Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I hate United Airlines.

I mean it. I really do. I freaking detest United Airlines. They screwed up our flights on our trip out to Seattle for the cruise. Now in retrospect, after the flight from hell yesterday, the flights going out there don't seem so bad.

We arrived at the Seattle airport yesterday at about 12:30. The flight left at 1:45. No problem. Everything was going nicely until we got to Denver. We arrived at about 5:05, a little early even. Wonderful. Our flight was supposed to leave Denver at 6:44 MST and would arrive in Baltimore just before midnight EST. OK, shouldn't be a problem.

We arrive and discover that the flight is delayed to 7:15. No problem. At around 7:15, not only have we not taken off but they haven't boarded us yet. At 7:30 we learn that they'll have an 8pm decision. Decision? Decision on what?

At 8:00 we learn that there is a maintenance problem of some sort and that they are fixing it and as soon as the part is in place then they just need to do a test that will take 10 minutes, so they expect to have us in the air by 8:30. At 8:25 they tell us that they're still working and should have an 8:30 "decision." There's that word again. At 8:30 they tell us they'll update us at 9. At 9 we're told they'll update us at 9:30. At 9:30 they tell us we'll be getting a 10:00 "decision."

Just before 10 we're told that they're working on getting new O rings on and that they need to do a cabin pressure check that should only last 10 minutes and they expect a 10:30 "decision." Meanwhile, 200 passengers are getting incredibly pissy at this point, considering as we should have taken off over 3 hours ago and really couldn't leave because supposedly we could take off at any given moment. So a few of us decide to go in search of food since we have 30 minutes before our next "decision."

We get to the food court at 10:02. Guess what? It closed at 10. And so did all the stores that sell any kind of food. Even the snack machines shut down at 8. At this point there is officially NO FOOD TO BE HAD!

And this is a United hub, for crying out loud! You're seriously going to tell me that there wasn't some other plane we could have taken once they realized that was a mechanical problem?

At this point it is now past the time that we should have already landed in Baltimore and they still can't tell us how long it will be and can't make a decision as to whether they'll just put us up in hotels and let us try it the next morning.

OK, 10:30 comes and goes. At 11 they finally announce that they will be giving out vouchers for $75 off a future flight on United. Yeah, 'cuz I *so* want to fly on this airline ever again. But we pick up our voucher anyway, only to discover that not only does it not work with one of the discounters but it also doesn't work with www.united.com. Only with their 1-800 number. So it's probably completely worthless.

They finally started boarding at 11:30 and we took off at midnight. A couple of minutes after take-off we heard "Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to serve to you beverages on this flights and an assortment of snacks." OK, fine. But the announcement wasn't finished: "Snack boxes can be purchased for $5. Please have correct change."

It is now 5 hours and 15 minutes after we should have taken off. We were the only flight left in the airport. All the food vendors had closed 2 hours earlier with no warning and we had no idea how long it would be before we got out of the damn place. You stranded us in a nearly deserted terminal for hours with no clear idea of what to expect, with NO FOOD and with only a damn $75 voucher for your crappy airline, and now you have the audacity to ask for money for your crappy snacks?


We finally landed in Baltimore around 5 am. Fortunatley our bags were the first ones off the conveyor belt. We got back to our apartment a little after 6:30 am, after driving through the beginning of morning Baltimore-to-Washington rush hour.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 1:49 PM :: 10 comments

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