Monday, April 17, 2006

Flight Report: LAX -DEN on April 17, 2006

United Airlines
Flight 864
Los Angeles (LAX) to Denver (DEN)
Depart: April 17 2006 at 2:37 PM (local time)
Arrive: April 17 2006 at 5:48 PM (local time)

This flight was somehow not meant to happen. I was traveling with one of the young Moyey's, and we really wanted to have a bump. We almost got one, but someone dropped out at the last minute.

Hannah and I had Seats 9B and 9C, which are the best seats on United's 757s. There was a grumpy old man in 9A, and there will be more about him a little later.

Anyway, just as they were about to shut the doors, they announced that we would all have to leave the plane while they sorted out a mechanical problem. They also instructed people with tight connections to go straight to the United service counter to get help with connecting flights. Since we were supposed to be on a flight back to Baltimore (BWI), we went straight to the long line, where things were just a little chaotic.

Then the person at the counter suggested that people with mobile phones should phone United's reservations agents, which I did. They told me that the flight was on time, and that, if I wanted to make any changes, I would have to pay $100. Needless to say, I decided that was not a good idea.

Then we were told to get back on the plane and take our seats again. Mr. Grumpy, in 9A, who has probably never been entrusted with any management responsibilities in his life, suddenly decided that he knew how to run an airline. Rudely, he told the flight attendants that "this is ridiculous," and "why don't we go right now." Perhaps, he expected them to say "What a good idea. We had never thought of leaving. Let me go to the cockpit and tell the captain to ignore all safety requirements and forget about air traffic control!" I hate people like that. People who cannot face little changes in their travel plans should not be allowed to travel.

After that it was a pleasant flight, and the flight attendants gave us free drinks to "make up" for the delay.

Mr. Grumpy got ratty with Hannah. As she was getting down her case, which she always does efficiently and quickly, he declared. "You're in my way!"

Anyway, we arrived late in Denver. We went straight to the United Service counter, and we were given a voucher for the night at a hotel, vouchers for dinner and breakfast, and boarding passes in First Class for the remainder of our journey.

The test of an airline is how well they handle things when they go wrong. I think they did fine for us! But Mr. Grumpy will probably tell a different story on his blog!

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