Laura has a pretty good description of what an anxiety attack feels like to her: “First, your chest starts to feel tight, like you are wearing a corset. You can’t breathe properly, your heart rate starts to skyrocket, causing a pounding feeling. It’s very out-of-body. You can’t figure out what’s going on. It’s like being trapped by your brain into a tight corner.” If the skeptical gate agent for Continental had ever experienced this–or had just been given adequate training for dealing with passengers with disabilities–maybe she wouldn’t have told Laura her doctor’s note looked fake, or asked her to stay put when Laura said she needed to get her meds.
Alright everyone, gather round and let me share with you the pain of living with a hyphenated name. Occasionally it’s fun and amusing, a third nipple stapled to your ID. Occasionally, it’s a miserable nightmare, as Yarn Harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee learned when she wasn’t allowed to board a flight after an anonymous airline’s computer severed her hyphenated name. Neither passports, a conversation with the booking agent, nor a printed receipt showing the proper hyphenated name could convince the airline gate agent that Pearl-McPhee was anything more than a foolishly named terror.
United couldn’t have been more understanding and helpful after reader Chris’ wife had a seizure as they flew from Sullivan’s Island, SC to Winnipeg. The flight attendants onboard offered to divert the flight to Chicago, but the couple decided instead to power through. United’s staff met them at the gate along with paramedics, and offered to rebook them on the flight of their choice. If they wanted to stay the night, United said they’d be happy to pay for a hotel room. Chris’ takeaway perfectly captures the spirit behind our Above and Beyond posts: “Even if United is a horrible company,” he writes, “there are still nice people there, and sometimes even big companies surprise you.” Chris writes: