Monday, October 23, 2006

Incompetence or intransigence?

Have you ever been in a store and tried to give the cashier $10.25 for something that cost $9.25 so as to avoid getting coins in change, only to be met by a look of complete bewilderment?

The following transpired on a flight from Dallas to San Francisco recently:

The Characters
  • Me (ME), a cash-poor flier stuck in seat 24A on an Airbus A320 (last row corner, no recline)
  • Flight Attendant (FA), a middle-aged lady obliged to keep us safe, and serve us if safety permits
  • John Doe (JD), a cash-rich infrequent flier in seat 24C

I rarely drink on a flight, and as a former very frequent flier, I have amassed quite a collection of drink coupons. Each coupon is good for one alcoholic beverage - normally sold for $5 in cash. Some flights have snack boxes available, also for $5 in cash, and there are no coupons that specifically pertain to snack boxes.

The Conversation

FA: Would you like to purchase a snack box today?

ME: Yes please. Is there any chance I could use this drink coupon that I have, which is worth the same amount, to buy the snack box?

FA: Sorry, those can only be used for beverages. I need cash for the snack box.

ME: Fair enough. The gentlemen in 23C in front of me just gave you $5 cash for a beverage. Could I buy him his drink with my coupon, and then use his cash for my snack box?

FA: No, I need cash for the snack box, I can't accept the coupon.

JD: (chuckles to self)

ME: Ah. umm, the problem is I don't have any cash. It seems logical that I could effectively swap my coupon for somebody's cash.

FA: Sure, if you can find someone who is willing to do that, then I'm okay with it.

ME: Aha. Okay.

JD: I'll have a beer and my $5 can buy your snack box

Perfect - I'll have the green snack box if you have one please.

FA: Well, I need cash for the snack box, not the coupon.

Aah. I see. How about if I give him my coupon, and he gives me his $5, then he pays you with the coupon for his drink, and I pay you with the cash for my snack box.

FA: That's great. Which snack box did you say you wanted again?

1 comment:

Vani said...

Ha ha! That was funny! :-)

First time here. Am yet to read your other posts. Don't be surprised if u get a barrage of comments in the next few days!