The reason your flight was delayed

Most people don’t know this, but somewhere in the International World Aviation Headquarters of Things That Fly Around the World (IWAHTTFAW), there is an enormous leaderboard with the names and statistics of every commercial flier. This leaderboard is used by pilots, ticket agents, and other airline personnel for a secret competition in which they attempt to screw up the travel plans of frequent fliers as much as possible.

You see, it began with a simple award system for any discouraging, disruptive, inconvenient or life-ruining event they could foist upon any customer: 10 points for a flight delay, 20 points if they miss their connection, 50 points for losing their luggage. (A recent addendum: 150 point bonus if the next time the person sees their belongings is on a reality television show where they’re being auctioned off.) But eventually, as an added degree of difficulty, they began to be scored on a sliding scale, with more points awarded for people who were inconvenienced repeatedly.

Why is this more difficult? Because players are penalized if their actions provoke certain extreme reactions in the customers: cursing at a ticket agent, minus one point; cutting off their head with a commemorative Klingon Bat’leth, minus three points, etc. You see, the goal here isn’t to break the customer, but rather to reduce them to a simmering cauldron of rage just on the brink of spilling over, thereby sparing the airline employees and creating added entertainment value when they go batcrap insane on the taxi driver taking them to their hotel afterwards.

There is legislation currently pending which would deny these people access to bath salts, for obvious reasons.

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July 2012

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