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Not Again...

Not Again...

Old Oct 31, 13, 4:53 am
  #1  
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Location: Near Boulder, CO
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Not Again...

Do you remember that Die Hard Movie (I think it was either number Seventeen or Eighteen), where Bruce Willis' wife says to him...

"John, why does this keep happening to us...????"

Well, it's gone pear shaped again. I knew it was too good to be true.

Truth be told, all year, my travel has been very uneventful. Very little arm waving on either my part of that of the airlines.

So there I am a few weeks ago, whiling away the time on FT and I notice the MR thread. Some fool mentions UA has a cracker of a fare from BOS-SJU (is that the code, I forget)

Thinking I need to just top-off my UA account for 1K this year, I decide to pull the trigger. Had no idea where SJU is. A few keystrokes later and I work out its Puerto Rico.

So under some thinly veiled excuse for work, I kiss the kids and wife goodbye, tell them I am "off again for work" and head west. Sorry east.

Except I didnt.

The positioning flight to BOS was ok on AA. Nothing out of the normal.

A quick stop at the Hyatt in Boston last night (I really need therapy as I am under the pump with my Diamond requal so I stay there).

And then up before the sparrows and head back to BOS to catch my UA flight (BOS-IAH-SJU)

It's all too easy. Check in is a breeze, the gate is literally right beside the TSA checkpoint. And incidentally whats up with the TSA lately? They're treating me like my old man treated my brother-in-law when he came around to tell us all he was marrying my sister. As in he jumped for joy.

They're pleasant and now I get this "expedite" stamp or yellow piece of paper to wave at everyone. Except for the fact that the boots I am wearing and my belt still set the detector off. So am still having to go through in my underwear.

Anyway.

UA starts the boarding process and the entire flight is standing like well behaved farm animals behind their zone sign.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, were about to board the flight to Houston but we just wanted to let you know that there is severe weather and the flight is going to take 5 hours, so will be an hour late..."

It's still too early for me and it doesnt register. Then it hits me. I am going to miss my connecting flight to SJU. Which will screw things up completely.

5 hours. Are you kidding me. from Boston to Texas. I can nearly get to Europe in that time. I was thinking maybe it was Jeffs way of economizing and that he had instructed the pilots to fly on one engine. Maybe the pilot sent the wrong text to his wife by mistake - instead of his girlfriend. And now there was all matter of menopause waiting for him. Maybe he didnt want to get home.

But I know I did.

So I called the 1K desk. About as useful as a fart in a spacesuit.

Then I talk to the agent at the desk. She starts the finger tapping. What about Delta? Nope. What about USAir...?

And voila.

So here I am, outside the McDonalds, on Logans free wi-fi, telling you all this again. Am supposed to catch some flight to east jesus (Philly I think) and then connect on US Air to San Juan. No idea what time I will get in. No idea what I am going to tell the family.

Expect a middle age Asian man to be living in his pick up truck at DEN airport by mid next week.

I'm expecting a large Puerto Rican to be waiting for me, at the request of my wife to give me a damn good thrashing for being an idiot.

You'd think we'd learn after a few years...

More in a while. If I survive.

Last edited by eightblack; Oct 31, 13 at 7:47 am
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Old Oct 31, 13, 5:14 am
  #2  
 
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I've been a member of FT for a long time and have never subscribed to a thread - you sir have just broken that record. Good Luck getting to SJU! I'm doing it December to requal for EXP.
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Old Oct 31, 13, 6:14 am
  #3  
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Ok, now it has gone from bad to worse.

So I take my US Air boarding confirmation and hoof it over to the US Air terminal. Check through security yet again. Man am I getting tired of getting undressed for so little reward. But then again, I've been married for 15 years so I should expect nothing more.

Grab a coffee and then write the post above.

Head to the gate at boarding time and notice that the US Air flight is now delayed. The silly woman at UA had given me an already anorexic connection time of 39 minutes in Philly.

I didnt even bother to check.

So when I look at the boarding gate for the Philly flight it tells me it has been re-timed to 8am. Which is 30 mins later than the original.

Which means my onward flight to SJU has just vaporized before my squinty little eyes.

I ask the US Air man what are my options. Which is my first mistake.

I've just learnt that Bostonians dont give a rats toss what you ask them the morning after they just won a baseball game. 6-1 I think it was.

(Read the next part with your best Bostonian accent...) I'm not convinced you enter this world talking like that. It really is a weird accent. And people think I talk funny...

So the conversation goes like this....

"Hi there, let me tell you about my morning" says me
Grunt. Then burp. Then beer fumes come roaring across the counter
"Sir...?"
"Listen, I was on a UA flight to Houston and then onwards to Puerto something or other"
"Where?"
"The Carribean I think"
"I see" with just a slight hint of disdain
"Now the silly woman at UA put my on your tin pot airline and I am supposed to fly to Philadelphia and then on to San Juan but now your flight is late so I am worried I will miss that connection too..." I explain
"You will" says the man bluntly
"I will"
"Yes"
"Is there something you can do?"
"No"
"Excuse me"
"You're hosed" says the large man
"Really"
"Yes"
"Did you watch the game last night, what a great result" says the man triumphantly
"Yes, I did but can we talk about my problems for a sec..."
"No"
"Why not?"
"Because that connection time is skinnier than a supermodel whose eaten alfalfa sprouts for a week"
"I know that" thinking that I was impressed that a man his size even knew what an alfalfa sprout was.

