Santa Claus Bristol
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

If Santa Claus Traveled By Commercial Airline For Christmas — 2022 Edition

Kris Kringle crinkled from developing wrinkles in his latest adventure.

Kris Kringle stood at the dealership in disbelief after the salesperson told him that the new vehicle he purchased had not arrived yet due to a shortage of semiconductors and other critical components — and that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officially informed him years ago 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 — 2022 Edition

Christmas seems to approach more quickly every year; and this year was no exception. Covid — the black-lunged reindeer and newest member of the herd — was busy getting his nineteenth booster shot for his vaccination; issues in the supply chain only exacerbated the stress to create toys and other presents; and most of the other reindeer went on strike with the elves over a wage dispute in solidarity with members of the staff of Border Force in the United Kingdom. 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 remaining elves who still work for him and have not yet quit or retired have to be compensated somehow — even while they are on strike.

Despite his impassioned pleas — as he had no frequent flier loyalty program points — none of those blogging scoundrels at BoardingArea would help him out unless he used their affiliate links to sign up for at least a dozen credit card offers. He tried reading their articles for advice; but sifting through the salacious articles about scantily clad women with large breasts — one of them was identified as Kriss Miss Eve, who is popular on Tik Tok — who catfight with female flight attendants aboard airplanes because they were ordered to stop smoking proved to be too much. He even tried to convince them to write an article about Vixen in exchange for suggestions; but that was also unsuccessful.

The only words that they could utter were Whoa! Yikes! Ouch! Silly! Ugh! Shame! Woot! Yow! Oops! Yuck! Unicorn! Crazy! Huge! Uh oh! Tasty! Sad! Wow! Snazzy! Grim! Shameful! Yahtzee! 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, as hold times via the telephone were clocking in at five hours and increasing due to a shortage of labor — so he took his one remaining 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. “We are granting you a courtesy one-time exception,” the boss explained in a condescending manner, “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 $50.00,” 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 $50.00.

“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 $150.00 per bag for every flight segment…” she advised.

Kris just stood there, flabbergasted. Maybe he should have signed up for at least one credit card — the one that allows bags to travel at a reduced cost.

“…and that reindeer — he cannot come along with you.”

“But Dasher is my emotional support animal!” Kris protested. “I cannot travel without him!”

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

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

“Only dogs can be service animals.”

After arranging to have poor Dasher 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 like he seems to do every year…

…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 was being acquired by an even worse ultra-low-cost carrier — and due to mechanical issues and a shortage of workers, the airplane was not going to depart anyway.

Desperate, Kris then tried to rent a vehicle from Shifty Rent A Car. He paid full price for one — only to be turned away because the rental car company ran out of vehicles; and the reservation was not refundable. The Santa clause of the contract could not be enforced and was deemed by Kris to be useless. “The f in the name Shifty must have been a typographical error and should have been a second t,” he thought to himself as he grumbled.

Fortunately, Kris suddenly remembered that he still had his alternate mode of transportation to use from a few years ago — a chopper motorcycle, as seen in the photograph at the top of this article — and that barely saved Christmas for this year.

Final Boarding Call

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 a condominium in the Delray Raton Palms senior community in South Florida for the winter — or maybe move there permanently instead of living at the North Pole.

Unfortunately, he will likely 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 ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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