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DivingCRNA
12-30-2007, 08:21
Saturday, December 22 we got up at 0400 in KC to leave for St. Thomas. We got to MCI on time for our 0600 flight and left for Chicago to catch United flight 1065 (the worst flight I have ever been associated with). Remember while reading this that I was traveling with a 7 year old, a 3 year old, a 67 year old with lung cancer who has had one lung removed, my wife, and my 69 year old father in law.

Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL. Connection time was an hour and we were STRANDED in Chicago over night. BTW-United will NOT give you you luggage when they strand you. We did get a hotel room and some meal vouchers, but missed a whole day of the trip. We also bought socks and undies at the Chicago Target. The worst was that neither the Wolves or Blackhawks were in town, or I would have went.

I tried all night to get seat assignments for us (all 6 of us) all night on line and on the phone, but could not. 15 minutes before take off we were called to the desk and given seats. I found out that if we had not gotten on we would have been stuck in Chi-town until 12/26!

Then we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes while they "loaded luggage" in the plane. Food on the flight was a really CRAPPY $5 snack box. We got to St. Thomas an hour late and were told on exiting that we needed to hurry off so that the plane could get to San Juan so some folks could catch a cruise ship. They were in such a hurry that NONE of us got our bags because they went to San Juan. Including my dive gear. To add insult to injury, we got in so late that my rental car company was closed and I was screwed out of a car for the rest of the trip and my father in law was the only one to get a car (a Chevy Cobalt) to get people around the island for a week. The first thing I do in St. Thomas is spend $180 at K-Mart buying clothes because we had all already been in our clothes for 2 days.

Wife, kids and father in law got bags 12/24. SCUBA gear arrived right after we went diving and rented gear.

I got my bag 12/25.

Mother in law still does not have her bag (I am writing from Kansas City). This ruined the whole trip for my mother in law. I could have coped, but she was depressed about it all trip. Our car seat is still missing.

My brother in law and I rented motorcycles so we could get all 9 folks around at once after losing one of our cars.

Fast forward to 12/29. We took 2 hours getting everyone to the airport because we only had one car and cabs are EXPENSIVE in St. Thomas. I accidentally broke my brother in law's sea urchine shell loading bags (they are very fragile and I did not know he put it in there) trying to get everyone and everything there in 2 trips. Customs and security in St. Thomas are a giant hassle. The natives are rude and indifferent and everyone leaving has put up with it for a week, so the travelers are grumpy too.

After buying a round of $7 cheesburgers (with $2 fries and a $5 beer) we get the news that United Flight 1065 is 90 minutes late. Our connection in Washington DC is 90 minutes. So I immediately got on the horn with United and reserved seats on the US Airways St. Thomas-Charlotte-KC flight for all 6 of us so we can get home instead of stuck in DC with no luggage overnight. I had confirmed reservations on the US Airways flight almost 2 hours before the flight!

The United gate agents at St. Thomas are F'ing IDIOTS. It turns out they fire everyone once a year and hire new folks so they are not over staffed in the off season and so the seniority stays low. All I needed those dorks to do was print the passes to release our seats to US Airways so we could get home instead of stranded. They did not know how to do it! Their on-site stupidvisor could not do it! I also had them scan my luggage tags OVER AN HOUR before the US Airways flight was to leave and asked them to get my bags on that flight. They were the typical RUDE, LAZY, SLOW St. Thomas natives. There were 15 of us at the gate all trying to get on other flights and these guys did not care. They said United's "Customer Protecton" would rebook us and we would get to our destinations, but they would not acknowledge that we were going to get stuck in DC overnight in the "rebooking" process. The only gate agent wearing a VISIBLE name take was a skinny black guy named Dwayne. His short, fat counterpart had her tag on backwards.

After almost 2 hours on the phone with United agents and harassing the United and US Airways people we got on the flight 3 minutes before they closed the door. My cell battery died in the process and I started with a full charge on a new battery.

Everything went great on US Airways. On time flights. Nice staff.

Oh yeah. Those MOTHER HUMPERS in St. Thomas did not get our bags on the plane and we got to Kansas City at 2330 to no bags, courtesy of our good friends at United. When we got to the hotel in KC (too tired to drive to Joplin at MN after flying all day across 2 time zones) it was 18 degrees with snow on the ground and the hotel was full of rowdy teens.

