Two Days of “Not Existing” AKA…United Airlines Sucks

I’ve missed you guys. I haven’t blogged or read any since Friday night I believe. There has been very little time with socializing, memorial services, and getting into trouble. I’ll deal with all three of these items this week. Today I’m going to deal with travelling. UGH!!!

I was scheduled to fly out of San Diego Monday afternoon at 3:45. It was a quick jaunt to Denver, get another flight to Des Moines, rent a car and drive an hour east and I’d be home. Just like the responsible traveller I am I got to the airport way in advance of my two hour required window. I returned my rental car, jumped on the shuttle to the airport and was there in plenty of time. I entered the terminal by crossing the bridge, going down the escalator and then turning to move toward the line for United. From my view things didn’t look so bad so I continued walking forward. And then I realized what was happening. The line for United didn’t look bad because 99% of the people in line weren’t in the terminal. They were outside, snaking down the sidewalk. Annoyed but realizing if I wanted to fly I had to stand in line I went to my place in line. The staff was giving us very little information so I called United to make sure that the flights were not cancelled. They weren’t. They were just delayed.

The line moved very fast and I had some nice people to keep my company. There was the rich southern California woman who was sending her mother home to Nebraska and kept asking me to watch her things. There was the cute boy behind her who was chatting with everyone. There was the bear, two people behind me, who spent 45 minutes explaining to the nice but dense girl behind me what the problem was. And then there was Bubba. Bubba was pissed. And he was taking it out on the world. Most of the time he was yelling at United employees on the phone. “IF YOU CAN’T GET ME HOME TONIGHT THEN FUCKING CONNECT ME TO AN AIRLINE THAT WILL””HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON IN SAN DIEGO WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PHILIPPINE’S.” “GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR–AND HOW LONG IS A MOMENT”YES, BOB I WANT TO KNOW WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE IN BEFORE YOU START TALKING. NEVER-MIND GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR”. This went on for the 2 hours we stood in line trying to find out what was happening.

Finally, just as I was getting to the door and was going to be allowed in, the lady doing crowd control, came by and explained that yes I could get to Denver but I wouldn’t make my connection. Okay. At least I know something now. It’s not awful. In fact I have a choice. I can stay in San Diego, meet my friend J.S. for coffee and then go hook up with some boys, and then head to T.M’s house to hang out before bed. Or I could fly to Denver and meet up with C.T. who lives there and hang out. I decided since there was the opportunity to play with boys I would stay in town.

At this point I’m still in line. I’ve been told I can wait and deal with my ticket at the counter or I can deal with it on the phone. I call, talk to some really nice guy with an accent and set up a plan. I would leave on United Airlines Flight 718 (I remember this because it’s Brooklyn’s area code) at 8:10 tomorrow morning. My connection gets into to Des Moines at 3:00.

I get out of line and head to the rental car phones. I call three companies before I find one that’s somewhat cheap. I get the shuttle and go to get my car. I get there fill out all the appropriate forms, insurance etc. When the grand total comes it was well over $100 just for 12 hours. This is fucked. But what can I do. I have to have a car if I am going to get around.

I then head to Starbucks in Hillcrest to have coffee with J.S. We chatted for about 2 hours. Mostly about the memorial service and the psychotic tendencies of our friend A.N. We end the conversation by walking to my car and I gave her a most beautiful blue scarf that I had crocheted for her. She loved it. We said our goodbyes and then it was time for boys.

If you have been reading my blog for a LONG time you might remember a place that my friend T.M. and I call The Watering Hole. It’s a place where one goes to meet men and do things with them. Things like have sex with them. I’m not proud that I go to these places but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. So since I had time I wandered over to The Watering Hole and had some fun. I was there for about 3 hours having a last hurrah before I go back to the Land Of Giants and No Gay People.

At home I check email. Call Enterprise to change my reservation from Monday to Tuesday. Uh-oh, another snag. They have cancelled my reservation and there are no cars for Tuesday. I’m SOL. What that means is I have to rent a car from another car rental place drive home, and then the next day drive back to Des Moines to return it and exchange it for an Enterprise Car because Enterprise is the only car rental place in a million miles of where I live. Damn…Now what am I going to do. The lady at Enterprise recommends calling tomorrow to see if things have changed. I say that I will.

