophical, but this “no fly list” thing got me thinking…

We allot status largely on the immensity of our resources, on what social and material wealth we have access to.

But what about status based on what we’re denied access to. Isn’t that cooler?

As of this writing I am banned from Canada, South Dakota, and the largest airline in the country. This had to count for something.

But what? I put this question to several female friends:

Answer 1

Answer 2

Answer 3

Answer 4

Answer 5

Answer 6

That settles it. US Airways “Internal No Fly List”: Addition by subtraction.

Epilogue

Through the magic of Silicon Valley algorithms, a week later an item appeared in my news feed:

us_airways-american_airlines_to_merge_-_feb-_14_2013_-_2016-09-24_12-46-34

Correction: Banned from two airlines.

PS: Here’s the video.

-Jetsetting Terrorist

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