We will see if we get our bags. My regs that I need to dive on New Year's Day are missing, but my cold water gear and warm water gear are different sets, so I have my dry suit, BP/W, drysuit fins, mask, etc. I am just missing my regs. Maybe I can rent regs for my doubles.... My long hose is at home and I can use the TUSA IR3 as an safe second. So I just need a first stage and second stage to do the dive.

Thanks United. YOU SUCK! I will never fly you again!

teknitroxdiver
12-30-2007, 08:58
Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL.


Looking at the weather record for Dec 22, it's highly likely that this was the pilots' only option. Weather was reporting fog, which is problematic for airplanes. Yes, they can land on instruments. Unless it's a newer, large commercial aircraft capable of special approaches known as Cat II or Cat III, they still need to break out of the clouds at 500-600 feet above the ground. If the pilot flies the approach down to that altitude and is still in the clouds, he has no choice but to go around and wait for conditions to improve.

Kokomo
12-30-2007, 09:20
What a nightmare!!!

snagel
12-30-2007, 09:24
Wow...and you waited all year for this trip...bummer. Hope you got some fun in the sun out of it anyway. I travel to Mexico once a year with my 75 year old mother who can't walk very good. This is very stressful, but I have a 13 year old that helps out a lot. Can't imagine doing it with younger kids, a stressed wife, and in-laws and on top of all that having to put up with what you had to.

If you get your equipment in time, hope the New Years Dive is much less stressful.

Cheers,

S. Nagel

Flatliner
12-30-2007, 09:38
As someone who flies regularly, I DO feel your pain. I am sorry that it was such a bad experience.

One bit of advice that another frequent flyer gave me when I started. Don't fly through Chicago.

whse56
12-30-2007, 09:42
Sweet Jesus, how did you keep from going psycho on someone? I can't imagine having a Merry Xmas trip like that. Hopefully you send this post to American Airlines, I'm sure you will just get a meally mouthed reply but you never know.

mitsuguy
12-30-2007, 10:00
I have flown well over 100 times in my life, and the only thing I have ever not looked forward to is flying on any airline other than southwest... not only do they have good prices, but I've not once had a bad experience... a few late or delayed flights, but nothing horrific...

with other carriers - united, aa, (the international ones), it seems as though they are always the ones you hear about these horror stories due to complacency and laziness...

problem is, southwest doesn't fly everywhere, so one of these days, we're going to have to resort to AA or United...

hychang
12-30-2007, 10:03
Amen, especially during the winter months.

Don't fly through Chicago.

Sorry your trip wasn't all it should've been. I guess this is why my wife insists on going to places where a connection is not required. Of course, that's limited our destination options (read locations where I could dive). I wonder how mad she and the kids would get if I went on a trip alone...? I hope your bags and regulator reach you soon and intact.

Daved
12-30-2007, 10:32
That sucks. That really sucks!
The only airline worse in my opinion is Air Canada. I have had some really rotten trips--but nothing comes close to yours. Have you thought about getting Chevy Chase to play your part in the movie?

Navy OnStar
12-30-2007, 11:03
Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL.


Looking at the weather record for Dec 22, it's highly likely that this was the pilots' only option. Weather was reporting fog, which is problematic for airplanes. Yes, they can land on instruments. Unless it's a newer, large commercial aircraft capable of special approaches known as Cat II or Cat III, they still need to break out of the clouds at 500-600 feet above the ground. If the pilot flies the approach down to that altitude and is still in the clouds, he has no choice but to go around and wait for conditions to improve.

First....I don't have the words for your experience! You obviously handled it much better than I would have.......They would be setting bail for me right now for choking half a dozen people.

As far as the weather, most large commercial airports have approaches that go down to 100ft. That means that when the plane reaches 100ft if the pilots cannot see the runway they HAVE to wave off. There are some Cat III approaches that will actually land the plane they are so accurate but not every airport has the approach nor does every plane. Since Navy Helicopters don't have the ability, I don't know all the specifics, but I believe only the largest airports in the country currently use them (Denver, Houston, Atlanta, DC, LA, etc)

PlatypusMan
12-30-2007, 11:25
Sweet Jesus, how did you keep from going psycho on someone? I can't imagine having a Merry Xmas trip like that. Hopefully you send this post to American Airlines, I'm sure you will just get a meally mouthed reply but you never know.

