Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A call to boycott United

Lack of home = lack of posting. sorry.

Had the world's worst experience with United Airlines this weekend. We had to buy tickets on priceline for this trip because all the tickets to my mom's house were $500 a piece. Friday morning started out auspiciously enough. We got up before the butt crack of dawn and made our way to Philidelphia airport. There was no traffic on the road and we got there in under 45 minutes. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:55. We barely made it because there were at least 200 people in line for check in and three open counters, including self-check in (no kidding). Okay, so I can blame that on heavy Christmas travel traffic.

We had a layover in Chicago (yeah, another reason I'm never flying United or purchasing from Priceline again). We got in around 8:30. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 10:10, so we checked the departure time and gate and got some breakfast. (Incidentally, it was yummy). When we meandered back to our gate we found our flight had been delayed until 12:49 pm. 'Scuse me? And why? Because they plane they had was having mechanical problems and so they had to find another plane. Things happen. We bought some magazines and settled in with Newsweek and MarioCart.

Delayed: 1:49
Delayed: 2:13
Delayed: 2:30
Delayed: 2:45

Finally, around 2:30, they load us onto the plane, which had to fly, empty, from Dulles. We get settled in only to hear that we're not going anywhere because the sink in the lavatory won't stop running and they have to get a mechanic to drain the water tank. Sigh. Delayed. The water is drained and the pilot comes on the intercom to tell us that the co-pilot has exceeded his allowable hours and we now have to wait for a new co-pilot. We finally leave O'Hare around 3:45. Touchdown in Memphis: 5:30. Total travel time: 13 hours.

But wait ... it gets better! Before we get on our flight home on Monday we check our flights. The first flight was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes. Layover time: 1 hour ... last flight of the day. So I call the happy people at United. They want us to get on a plane to O'Hare and spend the night there. I ... don't ... think ... so. The earliest they could get us out Tuesday was 2:30. 'Kay.

Tuesday, all seems to be going smoothly. We get to the airport and check in to find that our flight has been delayed until 3:30. Why? Mechanical problems. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! The flight leaves at 3:45. We run to our connection and the flight boards in less than 5 minutes. Whew. The one thing United did right the whole weekend was get us home on time Tuesday night.

Every one of our delays was the airline's fault, not the weather's. I will not be flying United again.

3 comments:

map said...

Having already started to explore the bizarre world of business travel.. it's really amazing how it doesn't much matter what airline you're on, they're going to screw things up for you eventually.. except for ATA.. the only airline I've ever flown that has never seriously delayed me, cancelled a flight, lost a copilot, etc.. they're usually cheap too though unfortunately they don't fly everywhere. I don't think I'll be able to stay away from United since that's my company's preferred airline.. sorry :( I can promise not to fly United when I come see you guys though!

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sapsparky said...

super lame - i continue to cross my fingers over no long delays.

 
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