By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
I just spent the last, very frustrating hour on the telephone with US Airways. But as the call was wrapping up and I was nearing a resolution, it was Evan Turner who took flight and led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a first-class win over Michigan in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal in Indianapolis Friday afternoon.
When I called Thursday night, the fine customer service operator gave my would-be reservation a courtesy hold. A one-way flight to San Francisco in two weeks would cost me 25,000 miles, the same as a round-trip ticket. That's pretty steep, but hey, for this broke dude who hasn't worked since July, it's better than actual dollars.
I'd found a cheap flight back from SFO a few days later, so I was just finalizing the outbound trip with US Airways this afternoon. But the gal had me on the line for more than a half hour before she told me there would be $135 in fees, down from the original $180 she'd previously quoted me. I demanded to speak to her supervisor, who broke down the charges this way:
+ $75 - expedited reservation fee (less than 14 days advance purchase)
+ $30 - reservation service fee
+ $25 - processing fee
+ $5 - security fee
What is the difference between a reservation fee and a processing fee? And with what's available and possible with technology these days, is either necessary? Are processing and reservation servicing two acts that require significant manpower?
Funny how I thought I'd be able to just make this call during the under-16 timeout.
So there I was, confirming the reservation and telling my long story to a supervisor, just minutes after telling my long story to her subordinate. I got what I wanted: an Ohio State victory.
I mean, I got $35 taken off the total fees, but along the way, shades of Ron Lewis popped into my head as the Buckeyes were about to inbound the ball after a timeout. They trailed by two with just 2.2 seconds left, and I thought it was odd that Michigan would lay back and not contest the pass to Evan Turner.
I couldn't stop thinking about Lewis, who drilled a three at the buzzer in a second-round game against in-state rival Xavier in 2007. After Lewis' heroic shot sent the game into overtime, the Buckeyes took over and ran away with the win, ultimately earning a spot in the national championsip game two weeks later.
And Friday, I had a funny feeling that Turner would take two or three dribbles and pull up just after the midcourt line and for some reason I knew that thing was going in. About 10 seconds after it did, I asked the woman to repeat herself.