Actually, the reply I suspect he would get would be:

"Thank you for contacting us at American about your recent poor experience with United Airlines. Have a special day!" :smiley29:

IrishSquid
12-30-2007, 12:07
Sweet Jesus, how did you keep from going psycho on someone? I can't imagine having a Merry Xmas trip like that. Hopefully you send this post to American Airlines, I'm sure you will just get a meally mouthed reply but you never know.

Actually, the reply I suspect he would get would be:

"Thank you for contacting us at American about your recent poor experience with United Airlines. Have a special day!" :smiley29:

:smilie39: :smilie39:
Priceless

Mtrewyn
12-30-2007, 13:26
After that flight I think I would sent it to The FAA as well as all the Carriers that service KC, and all the airports that you went through, and that repeat it to anyone that will listen.

That is horrible!! that is like the nightmare we all dread about flying.

DivingCRNA
12-30-2007, 13:35
Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL.


Looking at the weather record for Dec 22, it's highly likely that this was the pilots' only option. Weather was reporting fog, which is problematic for airplanes. Yes, they can land on instruments. Unless it's a newer, large commercial aircraft capable of special approaches known as Cat II or Cat III, they still need to break out of the clouds at 500-600 feet above the ground. If the pilot flies the approach down to that altitude and is still in the clouds, he has no choice but to go around and wait for conditions to improve.

First....I don't have the words for your experience! You obviously handled it much better than I would have.......They would be setting bail for me right now for choking half a dozen people.

As far as the weather, most large commercial airports have approaches that go down to 100ft. That means that when the plane reaches 100ft if the pilots cannot see the runway they HAVE to wave off. There are some Cat III approaches that will actually land the plane they are so accurate but not every airport has the approach nor does every plane. Since Navy Helicopters don't have the ability, I don't know all the specifics, but I believe only the largest airports in the country currently use them (Denver, Houston, Atlanta, DC, LA, etc)

We were at O'Hare and the pilot told us on the intercom that the vis was 1/4 mile when he tried to land.

DivingCRNA
12-30-2007, 13:38
By the way, the whole trip was not terrible. I just put the bad stuff here in the complaints to clean up the rest of the report later. I am waiting to write up the fun stuff when I have the UW pics from my brother in law and my pics.

The cord that goes between the computer and the camera is in my checked bag:smiley5:

DivingCRNA
12-30-2007, 13:40
After that flight I think I would sent it to The FAA as well as all the Carriers that service KC, and all the airports that you went through, and that repeat it to anyone that will listen.

That is horrible!! that is like the nightmare we all dread about flying.

I have flown a lot, and never had anything like this happen. I have been delayed and held over night, but never lost bags both ways...

teknitroxdiver
12-30-2007, 13:44
Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL.


Looking at the weather record for Dec 22, it's highly likely that this was the pilots' only option. Weather was reporting fog, which is problematic for airplanes. Yes, they can land on instruments. Unless it's a newer, large commercial aircraft capable of special approaches known as Cat II or Cat III, they still need to break out of the clouds at 500-600 feet above the ground. If the pilot flies the approach down to that altitude and is still in the clouds, he has no choice but to go around and wait for conditions to improve.

First....I don't have the words for your experience! You obviously handled it much better than I would have.......They would be setting bail for me right now for choking half a dozen people.

As far as the weather, most large commercial airports have approaches that go down to 100ft. That means that when the plane reaches 100ft if the pilots cannot see the runway they HAVE to wave off. There are some Cat III approaches that will actually land the plane they are so accurate but not every airport has the approach nor does every plane. Since Navy Helicopters don't have the ability, I don't know all the specifics, but I believe only the largest airports in the country currently use them (Denver, Houston, Atlanta, DC, LA, etc)

CAT II approaches get you to 100' AGL, CAT III is an autoland-only system. Runways appropriate for that day's wind conditions at ORD are equipped with both systems. (Runways 14L/R) However, it would depend on the specific airplane he was in (United flies CRJ-700s, A-319s, 737-300, 757-200, and CRJ-200s from MCI-ORD) whether it was certified for CAT II/III approaches. Also the aircraft would have to have performed an autoland landing within a certain number of days.

Basically what I'm saying is the pilot didn't "chicken out", it was not legal for him to continue the approach. With the no doubt large number of aircraft in the holding patterns waiting to land, it would be a long time before that aircraft would get a chance to try again, possibly longer than the aircraft had the fuel for.

DivingCRNA
12-30-2007, 16:05
An update. My new friends at US Airways told me they have ALL my bags and they will be in Joplin for pick up tomorrow morning. They offered to deliver, but I want to involve fewer folks in the process.

