Friday, July 15, 2011

Movie Review: Super 8

Saw Super 8 last week.  Was a fun movie.  Kind of E.T. meets Alien, with a twist of The Goonies.  Not too surprising, considering Steven Spielberg's involvement in the thing.

Anything I say about the story will be a spoiler, so I’ll avoid that.

The acting was good, or better than good.  The script was fun, scary, and held my attention throughout.  I never felt like I was watching a movie (far too common in too many clich├ęd Hollywood crapfests), felt like I was enjoying a story.  That’s a good thing.

So, 8 of 10 from me.  Won’t say more, don’t want to spoil any of the surprises.  There are more than a few.

Booking Flights

I’ll be traveling this summer, so I just went online to book flights.

First, never, ever, under any circumstances, if you can possibly avoid it, use Travelocity to book flights.  They tried to more than double the cost of my flight the moment I clicked the “I don’t want a hotel, just a flight” type option.  The actual message from the website was “The price of the flight has changed since you started your search” or something like that.  So I went back to step one, started the search again, and the first page quoted the same LOWER price, and then I got the same “oops, it went up while we weren’t looking” message when I entered the options again.

In other words, the first quote is just a plain old everyday lie.  They already know the price you’re going to be charged is much higher, and they quote the low price anyway.

So, I consider them a scam at this point.  Total bait-and-switch.

http://www.united.com/ had its own problems.  Got all the way to the “pay for your flight” page, and it gave an incomprehensible error headed “please see message below for instructions”.  The instructions were “ERR_BOOKING_WAIT_ALL” or something like that.  Not useful.  Tried it again with different seat selections (but the rest the same) and it worked.  Price actually went down the second time for some reason.  Didn’t say why, but was $20 cheaper.  Would have been nice if the error message were actually instructions, as implied by the site.  Something like, “One or more of the seats you chose were booked while you were moving through the purchase process.  Click HERE to select new seats for the affected flight(s).”  That would be useful.

As always, America’s travel companies do everything they can to make flying as unpleasant as possible, right from the moment you even consider scheduling a flight.  (And they wonder why they can’t get any customer loyalty or any profits out of this, when they actually seem to go out of their way to make their customers hate them.)  I’ve never dealt with any other business that so consistently continues to provide such pathetic customer service.

Oh well.  Flights are booked, travel is scheduled.  My second vacation since 1987!  Looking forward to all of it except the travel!