Friday, December 19, 2008

United United.... Oh how I love thee

Today is the day that I am flying to NY for Christmas. With all the snow hitting the East Coast... I was bound for problems.
My flight was supposed to go from Sacramento to Chicago and then Chicago to Albany by 4:05 pm.

At 2:00 am this morning, I got a call from a machine with a recording telling me that there was a leg of my flight that was delayed and that was going to cause me to miss my connection. Then it told me to stay on the line to speak to an agent to re-book my itinerary. I stayed on the line and pretty much after holding for 5 minutes, they told me that yes I was delayed but that they couldn't help me and that I needed to call the 1K number for assistance. I knew this wasn't going to go well.

I hung up and wearily looked for my 1K membership card and then called the number. At 2:15 am you really have no patience at all when the recording says "please say New reservation or existing reservation....... I'm sorry... I didn't understand what you said... please say new reservation or existing reservation"

So, after fighting with the machine I finally got to the point where I could say "Agent" and I was then speaking to a live body.
This agent basically told me everything I already new about missing my flight because of the delay and then asked me the silliest question that could have been asked. She said "I see you are booked on flight 472 to Chicago O'hare which is delayed almost 3 hours and that will cause you to miss your connecting flight to Albany... So, how can I help you?"

I was speechless for a second... maybe it was a good thing it was now almost 2:30 am because if I was a bit more awake, I might just have blown up at her.... How can I help you???? Hmmm.. let me think... I need an oil change in the jeep.. that would be helpful.... How about a massage.. or perhaps.. I am going out on a limb here... how about you figure out what flights I need to take to get to NY!

So, she put me on hold for about 10 minutes and then came back on and asked me if I could postpone my trip... I said no... then she asked if I could fly into any other airports... I asked what airport options did she have? She said I don't know... more hold....

Then she came back on and asked me what time did I want to get to NY... exact words... "Like... what is your goal?"
It is now well past 2:30 and I was starting to get testy... I said.. "my goal is to get to Albany at 4:05 pm when my original flight was supposed to get me there!"
More hold... this time it was really long... she finally came back on and excitedly told me how she figured out how to get me to Albany.

So, now I am flying from Sacramento to Chicago, Chicago to Regan in DC, and then Regan to Albany arriving there at 10:26 pm.

So, whatever.. There was nothing I could do about it and I was just thinking that since my flight was delayed until 9:15 am I could sleep in a bit longer rather than get up at 4:00 am.

And then she said "you still need to be at the airport for your original time just in case the flight takes off earlier" I said, "so I have to be there 3 hours early knowing that it is delayed" and she replied "well, the information we get here is wrong a lot, so I would advise you to get there at the original time"

Can you imagine running your business the way the airlines do... or talking to a client the way these phone monkeys do?
It really is amazing.

So, I am sitting here in the airport and it is 6:22 am. My flight to Chicago is delayed until 9:15 and the airport is packed with grumpy holiday travelers. What I am hoping for is that there will be a sick infant on either side of me puking and screaming for the rest of the day. SInce I am going to be caught in the airline machine all day, it would be great if it was over the top so I can blog about it.

More once I get to Chicago. Maybe I can get a Cheeseboyger at the Billy Goat in O'Hare Airport.


Michael S. said...

nothing like Steve gettin worked over again to make us all laugh!!!

Good luck, or for the sake of the comedy, bad luck (hehehe)

jwprice2 said...

love these belly-laughs;on and upward steve