A person at the baggage counter in KC personally called me. Now THAT is customer service.

I will have regs for New Year's Day.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
12-30-2007, 17:12
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.

As for United I've noticed it is either sink or swim with them. Sorry your trip had its "issues" but glad you got to dive and enjoy some sun.

CPTOZZY
12-31-2007, 12:31
The last time I paid for a United flight it was also a nightmare.
It was 1999 and I was taking my son to the USTU Taekwondo Nationals in Las Vegas. His entire Taekwondo team was with them, 40+ Kids from 8-18 plus Various parents and Coaches etc. - I would guess at least 25% of the passengers.

During the flight some of the kids would swap seats to talk to thier buddies, didn't inconvenience any other passengers at all. No complaint from the flight crew or any passenger. Then our teams Head coach (who is of Egyptian Descent) swapped seats to talk to one of the Parents/coaches. This snooty Bitchy Attendant told him he could not change seats. he explained that it was just for a moment so He could talk to this individual without blocking the Isle. The Flight attendant said if he didn't return to his seat immediatly he would be Arrested!
Now, at this time I'm in the back of the plane waiting to use the Restroom. I'm not wearing the team jacket (that most, including the Head Coach) were. I ask the flight attendants that were in the galley what was going on, and one of them told me that they were worried that "that Middle Eastern Man was a Terrorist", and that they had plans to "hold him" once the plane landed.
I explained that he was not a terrorist, that he was the head coach of an elite Taekwondo team. The flight attendants seemed embarrassed, but sure enough after we landed, security detained our head coach !! Luckily the guy he had been talking to was the Police Cheif of Rockville, MD (and would soon become Chief of Police for the US Supreme Court), and we also had several high $$ Attorneys etc. whose kids were on the team.

Anyway, Security Let him go within a very short time, but no apologies for the absolutely horrible treatment that he was given.

I vowed never to fly United again, but being Active Duty Military, sometimes when flying on official business I have no choice....

BTW My son won Gold and Bronze at the Nationals that Year!

The Head coach has since been named as the United STates National Collegiate Coach, and is one of 5 Coaches who will coach our athletes at all major international events, including the next Olympics

georoc01
12-31-2007, 12:36
I'm with the person who talked about only direct flights on the holidays. I used to fly back to the northeast from out west where my only option was to change planes in the airlines hub and spoke system and and didn't matter who I flew with, I ran into problems such as yours. Delta, Continental, American, United, US Airways (loved the luggage pile in Philly one year).

My flight over the same time period to Florida was delayed in both directions, but at least I didn't misconnect and my bags made it. We were 60 minutes late leaving Denver, by the time you factor in de-icing and all of the other issues of flying in the wintertime.

CPTOZZY
12-31-2007, 12:48
After that flight I think I would sent it to The FAA as well as all the Carriers that service KC, and all the airports that you went through, and that repeat it to anyone that will listen.

That is horrible!! that is like the nightmare we all dread about flying.

I have flown a lot, and never had anything like this happen. I have been delayed and held over night, but never lost bags both ways...

Have no doubt that if the situation were reversed these morons would sue you for everything you got.

But you kinda wish you could say, when they are completely relieing on your competance...."succinylcholine is all you need, here you go. Propofol, Versed and Fentanyl are too much trouble for me to draw up, I want you to enjoy this experience as much as you had me enjoy your United Flight! Anyway you can intubate yourself (and you better hurry) - It's time for my smoke break, I'll be back in a half hour or so....:smilie39:

BuzzF117
12-31-2007, 13:40
FYI just a threat of bad weather and they start stacking up at Ohare. I will never connect through Ohare again. I will drive and leave directly from Ohare so at min I have a vehicle I can drive across town to Midway and catch a flight from there if I have to.

cummings66
12-31-2007, 13:45
The thing that would gripe me is the lost luggage, and I've had that happen, even when I've flown myself...

But, the thing I'd suggest anybody reading this thread best learn is this, when the PIC says he's not landing, I don't care why he said it, I don't care if it is an inconvenience to me personally, he knows his skills and the planes, he knows the big picture and if he says he can't do it then by gumption that's all you need to know.

Be thankful he didn't try land and kill every single one of you trying. In the old days many plane crashes could have been prevented had the PIC had the backbone to say I'm not doing it.

