Periscope Depth

let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height

AirTran used to allow you to upgrade your seat to business class for $49 at check-in, provided there were still seats available. When I tried that trick on Friday, I saw the price had jumped to $99. I dropped an extra $20 for an exit row seat instead. This worked out for me: I got a luxurious amount of leg room and there was only one other passenger in my row.

A family of three filed in behind me. At first I thought they were grandmother, mother, son, based on the way they looked. After listening to the middle one whine at the 8-year-old for three hours, however, I soon changed my mind. “Peter, quit it! God. I am not sitting next to him on the flight back. Get your hands off my T-shirt; it’s vintage! Mom!”

Then I overheard a chance comment as we deplaned that suggested no, they were in fact grandmother, mother, son. I don’t know what to think anymore.

As soon as you arrive at MCO, the Disney corporation swaddles you in attention. Walt Disney World will shuttle you from the airport to your resort hotel for free. They’ll even pick up your luggage if you tag it properly. They’ll even check you back in for your return flight* and handle your luggage for you.

Once I hit my hotel, the onslaught of customer service continued. The check-in manager complimented my hat. The teenager behind the cash register in the food court complimented my jacket. Every Disney employee I talked to looked glad to see me. That’s part of why Disney’s such a magical experience. It’s a giant conspiracy of people who want to make sure you’re happy and spend as much money as possible.

* Which they did without my asking them to, which may technically be fraud.