If Santa Claus Traveled By Commercial Airline For Christmas

Kris Kringle stood at the repair shop in disbelief after the mechanic told him that the catalytic converter in his sleigh had been recalled — and that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officially informed him that using reindeer for such hard labor as to transport the weight of him and the tons of presents to millions of homes around the world was considered cruelty to animals did not help matters.

What could Kris do?

If Santa Claus Traveled By Commercial Airline For Christmas

Christmas seems to approach more quickly every year; and this year was no exception. Kris had no choice: the quickest mode of transportation he can find on a moment’s notice was to book an airline ticket.

Kris is not exactly flush with cash. After all, when was the last time you have heard of Santa Claus getting paid a salary? Plus, all of those elves who work for him have to be compensated somehow. Despite his impassioned pleas — as he had no frequent flier loyalty program points — none of those blogging scoundrels at BoardingArea would help him out. Perhaps they did not really believe that he was the one and only Santa Claus. Therefore, he tried to get the lowest airfare possible…

…but Kris was not exactly proficient on technology — and time was running out — so he took his reindeer and presents to the airport; and after slowly winding his way through the queue for the ultra-low-cost carrier, he finally was able to speak to the airline employee behind the ticket counter.

“Can I help you, sir?” asked the woman.

“Yes. I would like to purchase a ticket around the world,” Kris replied.

“May I have your government issued identification, please?”

Kris shuffled through his pockets. Government? Kris is the government where he is based at the North Pole. He pulled out his identification, which was created for him many years ago when residents of houses around the world started fearing intruders. By showing them his identification, he allayed their fears — and prevented himself from potentially getting hurt one day by some rogue vigilante.

This form of identification was initially viewed as suspect by the woman; so she called over her boss, who scoured over the identification and decided to give Kris a pass. “This is a one-time exception,” the boss explained, “and I will let the agents of the Transportation Security Administration know about this so that they will let you through — but next time, get a more recognizable form of identification.”

“Okay,” Kris said sheepishly. “Here is my money. Can I have my ticket?”

“You need an extra $25.00,” she replied.

“Why?!?” he asked, bewildered.

“That is a service charge for purchasing your ticket here,” she explained. “You would have saved that money if you would have booked it on the computer.”

“Fine. Here,” Kris said in disgruntlement, handing over the extra $25.00.

“Not so fast,” she said. “You do know that you cannot bring all of those gifts aboard the airplane with you.”

“I can understand,” he replied. “I will just check them.”

“That will be $50.00 per bag each way…” she advised.

Kris just stood there, flabbergasted.

“…and all of those reindeer — they cannot come along with you.”

“But they are emotional support animals!” Kris protested. “I cannot travel without them!”

“Reindeer are not on the list of accepted emotional support animals,” she explained.

“Even if Rudolph is classified as a service animal?” Kris asked.

“Only dogs can be service animals.”

After arranging to have the reindeer kept at an appropriate facility and paying a king’s ransom for the gifts, Kris took his boarding pass and waited in the long queue at the security checkpoint. When it was finally his turn to be processed, the scanner alerted the agents.

“Take your jacket off,” he instructed to Kris. “Those sleigh bells on your jacket set off the machine.”

After several tries, Kris finally got through the security checkpoint and fought the crowds at the airport to get to the gate…

…but after an inexplicable delay of the departure for the flight, a last-minute seat assignment to a cramped middle seat in the back of the airplane — with the passengers on either side fighting him over the armrests and complaining about his girth overflowing into their personal spaces — the back of his seat being kicked, no free cookies or milk or hot chocolate, and other surprise ancillary fees, Kris decided that he would never travel by commercial airline ever again…

…but that decision was for naught anyway. Just as the airplane was finally ready for departure, the pilot announced that the ultra-low-cost carrier just ceased all operations because it is going out of business and the airplane will not depart anyway.

Fortunately, the local fire department offered a fire truck for him to use — as seen in the photograph at the top of this article — and that barely saved Christmas for this year.

Summary

Kris Kringle found out soon after the transportation debacle this year that his given birth name was actually Hymie Krinklestein; and he realized that all he had to do was light a menorah and send gifts to all of the Jewish children around the world for eight nights — no more trees, snowstorms, sleighs, stockings, chimneys, elves, reindeer, or their excrement. Even better is that he can be a snowbird and be based in South Florida for the winter — or maybe move there permanently instead of living at the North Pole.

Unfortunately, he will experience a rude awakening next year when he tries to pass through an airport security checkpoint with a menorah lit with real candles and too much oil from potato latkes…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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