The saddest thing I've seen in doing SAR is plane crashes that didn't need to happen because the pilot felt pressured to do something he didn't have the skills for, or the weather was too bad and he did it anyways.

Who knows, maybe Buddy Holly would still be here had the pilot said no.

danielh03
12-31-2007, 14:35
So is this a bad time to remind you that the Federal Government has dumped Millions of dollars into the Airlines to keep them afloat? I mean it is our tax dollars and all..... er probly not the best time !!! But I feel for you. I encountered something very similar coming home from Germany a few years ago with the same airlines.

Ohio_diver16
12-31-2007, 14:36
That's a complete atrocity! Thanks for the lesson though, now I have a better idea of how to go about things should this happen to me, just sucks that it had to happen to you! With the traveling I've done (just the lower 48 states thus far) I've always had luck with U.S. Air - Sure the seats are cramped for my 6'4", 220 pound frame - But all my **** has gotten to my destination with me!

Kingpatzer
12-31-2007, 14:48
[quote=DivingCRNA;112986]
Our pilot was cleared to land, had the gear down and chickened out on vis (these things DO land on instruments, right?) and circled until we had to fuel in Moline, IL.



As far as the weather, most large commercial airports have approaches that go down to 100ft.

We were at O'Hare and the pilot told us on the intercom that the vis was 1/4 mile when he tried to land.

Linear visibility isn't the same as the visibility ceiling.

Kingpatzer
12-31-2007, 14:53
They were the typical RUDE, LAZY, SLOW St. Thomas natives.

My level of compassion for your predicament is seriously lowered by my dislike for statements akin to the above. I've never understood why folks travel to locations populated by people they hold in contempt.

That said - direct flights or connecting flights to a different airline go a long way to stopping lost luggage. Never trust an airline to get your bags to change planes!

Mtrewyn
12-31-2007, 15:07
After that flight I think I would sent it to The FAA as well as all the Carriers that service KC, and all the airports that you went through, and that repeat it to anyone that will listen.

That is horrible!! that is like the nightmare we all dread about flying.

I have flown a lot, and never had anything like this happen. I have been delayed and held over night, but never lost bags both ways...

Have no doubt that if the situation were reversed these morons would sue you for everything you got.

But you kinda wish you could say, when they are completely relieing on your competance...."succinylcholine is all you need, here you go. Propofol, Versed and Fentanyl are too much trouble for me to draw up, I want you to enjoy this experience as much as you had me enjoy your United Flight! Anyway you can intubate yourself (and you better hurry) - It's time for my smoke break, I'll be back in a half hour or so....:smilie39:

NICE, that is SWEET :smilie39::smilie39::smiley20:

cgvmer
12-31-2007, 16:35
The government has spent many millions into all areas of air traffic except the air traffic control systems. The FAA continues to overwhelm and already overwhelmed system. The tracon systems for the NY metro airports (JFK, Laguardia, Newark, stewart, Islip and teterboro. was designed to handle JFK and Laguardia traffic during the early 70's. It is held together by bailing wire.

The Enroute system is also not being updated quickly.,

BTW: I supported the enroute system for years.

I personally hate to fly now, and do it as little as possible.

BuzzF117
12-31-2007, 17:05
Went dviing with a charter pilot and he laughed when I asked if he wanted to fly Commercial he said why would he want to mess with that crap when he makes same money and doesn't have the headaches.

TxHockeyGuy
12-31-2007, 17:16
My limited flying experience has shown me that in inclement weather it doesn't usually matter what airline you're flying with it matters more what airport you're flying into. I'm lucky in that I life in Dallas which has probably among the better funded airports in the nation and an airport less likely to be affected by any inclement weather. It always amazes me when I fly into other airports (not all obviously but even most of the major ones) how much better DFW (Dallas Fort Worth International Airport) is. Now where the airline does come into play is when something has gone wrong and how they take care of it. I've had lost luggage on American Airlines and while it was no means peachy it wasn't anywhere near this. They had our luggage delivered to us the next morning, which considering the weather up in Ohio (where we landed) wasn't too terribly bad.

I'm by no means defending the airlines, they shouldn't be scheduling flights where they can't transfer baggage adequately and in my opinion they need to transfer that baggage before flying that next aircraft flight. That's where the problem comes in, they have to get that next flight out and the baggage isn't even a distant second in their consideration because of how much a delayed flight cost. I understand how much that cost the airlines which is why I am in favor of the so called "Passenger Bill of Rights" that has been talked about around Congress. I am usually the last person to suggest legislation as a solution to anything however in this instance I think it's the most palatable fix. As it currently stands profit is the absolutely only thing that most airlines think about. There are rare exceptions in airlines such as Southwest but they are the exceptions.

