Aamil never made it to Sarajevo. In fact, that was one of the last times they ever spoke. Ultimately, Aamil disappeared from our lives. Dad went home. Told Mom.
Got in bed. And slept for the rest of the weekend, and arguably — at least figuratively — for a really long time after that. And I had no idea how I was going to live my life the way I lived it. His blood. It was his superpower. Dad was one of a few lifetime, unlimited AAirpass holders that American had been monitoring and claimed had breached their contracts. But now, after years of quiet and secret investigation, apparently Dad and others were costing American too much money.
Even though Dad had dealt with the reservations agents on an almost daily basis, it was the revenues department that got involved, interjected, and launched an investigation that brought the whole house down. The dollar amount was based on the value of the lifetime unlimited AAirpass the last time it was sold for public consumption — though American had stopped selling them in , a Neiman Marcus catalogue offered them for 3 million bucks. A primary issue in the case was whether American properly terminated his AAirpass Agreement based on Section 12, which read:.
According to Lorraine and the legal documents, a longtime American employee launched the investigation, looking into several other AAirpass holders, including Dad and Jacques Vroom, another lifetime unlimited customer, whose AAirpass termination also resulted in a lawsuit. I reached out to American Airlines for comment on this article.
The Secret Life of a Professional Statue
Truth is, AAirpass was — even in its earliest, earliest days — a failed program. As for the case, American anticipated a resolution without a trial; Dad anticipated a trial by jury. They spent the summer of debating — back and forth — over the fraud clause, and whether it was ambiguous or clear. Then, American counterclaimed, saying Dad broke the contract by improperly using the companion feature. In April , an American employee had approached Dad and asked him to stop, as security measures around flying had clearly started to shift after September So he stopped.
He was the first person I knew to have a cell phone, and then the first person I knew to get a BlackBerry and remains one of the last to have one. But a computer — never.
What It’s Like to Have a Hypnosis Fetish
Rarely could anyone else do that, even if they gave their word. Only Dad knew how to drop everything and fly. That was his superpower. He had wings. Yet American Airlines agents condoned it for decades.
- Shadow Exotica?
- Short Films.
- The Secret Life of a Professional Statue;
- Radio Caroline returns to the airways after fifty years.
- Top Gear: How to Parachute into a Moving Car: Vital Survival Tips for the Modern Man (Top Gear (Hardcover)).
They had won. As mentioned, the judge issued a summary judgment. Then, the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Dad had lost. The appeal stayed until American exited bankruptcy in December And the final chunks of paperwork were filed in early But it never really quieted. That my mother, two uncles and an aunt all went in for depositions, or that hundreds of legal hours and thousands of dollars and documents unfolded.
This spring, after gaining access to the court documents, and reading over 80 documents in full, I call Dad as I leave my writing space at p. I say this is clear: What American did to interpret fraud was out of line. During the same time period, he booked 2, flight segments for travel companions, and 2, were either canceled or a no-show. I tell him I need to maintain my journalistic balance and integrity.
Under those terms I bought the extra seat. Anyone I wanted. He wanted to be alone, just as had always been his booking practice on many airlines, even well before the AAirpass days. He liked his space. He liked access to bringing extra carry-on bags.
He liked some privacy. The airplane was his home. He was at home. People buy extra and empty seats all the time. A permanent extra seat for life — whether another human was in it or not. Here is why. I was up and [alone] in my home office and bored. So I would call the number for the AAirpass desk and talk to the agent about the news or the weather or about Paris or little London. Then, after an hour of nothing they had to hang up. So I would make a reservation and ask them to fax it to me.
Then the next day I would take the fax and cancel the reservation. I needed someone to talk to at midnight. The number was open. His understanding was that fraudulent behavior was limited to giving the AAirpass to someone else — which he never did. I still have never ever ever booked any reservation online.
I always use the phone. So their own agents never stopped me from anything. Real depression. On his iPad, he FaceTimes me from his hotel room. It took away my hobby. I thought that I could go to Sweden for the weekend in July and pick up flowers when I was They stole the very thing that caused me to give them a half a million dollars in the first place.
And a half a million dollars is probably like 5 million dollars today. And they did it maliciously. So maybe someplace in between. Or maybe my mind goes back and forth. Of course, racial and class privilege, body ability, access to health care and support, and other privileges obviously play a massive role. But the inside spectacle of pain is traumatic across the board.
So it was a huge loss, and it was shitty timing because it gave our family an opportunity to still travel, to find the joy in travel. Hong Kong. New York. We inherit things from our kin.
As an internationally touring poet, performer and educator, when I am on tour, I am alive. I know how to operate an airport or bus terminal or Amtrak station or a rental car. Natalie does too. People have come to me about their hatred or fear of flying.
A certain amount of time in the sky that belongs only to you.
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