Friday 13th June 11:00 p.m. Brisbane
Every so often in life you meet a prize IDIOT, someone whose business it is to make such a joke out of themselves that you don't know whether to laugh at them or feel sorry for them. I generally laugh, prefering to save my sympathy for those more deserving. Want to know what I'm talking about? Well, here goes....

My flight itinerary is all screwed up, okay? I was sure that I'd found a great fare through Anchorage, but now it seems to be not the case. I may have to fly to LA or Vancouver, or else pay quite a premium to fly to Alaska. So I'm doing some research on all the different options and possibilities. Now several years ago, I travelled from New York to LA by 'airhitching'. It was like a standby fare; cheap as chips but no guarantee that you'd get on a plane at first attempt. Anyway, I looked up airhitching and was confronted with two different mobs; air-hitch.org and airhitch.org without the hyphen. I contacted both companies via their website, to see if they could help me get from LA to Anchorage, in the event that this became the best option. Below is a transcript of the incredulous correspondence that I have had with some nutbag- presumably the boss- at airhitch.org. As you read, ask yourself this question; 'Is the guy a psycho or is he just not getting enough fibre in his diet?'
It begins with my brief but apparently assinine enquiry and alternates with his responses, with my emails in bold text.

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Hi. Do you do airhitch from LA to Anchorage, and if so how much does it cost?
Steve

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Dear Steve, At 12:01 AM 6/12/2003 +1000, you wrote:

>Hi. Do you do airhitch from LA to Anchorage, and if so how much does it cost?

We're sorry, but we don't know what you mean by the phrase 'do Airhitch', so you will need to be more specific with your terminology, in order for us to give you any kind of meaningful answer to this question.

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Am I mistaken in assuming that airhitch is a way for me to get from one city to another by air, at a cheaper rate than by going through a travel agent? If I am mistaken, I apologize. If I am not mistaken, then what part of my question is difficult to understand? I want to travel from LA to Anchorage by air, and I am asking you if you can help me, and if so, for how much?
Steve

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Dear Steve, At 09:04 AM 6/12/2003 +1000, you wrote:

>Am I mistaken in assuming that airhitch is a way for me to get from one city >to another by air, at a cheaper rate than by going through a travel agent?

Why assume anything? Why not go to our site and SEE what Airhitch is for? We tell you there, in plain, easy-to-understand language.

>If I am mistaken, I apologize.

No need to apologize!

>If I am not mistaken, then what part of my question is difficult to >understand?

The phrase 'Do Airhitch' is too vague and ambiguous. It needs to be defined in more operational terms, perhaps with reference to the description of the system on our website. On our website we do not talk about 'doing Airhitch', because that would be far too imprecise a description of anything.

>I want to travel from LA to Anchorage by air, and I am asking you if you >can help me, and if so, for how much?

We don't know. We only know whether we can help people AFTER we've helped them. Up 'till that moment, your guess is as good as ours!

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What a very unusual, condescending and patronizing way to treat a potential customer/client/passenger. I HAVE had a look through your website- that is where I contacted you from. On your website, I see mention made of flights to and from Europe, and to or from Hawaii and the Caribbean. My question to you is can you help me with flights from LA to Anchorage, and I don't believe there is anything vague or ambiguous about my question. I cannot see any reference to flights between the 'mainland' and Alaska on your website. Rather than made me jump through hoops, why don't you just tell me whether you can assist me in flying from LA to Anchorage?
Steve

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Dear Steve, At 02:53 PM 6/12/2003 +1000, you wrote:

>What a very unusual, condescending and patronizing way to treat a potential >customer/client/passenger.

1. Please note that you are not, to us, a 'customer', 'client', or 'passenger', potential or otherwise.

2. Please refrain from metalinguistic comments like the one above in future email.

>I HAVE had a look through your website- that is where I contacted you from.

That is, FYI, where most people contact us from. But contacting us from the website rarely means that people have actually READ the website and absorbed meaningful info from it.

>On your website, I see mention made of flights to and from Europe, and to >or from Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Correct. And you DON'T see mention made of flights between Los Angeles and Anchorage, do you? And you DON'T see mention made of any flights between specific city points AT ALL, do you? So: in the vernacular, GET A CLUE.

>My question to you is can you help me with flights from LA to Anchorage, >and I don't believe there is anything vague or ambiguous about my question.

We don't believe there is anything vague or ambiguous about OUR WEBSITE, if people simply invest the minimal effort involved in READING IT, PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY READ, AND 'PUTTING 2+2 TOGETHER'. If this process surpasses your skills, it is absolutely FOR SURE that WE CANNOT HELP YOU WITH ANYTHING AT ALL.

>I cannot see any reference to flights between the 'mainland' and Alaska on >your website.

Then, if we were you, we would look for the answer to your question RIGHT IN THAT FACT.

>Rather than made me jump through hoops, why don't you just tell me whether >you can assist me in flying from LA to Anchorage?

Why don't you just try paying attention to what you read? The above is the second metalinguistic comment you have made in this email. So again we respectfully request that you refrain from metalinguistic comments in email. If you don't know what metalinguistic comments are, and/or, if you don't know why they should be avoided, and if you WANT to know, then ASK US. Otherwise, you will be further wasting your time and ours by responding to this email, and we have decided we don't want to waste any further time with you.
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BEWARE OF IMITATIONS ! If you want to air hitch, look for the hyphen. . .
. . . and this logo

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