On a side note Southwest just seems to get it. They schedule things appropriately, run a tight ship, are on time, and take care of their customers all at the same time. I've not seen any airline that can compete with their customer service.

JugglingMonkeys
12-31-2007, 17:27
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.


are you serious?
:smiley32:

Deal!

TxHockeyGuy
12-31-2007, 17:31
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.


are you serious?
:smiley32:

Deal!

He didn't say he'd take you in. He said he'd provide local knowledge (IE go here for a great hotel rate, go here for a great bourbon.).

cummings66
12-31-2007, 18:16
Or the ever popular, I could have told you not to do that if you had only asked first...

DivingCRNA
12-31-2007, 18:23
They were the typical RUDE, LAZY, SLOW St. Thomas natives.

My level of compassion for your predicament is seriously lowered by my dislike for statements akin to the above. I've never understood why folks travel to locations populated by people they hold in contempt.

That said - direct flights or connecting flights to a different airline go a long way to stopping lost luggage. Never trust an airline to get your bags to change planes!

First of all, I have never traveled anywhere where I had anything but a love for the locals. This includes The Dominican Republic, Mexico, The Bahamas, Costa Rica and The Turks and Ciacos.

I had no reason to believe that St. Thomas would be any different. I was absolutely SHOCKED at the level of apathy from the natives. This opinion was formed during a week of rude and slow service at nearly every restaurant, the resort, and at the shops. It took forever to order anything, then it took a long time to deliver it, and then I sat at a table full of dirty plates waiting forever for my check at every meal. That is lazy apathy. I have worked in service industries and that behavior would have gotten me FIRED.

The dive shop, Hook, Line and Sinker, and Skinny Legs on St. John were huge exceptions to the bad service rule. I would not go back to St. Thomas because of the people. I will not pay that much to be treated like that.

As for direct flights-It cannot be done from where I live to most dive destinations without at least a 5 hour drive to DFW. MCI, TUL, and STL just do not get there and JLN, SGF and XNA all only connect to hubs. It is one of the big things that sucks about living and traveling from here.

fyrediver
12-31-2007, 21:31
Well, when you come down to Curacao, somewhere between Miami and here, luggage falls into a black hole. Not only did half of us flying commercial (United:smiley2:) get here, without luggage, but half of those whom had family down for a week or two? same deal. I'm mailing my dive gear home, in a Pelican case, insured for well over what its worth. I always carry undies, socks, razor blah blah in a big backpack for such things. I learned that flying Military air. Now, I do it from habit, and from stories like this. They crapped all over your divecation, and I'm sorry to hear it, I mean that.:smiley13:

ryssyr
01-01-2008, 02:58
some tips from a person (me) who has flown over 100k miles each year for the past 5 years with the last being a 300k year.

1. never check bags.
2. if forced to check bags still take 2 as carry on with as much in them as possible....they will lose your bags.
3. always take direct flights
4. if direct is not in the cards then in the winter connect through southern states, in summer connect through northern states.
5. Dont fly northwest, continental, or united. (personal experience)
6. Southwest is great for last minute modifications or hopping earlier flights
7. Take the dawn patrol flights. Schedules and backlogs reset every morning and the delays dont get a chance to stack up against you.
8. Most overseas destinations (especially the islands) have terrible service counters. Dont expect any help from them.
9. Sign up for a club membership(admirals club or other carriers flight club) even for the day. These people can help you get re-booked in a hurry if something goes wrong...plus its an oasis in the mayhem of a terminal.
10. Keep moving. If a flight I am on is canceled, I will ask for a ticket for the next available airport closer to the destination and usually farther from the bottleneck.

I feel your pain. I have had some pretty terrible experiences in the past few years. I am amazed these companies can avoid serious lawsuits from the mistreatment of the customers. I would happily pay twice as much for a ticket for a more humane and civilized experience.

Tom A
01-01-2008, 10:35
the way airlines have gotten you dont fly from point a-b anymore have to change planes at least once

Daved
01-01-2008, 14:29
Flying sucks! If we were to treat our cattle like the airlines treat the passengers we would have 20 different animal organizations after us.

