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October 1st, 2007

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03:16 pm - FUCK. YOU.
My flight itinerary this morning was to leave Ontario, California at around 11:30 am PST, change planes in Denver, and arrive in Boston around 9:30 or so EST. Sure.

Upon check-in, I find that my Denver connection had been cancelled outright. However, United had thoughtfully provided me with the option to take a flight via SFO that left at 11:00 am and arrived at a similar time.

"Sounds good to me," I said, and selected it.

"Oh sorry," the check-in computer said. "This flight is closed already. You can't make it."

"So what's the point of offering it to me, you dimwit?" I asked fruitessly. Then my phone made a HAY YOU GOT A MESSAGE buzz. It was United's automated service, letting me know my Denver connection had been cancelled and that I could take a flight via SFO that left at 11:00 am and arrived in Boston similar to my original time.

The timestamp on the message was just about at the same time as the computer went BZZT YOU CAN'T GO.

The next flight was to leave ONT at 2 and arrive near to 1:00 am. I asked the counter lady if there was any other flight combo that might work, as I have to take the Red Line home and it closes after midnight and there was no earthly way I was going to make it what with waiting for my baggage and then hoping the Silver Line was still running and... yeah. By the time all was said and done, I'd be out a way home.

The lady in ONT was very very helpful. She said "We've got a non-stop leaving LAX at 2:00 pm and arriving in Boston around 10:30 pm. I can get you an extra legroom seat, and here is a voucher for a free ground shuttle to LAX." (ONT and LAX are about an hour apart in good traffic.)

Off I went with a huzzah and a hey and a phew. Arrived in LAX around noon, had a nice lunch, and then went to where the Departure board had originally told me the Boston flight was departing, just at about the time it started boarding.

Nobody was there. Strange, huh.

So I went to check the board again and noticed we'd moved a few gates down so I went there. People were there. Nobody was boarding.

We checked the board again. Suddenly the flight had been delayed to a departure time of 5:00 pm. There'd been no announcement, no PA squawking, no nothing. It took a passenger to check the board to see what the fuck was going on.

The flight would be leaving at roughly the same time I was supposed to have arrived in Boston in the first place.

I am livid.
I am beyond furious.
I don't want to A. arrive in Boston extremely late, B. take a cab home extremely late, and C. be extremely late so I can then wake up three hours later BRIGHT AND FRESH FOR WORK at a job that is completely killing me even when I've rested up fine, and THEN have a two-hour rehearsal session afterwards, which I need to hold as I missed last week's when I was sicker than dead things.


I expected to get home at a NORMAL PEOPLE REASONABLE TIME and get a GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP and be ready for the return to the real world tomorrow, and instead I get SHIT.

The lady in Ontario and the shuttle people were really nice and friendly in the face of corporate and management stupidity. Once I got to LAX, which is its own special circle of Hell, I've gotten nothing. Nothing whatsoever. None of the passengers knew what was going on. Hell, we still don't, except that now we're supposed to be leaving at five.

I am so furious right now I could kick trash cans over and cussing in front of more litte kids all around. But then I wouldn't be arriving in Boston at any time soon.

Christ on a crutch.

(20 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
I empathize. I'm on a self-imposed airline moratorium because I just couldn't take all that jerking around anymore. Hopefully they won't push you back any further.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
are you not travelling or are you taking other transport? i've been tempted by an airline moratorium, but i haven't ever been able to get it up to do it... someday maybe.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
A little of both. I've passed up a couple of trips to far-away lands that would have required air travel, but have been balancing it out with trips to Windsor, Traverse City, Detroit, Indy and other nearby-ish places.

Granted, it's a lot easier to do when you don't have to get to California from Boston...
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
What the shit!

That is, by far, one of the worst airline run-arounds I've heard in a long time. I'm sorry, man. :/

I'm shocked they didn't even give you any sort of substantial heads-up prior to your original flight being borked.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Note to self: Don't fly on United.
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, it's not much better anywhere else right now. This summer has been one of the worst in many, many years for delayed and cancelled flights. Last I read, United was middle of the pack as far as that goes. It's hard to get reliable info, though, since none of the majors count their affiliates in their statistics. Late and cancelled flights on United Express and Ted don't count against United. American Eagle doesn't count against American, etc, etc.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
In this case I think an actual carpet bomb would more likely have the desired effect.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
I don't fly anymore. Airlines and the government have fucked with me enough.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
that utterly sucks :( I've had two such screwages by airlines this year. it just bites.

but do not kick trash cans lest you end up mysteriously dead
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear this. Having been victim of it a couple of times myself in the last year, I know how frustrating it is.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Wow. I fully endorse any plan you might have to tear these people a shiny new asshole.

I barely managed to dodge it coming back from New Orleans...but yeah, this is some serious kinds of bullshit. What the hell is even causing this stuff? Do they even know?

Now I'm scared, because I just ordered my plane tickets and hotel reservations in Boston for the end of the month...
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
this happened to me over the summer when i was in toronto for a conference. a bunch of us were on the last flight that night from toronto to newark, and due to weather the flight was delayed, delayed, delayed, and then -- without anyone telling the passengers -- cancelled. in fact, there were not even any flight attendant folks at the gate, so one of the passengers got on the PA and requested that one "come to the podium."

then we all had to be rebooked for flights the next day. people were crying. a few of my colleagues actually slept at the airport. totally fuckin' blew.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
I always have great luck with Southwest. Even when they're delayed, they make it on time. The cattle car in the sky is totally worth it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
((hugs)) yeah - i know the feeling. when i was supposed to go on vacay this winter, there was a snowstorm, and they informed us that the next flight they could get us on was...five days later. which would have meant that we would have had 2 days vacation (including travel time!) airlines suck!
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
My experience with American air carriers is that, compared to literally every other country's airlines, they all suck. When you fly non-U.S. airlines with any frequency, you become accustomed to a degree of professionalism, civility, and basic competence that makes flying to or from the States via an American carrier a very cruel reversal indeed.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
I'm sorry. Flying sucks these days.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)

And I flew over 65K miles last year...

Welcome to the wonderful world of airline customer service. And by "wonderful" I mean "seriously fucked up beyond belief and incredibly incompetent."
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
YOu should demand that you get a free flight or put up in a hotel or something cool like that.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)

I know this is too late but still...

Rule 240!!! It's supposed to be the magic invocation of "oh, you delayed me at least 2 hours for no good non-weather-related reason? you are now forced to do something about it". It's in the UA contract of carriage.

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