Flying United Airlines

Spent the weekend recovering from cancelled flights and flight changes. Friday morning started with difficulty in getting online confirmed seating boarding ticket on a United Airlines nonstop flight that I had for Saturday morning from PIT to SFO. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with customer service and then the IT department before I got a confirmed seat assignment. I guess they were starting to have computer problems with me at that time. Then, at about 3:00 PM, I get a call from United saying my Saturday 6:00 AM flight was cancelled. They wanted to know if I wanted to leave earlier at 5:30 AM. Which would have meant getting up at 2:30 AM to get there in time. Why even go to bed? I said no way. This by the way, was after United had moved the flight from 7:00 AM to 6:00 AM a week earlier. So, they put me on a flight at 10:00 AM to Chicago, and then had me switching planes in Chicago to SFO.

When I got to the Pittsburgh airport for check-in, the lady behind the counter insisted that I could check in myself with the kiosk. I told her that I was told that someone would have to help me. She continued to insist that I do it myself. However, there was another agent that assisted me, and entered my code number into the machine, but there was a problem. He said, someone will have to help me. I thought to myself, no kidding!

So, the main lady from behind the counter comes back over to me, and says, “this is the morning from hell!” I didn’t find out till a bit later, that United was having major computer problems. She started keying in my flights and after a few minutes I sensed there was something wrong. I asked her what the problem was. She informed me, the first flight was delayed an hour due to the flight crew having to wait their appointed resting time. This however would mean that I would most likely miss my connecting flight in Chicago. So, she actually double booked me (with an upgrade to first class) on a second flight out of Chicago to SFO, which was scheduled to leave an hour later.

Okay, now I am leaving an hour later from Pittsburgh, and of course, I arrive in Chicago an hour later too. However, they end up delaying the other flight leaving Chicago by almost an hour to accommodate the late arriving flights. Since both flights I was booked on were now set to leave nearly at the same time out of Chicago, I figured it sure would be nicer to fly first class on the second flight, instead of a center seat assignment on coach for the other flight. Now I am talking with another agent at the gate flight check-in counter. I tell her my story, show her my paperwork, and ask if I could just go on the other flight since I already was booked there too. She thought that would be fine, and proceeded to cancel my one flight and confirm me on the other. This is where another round of problems started. Once she unbooked me from the one flight, she could not confirm me on the other flight, even though I had paperwork to show that I was booked on it. She actually couldn’t understand how I got to Chicago, due to the paperwork not showing up properly. I told her, the whole story again and said, I simply checked in at the counter. So, she pulls another agent over, and they talk about the issue. She decides to give me a first class boarding pass for the other flight and just signed it herself.

It wasn’t until I was on the other flight, seated in my first class seat, that I felt comfortable that I was in fact heading to San Francisco.

I do have to mention, I could really get use to first class flying. I think I really like being pampered on the airlines. The service, the wine, and the meal were terrific. And, my knees did not hit the back of the seat in front of me. Much more comfortable!

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