So I go to bed and go to sleep. At 5:00 a.m the alarm goes off. I snooze it a couple of times and finally roll out of bed at 5:25. By 6:00 a.m. I am in the car headed to the airport. I drop off the car, get shuttled over again and get in line for United. A much shorter line I might add. I get called to be next and I go over to the “easy” self check in counter, swipe my card and am told I don’t exist. Please pick up the phone and talk to an agent. He confirms that I don’t exist. I am not in the system at all. Not only am I not in the system, there is NO FLIGHT 718 TO DENVER AT 8:10 in the morning. There’s no 718 at all. They do have a record of my reservation yesterday but that was listed as a “NO SHOW” and was taken out of the system. I’ll have to talk to a “REAL” person in San Diego.

I stand in line some more and the “REAL” person confirms that yes I don’t have a reservation, and yes there is no Flight 718, and he’ll see what he can do. So he starts looking. At first he tells me the best he can do is get to me to Des Moines around 11:00 p.m. through Chicago. I explain that’s not an option. He gets back to work. Finally what we agree to do is book me through Chicago on the flight that gets in at 11:00 but let me stand by on earlier flights and pray that things go my way and I make it earlier.

I’m rambling on, but that’s what happened. I got on the first flight to Chicago at 8:30. In Chicago I had to wait three hours but I got on the 4:50 flight to Des Moines. During this time I continue to call Enterprise where I am assured that they WON’T have cars, but to keep trying back. At around 6:15 tonight I landed. What luck my bag was one of the first to show up. I went to Enterprise and waited behind 5 people — all returning cars. Therefore I could have one of the newly returned cars if I didn’t mind if it wasn’t cleaned first. I was finally given some ridiculously large van and sent on my way.

I got home at around 7:45. There is power on my side of the street. The other side of the street not so lucky. I have no cable thus no internet…I’m at school right now. All of this is the result of a hideous ice storm that came through on Saturday. I’ll take a picture tomorrow but a big chunk of the tree that used to sit in front of my house is now in my drive way.

Through all of this I stayed somewhat calm despite the fact that I am supposed to be starting round two of my interview tomorrow complete with a portfolio review at 4:30. Luckily, they have given me the day off tomorrow and I’ll get to sleep late and then come to school and put my presentation together.

Remembering I am powerless over most of the world is a wonderful thing.

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10 thoughts on “Two Days of “Not Existing” AKA…United Airlines Sucks

  1. urspo February 27, 2007 / 23:35

    gads but I hate to travel, hearing horror stories like this stiffens my resolve to stay put.
    BTW the spaghetti pie was wonderful.

  2. Condoblogger February 28, 2007 / 04:52

    I LOVE to travel, but I HATE to fly. Sounds like you kept your temper, but usually people just go CRAZY when things get screwed up at the airport. Makes me uneasy to be around all that tension. Flying brings out the worst in people I think.

  3. KipEsquire February 28, 2007 / 05:53

    You seem to have a real “make lemonade” worldview. 🙂

  4. kellystern February 28, 2007 / 06:09

    hmmm… I think Jeff and I would like the watering hole… hehehe… what a way to make a bad situation better… hope things go well with your presentation… thanks for the scarves…smooches!

  5. Tom February 28, 2007 / 06:48

    What a trip!!

    I am with Kelly, the Watering Hole sounds like a fun place to get lost in…

    Good luck with round two! and I too, thank you for the scarf!

    Tom

  6. Spider February 28, 2007 / 07:15

    Seems like everyone I know has had a horror story about travel this year… sounds like, as usual, you have made the best of it – I LOVE your attitude towards life – wish I had one like it!

  7. digitaltsquare February 28, 2007 / 09:35

    You got out just in time. It rained on Tuesday, and got down to the low 60’s. Brrrr!

  8. dirkmancuso February 28, 2007 / 11:43

    Oh, the joys of travelling.

    We got to enjoy the ice storm here as well. Good times.

    Much luck with the interview.

  9. Mikell February 28, 2007 / 18:16

    I have been lucky all my life with no stories like this. TheHusband, on the other hand, seems to have them each and every time he travels.

    I applaud your attitude the entire time. Can you give TheHusband some pointers?

  10. Donnie March 1, 2007 / 08:19

    I’m glad to hear you made it home safe and sound. I hope the second part of the interview went well.

    I’m flying to see my sister in Chicago on April 6. I hope everything goes smoothly *knock wood*.

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