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Old 06-12-2008, 04:11 AM  
Lonewolf Ed Lonewolf Ed is offline
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Why I've been quiet lately

You've been awful quiet lately, Lonewolf Ed. Don't be afraid to speak up!

I saw this notice when I returned from a 3 week trip to Denmark yesterday. I was supposed to be back Tuesday, but thanks to United Airlines, I spent 18 hours in Dulles and Reagan National airports in D.C.

Everything went great until I got off my SAS plane in D.C. at 3:00 pm. My flight to KC was on time for a while, then it got delayed an hour because of bad weather (supposedly), then my flight got changed to a different terminal. The departure time was moved up 15 minutes, so I thought that was good. After sitting on the plane for an hour, we were informed that due to storms in the area (it was a bit overcast, but storms?) they could not load our luggage or fuel the plane. A few minutes later, the captain said our flight was cancelled and we'd have to go to customer service for the next step.

When I got back inside the airport, I saw about 200 people ahead of me in line. It was 9:00 pm, and originally, I was supposed to leave at 6:58 pm for KC. At 11:00 pm, I got to speak to one of the three agents that were dealing with us. Three is all they had! I should mention that there were maybe 100 behind me, too. So, I talk to the guy and he tells me he can get me on a flight to KC at 8:30 am. I asked when it arrived in KC. He said 3:30 pm, because I have to go to Denver first. I've already been up for 26 hours at this point, and I said I needed a hotel room, since I started out in northern Denmark. Well, the hotel rooms were all gone, long before I got to talk to anyone. Great, now I have to sit in the airport all night.

The couple I had chatted with while waiting got a direct flight to KC. I went back and said I wanted that, too. It was on US Airways, so he was trying to keep me on United. I had not thought to ask for another airline, but thanks to my new friends, I got a different line. The early flight was now booked solid, so I could get the 12:05 pm one, and arrive in KC at 1:30 pm local time. I said fine, because that was still better than a 3:30 pm arrival. Doing the math, I was now looking at a 21 hour stay in a fuggin' airport. I then discovered that while we were in line waiting, TWO flights left for KC, and my suitcase was on one of them. No agents came to tell us to try to get on the other flights. We had been told that the weather had shut the airport down. Well, it had, but for like twenty minutes, and it sprinkled some. A woman behind me got to the counter to talk to an agent, and she was pissy right away. She listed several demands, but none were met, so she went totally insane and began screaming at the agent, and beating on the counter. She cussed him, calling him everything in the book, and more than once. The entire terminal could hear her. F YOU! F YOU! YOU SON OF A BITCH! G DAMN YOU! G DAMN YOU! And she stormed off before security could come and taser her to death, continuing to cuss up a storm as she went.

The couple I had been chatting with said we could share a ride over to Reagan National, and we got 6 others to go as well. It was about 25 miles to Reagan, and we arrived at midnight. I tried to sleep, but the cleaning crews were busy, and when I finally did drop off for about ten minutes, my elbow slipped off the armrest of the chair, and I was awake again. The hours crawled by, and finally at 5:00 am, ticket agents began to arrive. I had seen that Midwest had a 7:00 am flight to KC, so I asked about it, hoping that if it was less than 200 bucks, I'd hop on it and shave five hours off my wait. It had been cancelled since the plane was unable to arrive the previous night. So, my only option was to try for a stand-by seat on the 8:35 am flight. Otherwise, I'd have to take the one at noon. I was far from the only one to be tortured. One lady close to me in the line had a small baby, a year old tops. She was trying to get to KC and had started out in Africa. I saw her when I arrived at 3:00 pm as they herded us to Customs, so I know she had to have been travelling at least as long as I had, if not longer. The agent told her at 11:00 pm when she got to talk to one, they could put her on a flight to KC at 5:50. She asked if it was in the morning. No, 5:50 pm. And there are no rooms anywere. How in the hell was she supposed to stay there in the airport for over 26 hours with a baby? The crowd spoke up and demanded that they do something for her, and it was getting ugly. No one was happy. They had no hotel rooms, no food vouchers, no cab vouchers, nothing. The dirty little secret is, if they blame everything on the weather, they don't have to compensate you. So, pay attention the next time you travel. EVERYTHING that goes wrong and causes delays is the weather. "Oh, the plane is stuck in Toronto because of a storm..." Uh, huh. Right. Sure.

I finally caught a break and got one of two stand-by seats, so my 18 hour and 35 minute stay in Washington D.C.'s airports was coming to an end. I didn't sleep much on the flight, because of the noise, turbulence, and the general discomfort of plane seats. I arrived in KC and went to the baggage claim at United. I told the lady my suitcase arrived almost a day before I did, and I'd have preferred the reverse. "Oh, no, we don't want that," she said. "Then we have to pay to drive your bags to you." But, me sitting in airports for 18 hours didn't seem to bother anyone. If I'd had the least bit of energy, which I did not after having been on the go for over 40 hours, I'd have told her a thing or two, but then, what would be the point? All I cared about was getting home, taking a much needed shower, and going to sleep. That was the last time United would ever be seeing me. I am done with them.

