Typo Leads to Travel Nightmare

Keeping with my tradition of reporting personal stories of being stuck in the cogs of a malfunctioning bureaucratic machine (ie last year’s electricity outage), I give you: my typo travel disaster:
My story begins with my checking in for my flight home for the holidays (Boston to Seattle – non-stop). It’s standard practice in my family, if we’re not in a particular hurry, to ask whether the flight is full and whether we might catch a later flight in exchange for some sort of reward, usually a free ticket. I’ve tried this many times, but never with success. This time, it actually worked. The woman at the check in counter offered to put me on the next morning’s non-stop flight (different carrier) and offered a voucher for a free ticket if I would give up my seat. I agreed.
I left the airport, voucher and new ticket in hand, and headed for the subway. After some transportation issues involving a closed subway, 200 people in the street, and a slow and expensive cab, I arrived at my apartment and proceeded to look up my new flight information so that I could alert my parents to my one-day delay.
To my surprise, my newly issued ticket was dated for the 29th instead of the 19th, no doubt the result of a single slip of the finger during an otherwise needlessly complicated series of keystrokes by the ticket agent. (Really now, what could they possibly be typing back there?) I called the airline to straighten out the problem.
I’ve never been an irate passenger or customer, and in keeping with my usual methods of conflict reconciliation, I calmly explained the situation to the airline. The representative responded that there was “nothing that we could do here.” I calmly asked what number I should call to straighten out the situation. The representative started yelling: “I’m sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do.” She suggested that I go back to the airport.
I will spare the details of the words that followed over the next 48 minutes, but let me summarize by saying that, for the first time in my life, I had to demand to speak to a supervisor… twice. At some point down the line, people started being very friendly to me over the phone. I ended up with a three-hour layover in Chicago, but at least I was scheduled for a new flight.
The next morning I proceeded to the airport with the instructions to “get there a little early and go to the original airline’s counter to tell them your story.” This would have been a lot easier had my girlfriend’s car started when she turned the key. I ended up with a ridiculously expensive $30 cab ride (should have been about half that) to the airport. There was no line at the original airline’s counter, but for good reason: there was no one working there. Luckily, a neighboring airline’s employee was able to exchange my incorrect ticket for the new one I had been promised over the phone.
In the end I was given a first class seat for both legs of the arduous journey, but between the layover, phone treatment, cab fares, and delays (there were more delays), I was unimpressed with the extra 3 inches of hip room. I’ve always wondered about those first-class passengers. They never look very happy to be in first class. Only now do I realize that seat 1A is not the king’s chair but actually the airline’s throne of pity. I will be sure to use my travel voucher to book the longest, most exotic and expensive trip I can conjure, and I will take that trip during the busiest and blackest of blackout dates (which don’t apply to my voucher.)