Nancy Lynn
01-01-2008, 21:45
I have been flying a lot for business recently and have noticed that the planes are universally fuller - typically no more than 5-10% of the seats are empty.

Once a delay hits, the secondary impact of fuller planes is dramatic. Passengers from the canceled 90-95% full plane must be rebooked in the 5-10% of the seats available on non-canceled flights. Any canceled flight now typically results in a delay of 12-24 hours - far longer than in the not too distant past.

Southwest seems to have fewer delayed or canceled flights - possibly because they fly into some less busy airports. Aside from Southwest, though, I haven't found much difference between airlines.

JugglingMonkeys
01-02-2008, 00:26
Yes, they're not much different from each other.
:smiley5:

divingmedic
01-03-2008, 20:03
Man and I thought it was bad when I returned from PR that my bags got sent to Bogata Columbia instead of Houston.

Bring the Payne
01-16-2008, 20:52
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than an airline. I fly American a lot (I'm Aadvantage Platinum) and usually have good experiences with them but at times they have been extremely rude. It's really frustrating airlines can get by with these things and there isn't anything you can do about it. And yes, as others have said, avoid ORD at all costs.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
01-16-2008, 21:03
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.


are you serious?
:smiley32:

Deal!

You out of everyone on here should know I'm sincere!:smiley31:

chinacat46
01-16-2008, 21:20
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.


are you serious?
:smiley32:

Deal!

You out of everyone on here should know I'm sincere!:smiley31:

Goes to show you don't ever know.

JugglingMonkeys
01-16-2008, 21:58
Let me just throw out there that if anyone gets stuck @ O'Hare they can give me a call and I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm only about twenty minutes from there and a little friendly local knowledge can be very helpful in a stressful situation. You can reach me via my cell# (312)-446-8871.


are you serious?
:smiley32:

Deal!

You out of everyone on here should know I'm sincere!:smiley31:


:smiley9:

LaCroix42
01-22-2008, 09:21
I flew Northwest from DFW to LAX with a connector to John Wayne last year for a buddy's wedding. When I checked in at DFW I was so tired I didn't realize that my scheduled flight had already been cancelled for reasons unknown (tired, it was a dawn patrol flight) and booked through. Looked at the boarding pass for the connection and realized it was four hours after what it was supposed to be. Talked to a gate agent and was told I can try to make the original connection, but I'd have about 5 minutes to make it from gate 20 to gate 81, but they couldn't guarantee that I'd make the flight. When I made it into LAX, checked with the counter and was told "The flight's boarding now, but if you hurry you may make it. Gate's -> that way."

Quick sidenote, you will never see so many dumbfounded and plain bizarre looks as a six foot tall man in work boots carrying a gym bag wearing safety sunglasses and a Stetson sprinting through LAX. I figured those people had seen everything, apparantly I was wrong. ;) Lucky for me, it was a quick trip so all I had was a carry on otherwise it would have been no chance of me making the connection.

I got to the gate as the plane is backing away, go to the gate agent to try and check in for the next flight, got rude as hell service from her. I called my wife who conferenced in their callcenter and went to another gate and got EXCELLENT service from that agent and made the next flight, first seat.

I've flown Sabena (that was a mistake, declared bankruptcy as I was in the air between Munich and Brussels), AA, NW, SW, and United and the worst service I ever got was Sabena and AA. Northwest was very good about working with me to get me into John Wayne in time for the rehearsal and very empathetic to my situation (aside from the one gate twit). I will also echo the sentiment that SW seems to have the best service of all of them. AA seems to have the mentality that if you're not platinum, you can go somewhere else (i.e. "Where else are you going to go?") which grates on my nerves and United seems to have a culture of not caring (DFW to Pensecola, layover in Memphis proved that for me). Admittedly I've only been to LAX once, but I'd rather go through LAX than O'Hare.

I HATE O'HARE! I've been through there at least a dozen times in 20 years and every time has been a SNAFU. DFW sucks, but sucks less. Lambert in St. Louis isn't too good ("If you're going to conversate, you need to go to long term parking") but still better than O'Hare.

Glad you got your bags in time for your New Year's dive, AA/Sabena screwed up my bags when I came back from Germany and I didn't see them for a week, but they did deliver them to me at my work, luckily.

DivingCRNA
01-22-2008, 14:22
For those keeping score-My mother in law got her bag at SGF yesterday. ONE MONTH after she checked it in Kansas City to leave for our trip.

Now that is service United-F'n NOT!

