I was in Seattle Wednesday trying to get through to Wichita via Denver on United. What a mess. Anyway, didn't know for sure if this goes here or in random but it is utterly amazing what closing one airport (that they vowed would never close) does. I was on standby with abouth 100 other people all trying to get anywhere to get somewhere. All flights were already overbooked. Agents for United told me I would likely spend Christmas in Seattle and wouldn't even try to crossbook.
The reason I bring all this up. I got pissed. The University that flew me out for the meetings had a travel agent. I called them after 5 pm and within an hour they had me booked first class on another airline to DFW and then home only 14 hours later. Theis when United told me it was impossible.
I know we all want to save money, but from now on for personal flights, I am paying a trav el agency.
And out of the 20+ flights I ahve taken this fall, only three were anywhere close to ontime. Everthing to changing brakes after we boarded to no flight crews.
Here are some more thoughts from a demented mind in Central Florida: Generally, I'm not a defender of the airlines. However, I wonder if this is a West Coast thing, or a holiday thing, or just the craziness from the snowstorm. I've flown much less than I have in some recent years (maybe 3-4 round trip flights this calendar year), almost all of them on Southwest, out of Tampa/Orlando to Philadelphia and back. Once was a significant delay getting out of Tampa in early May (which I was glad for, as I was running WAY late), and another was a holiday/rain delay out of Orlando on the night before Thanksgiving. Other flights were for a week in July. Southwest otherwise not only got me there on time, but actually got me into the gate early. That's right - early. As in, "I was at the gate and off the plane before our scheduled arrival time." In some cases, 15-20 minutes before the scheduled arrival time. The only other airline I recall pulling this off more than once was Airtran, around 2001-2002.
But, if nothing else, this confirms that I should never fly United... especially to and from Seattle.
Why yes, I am both a musician and a lawyer. Thanks for asking. :)
Originally posted by DrDirtAnd out of the 20+ flights I ahve taken this fall, only three were anywhere close to ontime. Everthing to changing brakes after we boarded to no flight crews.
How long until the airline business implodes?
I'm also amazed at how poorly the airlines are run and also at how poorly the idea of 'on time' is measured. For example, about a month ago, I was travelling to Miami on a 5pm flight. There was also a 2:30pm flight to Miami. Mine left on time, but the 2:30 flight still hadn't left yet. See, that way, my flight leaves on time, but the other one leaves late; this is somehow better for the airline. I guess once your flight is late then you're completely at the mercy of the airline.
And, my colleague was travelling to the same conference, but he was coming from El Paso. His flight from El Paso boarded (an hour late). They waited on the plane for about an hour and a half. Then, they emptied the plane and told everyone to wait at the gate but not to leave the area because they would be re-boarding soon. Two hours later, they boarded again. Then, they waited another hour on the plane before departing. At no point did they receive an explanation about the delay. Even worse, the plane was at the gate the entire time. Since he had a connection to Dallas, this put him in Dallas just in time for the aforementioned 2:30 flight (and due to the delay in El Paso, the airline did him the great favor of placing him on that flight). So, he arrived in Miami at 2am and then had to give a speech first thing the next morning.
I don't want to get started on American's, United's, and the other legacy carriers' handouts from the government either because they have gotten billions of tax dollars, plus a host of regulatory advantages, yet they still can't get their act straight and make money.
EDIT: In response to the post above, Southwest is and has been an exception to 'the large carriers are poorly run' rule. They are a very efficient, extremely well-run company. As such, they have consistently made money and have never needed a government bailout or bankruptcy protection, in spite of being hamstrung by the Wright Amendment until very recently.
(edited by Corajudo on 22.12.06 0948) "Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
Originally posted by JayJayDeanMore importantly, Doc, did you enjoy our Christmas Trees?
As a matter of fact, yes. I love your part of the world and enjoy WA, OR, and ID every time I get there.
Corajudo. My experiences are yours. Flying out of Wichita is a nightmare as you simply have to take what ever airline is going where you want to go.
The worst airline (and I wont ever use them again) I have used is America West with Horizon a close second. And I am not slamming the employees as most have been helpful and friendly. They appear, especially the old-timers, stuck trying to make steak out of crap.
At least you caught the break that they had closed Denver before you got out of Seattle, where you could have been stuck in Denver once the blizzard came, or up in the air when the airport closed and who knows where they would have sent you. Unless they diverted you to Vegas, then, it would have been worthwhile. After a bad incident on Delta where I was in an emergency landing followed by over an hour of the plane being surrounded by men in space suits, I try to avoid flying. However, Southwest is the only airline I'll trust, as they'll actually get you and your luggage to the same location around the correct time.
The Horsemen DVD is 3 Discs and 9 hours. Let Us Rejoice and Sing Its Praise.
I enjoyed your Christmas Trees - laying on the roads the Thursday before when I was working in Bothel - - and your Airport was the mess that week - spent Thursday night in Seatac and most of Friday, then got back too late (18 hours delayed) to get back to Louisville until Saturday.
Folks, it was a tad windy in the Pac NW.
On the other hand, I did 200K miles this year and I would say I was significantly delayed (more than an hour and a half or so) only twice, both by weather.
We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
I read an article similar to this one in yesterday's Virginian-Pilot. Somehow it got relegated to the middle of the main section, I dunno. For some reason we have a diplomatic relationship with this country?