Sunday, December 30, 2007

DAY 26 - BAY AREA TO NEW YORK - 26th Dec

So again I got up at some ridiculously early hour to get to my flight at San Jose. My aunt drove me to the airport and dropped me off at Terminal A, turns out that United Airlines was actually at Terminal C. So I had to track down a bus whilst my aunt went and parked her car. Got to the terminal and the lines were gigantic, after spending 10min in the self check-in with the line going absolutely nowhere, i decided to spend 2 bucks at the curbside check-in where the line was only about 4 people long.

Bade farewell to my aunt and headed through security who insisted on checking my bag, cause fuck knows what was in it. The guy ended up taking out a glad-lock bag with my stapler and locks etc. Ended up putting the bag through the xray again and was satisfied that my stapler wasn't some kind of weapon. Seriously, the more I travel in this country, the more pissed I'm getting at its airports. Is it possible to have some form of decent customer service rather than treating every passenger like some form of potential threat. It's no wonder that tourism has gone down here. Why would people bother if the experience is so unpleasant.

Anyhoo, I get to the gate with about 10min before boarding started. So I dump my stuff on a seat and crash for a bit. I get on the plan and we're in the air and then I realise...FUCK my scarf is not around my neck, and if it's not around my neck it's very unlikely to be in my bag either.

I get to Chicago O'Hare Airport and go through my bag. Nothing. It's my favourite and ONLY scarf, mum got for me a couple of years back. And it was a nice khaki green which kind of went with all the clothing I had. Especially my new Burton Jacket and Timberland boots...ARRRGH.

So then I check the departures board after having a moments of silence for my scarf which is probably indentured by the TSA in San Jose. What do I find? My flight to New York, Scheduled for 3:50pm departure...delayed till 5:25pm....FUCK!!!!

So even though my plan of getting an earlier flight to New York would have left me some time to enjoy the big apple before I go to bed tonight, it has been thwarted by hideous flight delays. So now I've spent $50 on accommodation for tonight when the entire day has been either spent on a plane or in an airport.

Chicago O'Hare would also like to charge me $7 to use their wireless network...FUCK this...ARRRGH. Instead I'll try and finish all my journal entries whilst listening to the Cheungmeister to keep me sane and relatively happy.

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Okay so then the plane gets to gate B18 at 4:55...we are then told...sorry the plane can't go out now because it's due for a mechanical and we don't have a crew, we'll make a final decision at 9pm when we hopefully find a crew, but currently please feel free to head to the customer service desk and ask to go on standby for the next available flights to New York La Guardia. So everyone's like Oh. FUCK!!!!, thanks for telling us NOW.

So i'm in the line at the service desk with about 20 people in front of me, and 50 people behind me and the chick yells to everyone. Okay, I've got every flight booked from today and tomorrow, I'll put you guys all on standby but your chances are slim. Seriously? United Airlines you suck!!!

I get on standby on the 6:00pm flight I head to the gate and listen to the names being called. I swear it was like something out of the Amazing Race. So anyway, we get to the end and I see the chick who was behind me in the line get her name called WTF? Someone else told me later than standby doesn't rely on first come, first serve, but more on how much you paid for the ticket, obviously I didn't pay enough.

So the 6:00pm flight leaves, supposedly with all of my flight's luggage too, so the plane actually has room from all the luggage from another flight but not for any of the passengers. And to add insult, my suitcase will end up in NY before I do. I check with the service desk again and yep my flight UA 688 has now been officially cancelled, yay.

So I wait, I talk to random people, I wait, I sleep whilst my standby status rolled over to the next flight. I just wanted out of Chicago. At least I was by myself and wasn't dragging around a kid or something, this other woman had a toddler, that would have sucked. Luckily I got onto the 8:45pm flight, which was the last flight to La Guardia out of Chicago that day. I get to NY at around 12:00, and by the time I get my taxi and hit my hostel it was 1am. I just spent the entire day on planes and at airports.

So my 1 hour layover at Chicago turned into 6. Lessons learnt for the day:

1. Never ever transfer through Chicago O'Hare even if you have to cut off your right leg.
2. Never ever fly United, or if you have to, expect lots of delays and cancellations.

1 comment:

Tel said...

How crap!

United sound like a disaster of Jetstar proportions.