Published: June 20th 2012June 20th 2012
Found this under our door this morning.
It's now Wednesday morning and we're trying to recover from a horrendous day of travel courtesy of United Airlines. I'll try to make this brief, but the only thing I could think of all day yesterday was that if the CIA wants to get information from terrorists, they should just book them on a trip with United. They'll tell them everything they know just to make it end. Waterboarding is humane compared to what we went through. As Dan said, United's motto should be, "Bend over and leave the driving to us."
Our itinerary was to fly from O'Hare to Vancouver non-stop, departing O'Hare at 8:15 AM and arriving in Vancouver at 10:30 AM. We would be starting our cruise Wednesday at 3:00 PM and that would give us the better part of a day to see a bit of Vancouver. Well, the first thing we found out at O'Hare was that our flight was cancelled and we were changed to a flight to San Francisco, have a two hour layover there and then fly on to Vancouver arriving around 5:00 PM. We weren't happy, but it didn't seem that bad.
Well, when we arrived in San Francisco, we found that our flight to Vancouver was now cancelled. We had to go to United's customer service area to see what they could do for us. While waiting in line there, Marilyn tried one of the kiosks and found that they had booked us on a 1:45 flight to Vancouver THE NEXT DAY! Finally, after a half hour of waiting and another half hour of the customer service rep feverishly pecking away at her computer and telling us that the other flights going to Vancouver were fully booked, she got us booked on an Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle, a three hour layover there, and then on to Vancouver. And she told us that we had ten minutes to get to the Alaska gate before they stopped boarding. Of course that gate was in another terminal and required going through security again. When we asked her about our bags she just said, "I can't guarantee anything, just go, go, go!" With those reassuring words, we started running through the terminal for our cross airport race. I use the word "running" generously in my case because all I could manage with my arthritic hip and knee is a fast walk. That's when the physical torture came in. Up until then it was all mental torture, which by the way, would continue.
We did make it in time to get on the airplane. Alaska Airlines actually did what they were supposed to and after our three hour wait in Seattle, got us in to Vancouver about 7:30 PM. We then went to the baggage claim area to talk to the United rep to see where our bags may be. Why would we possibly think that our bags would get there when they hadn't been able to do anything that was planned so far?!? The girls filed our lost baggage claim and we headed to our hotel.
About midnight, Marilyn received a message that three of the four bags would be delivered to our hotel and that the fourth would be delivered to the cruise ship. This morning, we were shocked to find out that they did actually deliver the three bags to their room about 2:00 AM. Unfortunately, the missing bag was Marilyn's. She found that they did have her bag at the airport and tried to get them to deliver it to our hotel this morning, but hasn't had any luck. As I write this, all we can do is hope her bag does get to the ship today.
Our nice 4-1/2 hour non-stop flight became a travel day of 17 hours, from leaving our home at 5:30 AM until arriving at our hotel at 10:30 PM Central time. The misery and misfortune that modern air travel has become makes me think about the days of the old Pan Am flying boats crossing the oceans, the days when travelers travelled in comfort and could depend on the airline to treat them well. The days when stewardesses were still stewardesses, before political correctness, when customers were treated as customers.
I guess that's just old geezer thinking.