Travel is Highly Overrated, or Why I Almost Drove to San Francisco

       When I tell people that I travel about 20% of the time, both in the US and other countries, the typical response is, “Wow, you’re lucky.”  I don’t think so. 

       But maybe I’ve been spoiled by Delta Air Lines, in which I’m a 2 Million Miler and, as a result, get a lot of benefits that I don’t get on other airlines.  A good example happened last week, when I was in San Diego and needed to go to San Francisco.  Delta didn’t have any nonstop flights, so I flew on another airline (the name isn’t important).  And my experience began at the self check-in kiosk.  The system immediately recognized my name and itinerary, but then the 20 questions began (okay, maybe it wasn’t 20, but it sure seemed like it): 

  • Do you want to upgrade to first class?  (It’s only an hour flight.  No.)
  • Do you want to purchase an economy plus seat, with up to 5 more inches of legroom?  (Up to?  Does that mean it could be only 1 inch?  No.)
  • Do you want to purchase an economy plus seat and waive your baggage fee?  (Even though I never pay baggage fees – No.)
  • And once again, are you sure you don’t want to upgrade to first class?  (I’m still sure.)
  • How many bags are you checking?  (One.)
  • Please insert your credit card to pay the $25 fee.

       After I paid the fee, the machine went blank without giving me the receipt for that payment.  I had to call a counter agent for help. 

       This process took about 15 minutes.  And then security!  The line looked to be about 100 people long, and took a full 30 minutes to get through, including being patted down because I had left my wallet in my pocket when I was screened by their new “magic glasses” machine. 

       As I said, perhaps I’ve been spoiled by Delta.  Or perhaps next time I’ll just drive the 500 miles up the coast… 

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back often – I write and post every day!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don,  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!  

And to view updated blogs in real-time, go to or – they’re both great sites! 

RandolphMase, Fiction Writer 

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death in The Cloisters (under construction)

Nathan Hale



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