"Why did you let the UA woman put you on it?"
"When was the last time you argued with a United woman?"
"Fair point"
"Can you help me?"
"No"
"I see"
"What will happen if I no show for this flight?"
"It will automatically cancel"

So this is what I decided to do.

Heading back to UA to do battle with them now. I might even have a little cry...

Last edited by eightblack; Oct 31, 13 at 6:25 am
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Old Oct 31, 13, 6:41 am
  #4  
 
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B6 has a non-stop @ 9:20 AM if you can get UA to re-route you. You've got 30 minutes only though.
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Old Oct 31, 13, 10:10 am
  #5  
 
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Sooo.. for 10/31, BOS-IAH

UA657... Status: Arrived Gate 19 Minutes Late

UA1509... Status: Arrived Gate 11 Minutes Early

UA1090... Status: In Flight - Estimated to Arrive 11 Minutes Late

Maybe you should have stuck with the original plan.
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Old Oct 31, 13, 10:36 am
  #6  
 
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Another 8 black trip report? Why yes please.
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Old Oct 31, 13, 12:07 pm
  #7  
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Ok, God hates me. I know he does.

So I end up canceling the BOS-SJU flight. Or at least I think I did. Stupid fare is non refundable. Which explains a lot. So I make my way to AA and ask the nice lady how much to change my Saturday flight back to DEN to this morning. As in 2 days early.

She taps away. And taps some more. Then she gets out an Abacus. And then calls someone with a Cray supercomputer.

Quotes me a number which I surely thought was a mistake. I didn't want to pay off her mortgage, I just wanted get home in time for Halloween. I told the kids I was going to answer the door in the nude and hand out candy. Kids as usual rolled their eyes. Wife said if I wanted to spend the next 15 years in a Colorado SuperMax prison, then I should go right ahead.

Reluctantly I hand over my AA credit card, thinking that the only ray of sunshine to come out of this entire sordid ordeal was the miles I would collect.

End up sitting in a middle exit row all the way to ORD - and happened to be beside an old boiler and an extremely attractive young female, who smelt terrific. Is that creepy? I don't think so...

We get to ORD without too much trouble. Even land a few minutes early. I have 2+ hours to kill before my last leg to DEN and decide to calm my nerves with a mainly Margherita fueled lunch.

Then the silly AA phone system starts hassling my iPhone. For the life of me I have no idea how to turn off that feature. The bad part is that if you're on an early flight (say 6.30am), the system calls you at 3.12am precisely, waits for you to hit the roof screaming, because you fell out of bed looking for the phone and then proceeds to tell you that your flight is on time. Drives you nuts.

So there I am, minding my own business at the bar of this Mexican Cantina joint, when I instantly recognise the AA phone number...

"This is American Airlines with a flight update. We're sorry to tell you that your flight to Denver is cancelled. So to be frank, your SOL. We have no idea what to do now"

And then hangs up.

So I call them. The EXP line. Nice woman tells me she can get me on a 1.02pm flight on UA. I politely tell the agent that I have just had 3 of the strongest Margheritas in my life and I would be amazed if I could get down off the bar stool, let alone make it through my 4th security screening for the day.

So she tells me next AA flight is 4.50pm. Which is an eternity away.
I bailed from the lunch place and am now holed up in the Admirals Club.

I've made a hotel booking at the Airport. Just in case.

If I ever see any of you again, remind me as to why we do this to ourselves...
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Old Oct 31, 13, 12:22 pm
  #8  
 
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8Ball, best luck getting back home!

Originally Posted by ssafro1 View Post
Another 8 black trip report? Why yes please.
ditto, To the power of 3!
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Old Oct 31, 13, 1:31 pm
  #9  
 
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Was fortunate (or unfortunate depending how you look at it) enough to run into eightblack in the BOS Hyatt bar last night (he saw me on another forum and EF and came said hi).

I blame me for his trip going pear shaped. I tried to get him to keep drinking but he declined. If only he'd kept going
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Old Nov 1, 13, 5:56 am
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Wait - this can't be how it ends, a flight from ORD to DEN on AA. I'm sure there is going to be reroute in here through North Korea or at least PSY!

Plus that would explain the delay in posting about the ORD - DEN AA flight.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 9:05 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by ssafro1 View Post
Another 8 black trip report? Why yes please.
^ What a present, EB. And I didn't get you anything.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 9:15 am
  #12  
 
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Best of luck eightblack! Fantastic read.

I hope I have better luck then you did with my BOS MR's later this month.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 10:13 am
  #13  
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This is a reminder that reading FT doesn't always pay.

Thanks for the read as always, 8B. I hope you get somewhere that's not an airport terminal soon.
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Old Nov 1, 13, 10:26 am
  #14  
 
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Xmas has definitely come early, an eight black trip report at last. ^
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Old Nov 1, 13, 1:49 pm
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hope you have found your way home by now!
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