Mycroft
01-22-2008, 14:25
Ok, I too hate airlines, but I will state one counter to the above. I was in St Thomas the week before last. The only "natives" that I really dealt with with the Captain and Divemaster from Admiralty Dive Center. Both of them were really nice and helpful. (Both of them are displaced Mainlanders)

I also was helped by a guy playing pans at pierside. He was nice as well. I did not got to any resturants or very far from my cruise ship otherwise.

DivingCRNA
01-22-2008, 15:03
Ok, I too hate airlines, but I will state one counter to the above. I was in St Thomas the week before last. The only "natives" that I really dealt with with the Captain and Divemaster from Admiralty Dive Center. Both of them were really nice and helpful. (Both of them are displaced Mainlanders)

I also was helped by a guy playing pans at pierside. He was nice as well. I did not got to any resturants or very far from my cruise ship otherwise.

I also dove with admiralty. They were great. Any of the natives that working in the service industries-i.e. the resort, the restaurants, the airport... were disinterested and rude. Maybe it was because an 18% gratuity was added to everything, regardless of service.

We really only got good service on the island from displaced mainlanders. Otherwise I got the feeling that I should take my tourist ass off their island. I would not recommend this destination other than the dive shop.

Travelnsj
01-23-2008, 20:33
DivingCRNA...sounds like you went through hell.....How many people have flown Indonesian airlines?....talk about rude counter people, charging you up the wazoo for overweight luggage...every flight is 2 + hours late (and always a chance of cancellation)...total indifference especially if you look like you are from the USA...and oh and some of those Airports...very uncomfortable....but hell that diving is the best!....going back for my 5th trip TY!

chinacat46
01-23-2008, 20:38
I've flown Indonesian airlines did I ever tell you lion air sucks.

Travelnsj
01-23-2008, 21:49
Garuda, Merpati and Lion all suck!!!!!....I get to cut Garuda out in October as I made sure to do the Silk air flight....I'll have an extra day and a half to dive in Lembeh....Woo...Hooo

WAHMof2
01-24-2008, 19:54
This thread makes me glad that I hate flying. To date I've flown a total of 48 times but I've yet to actually LAND in an airplane. I know that's strange, but it's true. Planes scare the crap outa me really.

mselizann
02-03-2008, 19:31
that's terrible!

Think
02-04-2008, 08:46
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I booked a flight for Mexico a couple of weeks ago. Check my e-mail this morning and have a nice little "change of itinerary" e-mail from Orbitz. The tickets I bought had me arriving in MX at 11:30am, (so I'd have that whole day there.) And leaving at 2:40pm (so I wouldn't have to rush to the airport that morning.) Well they changed both my flights, so I arrived at 7:30PM and then left at 7AM. I paid a little extra because I was picky about the times, so for them to change my flight times so much really pissed me off. I called Orbitz and was pleasantly surprised that the cust. rep. found me some flights pretty similar to my original (what I paid for.) It was a relief, but it the whole ordeal made me mad. I can see if the airlines canceled the original flights (yeah, both of them is hard to believe but I guess it happens.) But why didn't they give me the similar filghts in the first place. I shouldn't of had to call and complain. I also called American Airlines directly and they were very rude and did not want to help at all. Big surprise there. So, AA sucks, and Orbitz sucks too but the CSR was great. God I hate having to fly.

PlatypusMan
02-04-2008, 10:09
To date I've flown a total of 48 times but I've yet to actually LAND in an airplane. I know that's strange, but it's true.

I've gotta ask: What is it that you're doing that allows you to fly, but not LAND in an airplane? Skydiving? Crashing into barricades? Leaping out and rolling hard like Ah-nuld S.?

PPM

RoyN
02-04-2008, 10:33
Too bad there is no such thing as teleportation.

LaCroix42
02-04-2008, 11:30
This thread makes me glad that I hate flying. To date I've flown a total of 48 times but I've yet to actually LAND in an airplane. I know that's strange, but it's true. Planes scare the crap outa me really.


48 Times? Going after your B card? :)

pyre24
02-16-2008, 22:48
Too bad there is no such thing as teleportation.
I hear you!:smiley20:

DivingCRNA
02-17-2008, 07:21
Too bad there is no such thing as teleportation.
I hear you!:smiley20:

Yeah. I would teleport the CEO of United to about 180 feet deep and see if he could make it the the surface. When/if he got there I would say "Oops, I lost you air tank in transit!".