Dear god the United line is unbelievably long at the airport.  I'm 90 minutes early, but even so i don't know if i'll be able to make my flight.  I can't even see the front of the line from the back, and there are more twists and turns in it than my small intestine.  Wait... what's that i see?  An unused checkin booth?  "Can i use that?" i ask the attendent.  "Sure!  Go right ahead!" is the surprisingly cheerful response.  Ok... weird... i've just bypassed the throng that was ahead of me in a matter of minutes.  Now i just need to wait for the flight.

Hrmm... there sure are a whole lot of people a this gate.  Hrmm... people keep on coming and coming.   Hrmm... not enough seats to go around.  Hrmm... not enough floor space to go around.  People look pissed.  I sit their quietly reading "The Maxx" and trying not be bothered by the elbows starting to fly.  Some assistant comes on the speaker and says "I'm sorry, looks like we've massively overbooked this flight.  We're looking for volunteers to give up their seats and to take a later flight.  In exchange we'll try to give you a first class seat and you'll get a free round trip ticket you can use in the future.  The next flight is 5 hours from now"  I mull over this for a bit.  Then realize that there's no rush to get into SF and that I've got Ayn Rand to keep me company in the cold abyss that is the airport.  So i go up and say "sure, i'm fine with volunteering".  Amazingly, i was the first person to offer.  The attendant tells me: "actually... as it turns out, we have an SF flight leaving in 90 minutes.  And there are first class seats available.  Would you be ok with that?"  

Gee... let me think.

Well, this certainly is a good start to the trip!