I just spent more than two hours in airline service hell.

It started out simply enough. I went to the Delta Airlines web site to book a flight using my frequent flyer miles. The process was actually very easy. I found the flight times that were close enough (you never get exactly what you want with a "free" flight), was able to select the seats, and clicked the button to finish. That’s when the door to hell opened.

Since I was booking the flight for my wife whose name doesn’t match the one on the frequent flyer account, I had to call the toll free number and confirm the reservation within two hours. Considering the time of year, the lines were very busy, and I expected some delays. When I did get past the busy signals, I managed to memorize every one of the thirty-eight Delta ads while "all of our agents are busy helping other customers". But I was assured that they do value my call.

Every so often, seemingly just for the fun of it, I was presented with a maze of menus on which the choices never seemed to fit what I wanted to do. That part must have been designed by a federal bureaucrat. Did I mention getting cut off and having to start the process all over again three times? I wonder if redeeming miles from other airlines is this much fun.