Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Flying sucks

Another adventure in the pocket. If you could call it an adventure. This trip wasn't as bad as the one in May to be honest. But it had its bumps. My flight to Washington (where I would transfer to Amsterdam) was delayed by a little more than an hour. I had a window of 1h and 40 minutes to make my flight to Amsterdam. Taking into account the time it takes the airplane to taxi, the people getting out, finding and walking to the gate where your next airplane awaits and the fact that they close the doors 15 minutes before take-off, I wouldn't make my flight.

Or so the person at the United Airlines desk informs me. I could instead go via Frankfurt. It would take a total of 5 hours longer and I would arrive in Amsterdam at 12:00 instead of 07:00.

So be it. It got me a $7 dollar meal voucher (which I didn't end up using) for the inconvenience.

Waiting for the delayed flight to arrive, I noticed that the delay had gotten less. First 10 minutes less, and a quarter of an hour later it was another 10 minutes less. Now I had the suspicion I WOULD be able to catch that flight. I discussed it with an extremely nice and helpful United Airlines person, and it was possible to fly with my original plane if I made up my mind within the next 15 minutes. She could fix the luggage to go to the right plane within that time frame.

I discussed with Michael - who pulled over on the road to do it - and we decided I would try and catch the flight. That I would otherwise arrive so much later was reason enough to give it a try. But when I went to change my flight plan, the person was replaced by an old hag. This old hag was in the foulest of moods and has never, ever, ever, heard of service. She moaned, sighed, scowled, and very very slowly typed in her computer to see if it was even possible.

It's possible you old hag, said my inner dialogue. Your colleague just told me! But of course I stayed polite and said "I'm so sorry to be a bother but it would really help me out". Not even a smile. After 5 minutes on the phone with someone she finally got my flight changed. Then I asked if she also fixed my luggage. She mumbled something along the lines of "do it yourself" and then announced she had to help with the just landed airplane.


My connection from Washington to Amsterdam was made, easily. There was time to spare. But when landed, indeed like I suspected, my luggage wasn't there. In the end it wasn't a big deal, they brought it to my house late afternoon the next day and I got all my stuff. It might even be better this way, because it spared me having to tote my suitcase around the trainstations and trams.

All in all it was a decent flight, but it contained some stress. And stress is never good for you. Another fun fact of the day, I had called United Airlines twice, to verify that I had a special meal request; vegetarian.

Arriving on the plane, I was not listed! Fortunately they had extras, so all was well. Even though everything worked out in the end, I will not be taking United Airlines again. Not because of their chaotic organisation or bad service experience, but because of their crappy planes. Compared to US Airways and Delta Airlines this airplane was ghetto. To America ánd back.

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