I hope that poor lady and her baby got a flight to KC earlier than I did, because I know she had only one carry-on bag with her, and I am sure she didn't have diapers and food to last her for a day in one place. All the words I know with which to express displeasure and outrage are not sufficient to describe what I feel. Now I am trying to readjust to seven hours behind Denmark, and am trying to recover from the most horrendous experience in an airport I have ever had to endure.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
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Have you shat your load of heroine/cocaine in condoms yet?
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:05 AM   #3
mikey23545 mikey23545 is online now
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Dude, you have my most heartfelt sympathy. I can only imagine how the hours, hell, even the minutes must crawl by in a situation like that.
That is one f'ed up experience.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:55 AM   #4
kepp kepp is offline
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Wow, that sucks. The airlines are quickly going down the flusher. We traveled to Thailand back in April and it was the worst trip ever in respect to the air travel. We won't be flying ANYWHERE for a long time.

Did you get anything stolen from your baggage? Every time we go to Thailand to visit my wife's family, we take a couple suitcases of gifts. This is the first time we have had to leave our bags unlocked because of the TSA rules. Let me tell you, working for the TSA is just a license to steal. They stole a lot of stuff from one bag in particular. All the bags had TSA inspection slips in them except the one that was robbed (real subtle guys - no one would notice that). And of course the TSA and airlines are denying any responsibility and no one will reimburse us for anything. Bunch of thieves.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:59 AM   #5
Lonewolf Ed Lonewolf Ed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Chief View Post
Have you shat your load of heroine/cocaine in condoms yet?
Ah, no... You should have seen the guy in Customs giving me the fish eye. He squinted at me and stared at my face, "What brought you to... Denmark? Why were you there?"

I just said I have family there, aunts, uncles, cousins, dead grandparents, that sort of thing. What the hell did he think I was doing there? Well, Mr. Customs Agent, I was there to help run young girls from the Faroe Islands to Thailand to bolster the brothels, and I thought I'd run some hash from Pakistan while I was at it, and I joined this secret society over there that is working to further devalue the US dollar. Just a typical vacation, you know?
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:01 AM   #6
Lonewolf Ed Lonewolf Ed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kepp View Post
Wow, that sucks. The airlines are quickly going down the flusher. We traveled to Thailand back in April and it was the worst trip ever in respect to the air travel. We won't be flying ANYWHERE for a long time.

Did you get anything stolen from your baggage? Every time we go to Thailand to visit my wife's family, we take a couple suitcases of gifts. This is the first time we have had to leave our bags unlocked because of the TSA rules. Let me tell you, working for the TSA is just a license to steal. They stole a lot of stuff from one bag in particular. All the bags had TSA inspection slips in them except the one that was robbed (real subtle guys - no one would notice that). And of course the TSA and airlines are denying any responsibility and no one will reimburse us for anything. Bunch of thieves.
Thanks, and no, nothing was stolen from my suitcase. It would not have mattered much if anything was, since it was mostly clothes and my shaving kit, toothpaste, etc. I packed some Danish licorice, so I'd have been pissed to lose that since I can't buy it here. I used to be able to get it from a Danish company in Solvang, CA, but they don't have it now. The only thing stolen from me was over 18 hours of my life.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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Horror stories like this are the reason I'd rather spend a day driving than take an alleged two-hour flight. Unless you're filthy rich or some frequent flying corporate hotshot, the airlines absolutely do not give a shit about you or your problems. I know sometimes you have no choice but to fly, but if there is a choice, I'll always fly Chevrolet.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:36 AM   #8
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Been there myself. The airlines have turned into nothing more than a greyhound with wings, with the slack jaw employment force to match. I have to fly next week and AM NOT looking forward to the experience.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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Sorry that happen to you. That why i would get stuff in writing to make sure the airline take care of me in case stuff happen.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:22 AM   #10
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Sorry but I'm not a fan of airlines at alll....

you could have drove faster from DC to KC with 21 hour delay. at twice the price
if your were fresh and ready to go or split the cost with others and got to see the USA
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolf Ed View Post
Ah, no... You should have seen the guy in Customs giving me the fish eye. He squinted at me and stared at my face, "What brought you to... Denmark? Why were you there?"

I just said I have family there, aunts, uncles, cousins, dead grandparents, that sort of thing. What the hell did he think I was doing there? Well, Mr. Customs Agent, I was there to help run young girls from the Faroe Islands to Thailand to bolster the brothels, and I thought I'd run some hash from Pakistan while I was at it, and I joined this secret society over there that is working to further devalue the US dollar. Just a typical vacation, you know?
I would have considered replying with the following:

"Well, where else am I going to buy cheese danish pastries and Skoal Copenhagen smokeless tobacco?"
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:02 AM   #12
Lonewolf Ed Lonewolf Ed is offline
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Originally Posted by big nasty kcnut View Post
Sorry that happen to you. That why i would get stuff in writing to make sure the airline take care of me in case stuff happen.
If you can get them to do that, you have my deepest level of awe and admiration!
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:53 AM   #13
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Sheeesh Ed, what an ordeal...its been a long time since for me & i cant really envision the day i fly again.

I'd rather pay extra & take longer to go somewhere any other way.

Glad its over for you.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:17 PM   #14
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Horrible experience. I think we are going to see a lot more of it with these fuel prices. Airlines are looking for any excuse to cut or delay a flight.


I blame foreign cars.
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