I had an opportunity to attend a blogging conference in San Fransisco last week but I have not flown in an airplane in about 12+ years. The flight out there was great, no problems, no concerns, no hiccups, and for not having flown in some time, I was thankful it went so smoothly.
Even with having to deal with TSA for the first time, since it didn’t exist the last time I flew, was pretty easy. Just follow the rules, and I was through in under 2 minutes. All that worrying for nothing, since I had no snags with that in either direction.
So what went wrong? It was my flight home.
Flight UA 1161 – United Airlines flight SFO – CLE on Sunday 2/22/2015
So let’s break down what went wrong. Delays occur, I can understand that. Things happen, yes, I can understand that. I got to the airport earlier than normal that day, so that I could possibly get something to eat before I fly. I was able to do that, $17 for breakfast was a little expensive to me, but again, things have changed since the last time I flew. I got that.
So I am back at the gate, anxiously awaiting for it to arrive, so that I could be on my way home. Then everything starts going down hill from there. As they were bringing in the ramp to load up to the plane to allow everyone off, somehow it gets stuck, stops moving, and there are groups of people trying to figure out what to do, so that they can get everyone off the plane, who had just arrived.
They had to use a forklift, to keep the bridge steady, and secure enough for everyone to get off the plane. Well, just shortly after everyone was off the plane, we get the announcement, that we are to move from gate 74, over to 73, as they plan to move the plane. This sets us back another hour and a half, as they have to move and clean the airplane. I understand this, but again just one of the hiccups of the flight to come.
Now for this trip, I traveled light. I only had my carry-on bag. Nothing extra, no small personal item bag, or briefcase or duffel bag like other people had. Just one normal, flight sized carry-on piece of luggage. So as everyone is finally getting to board the plane, that is already late mind you, and behind schedule, I get up to the podium to scan my ticket, when one of the UA workers there, goes and grabs my bag and says I have to check it. I asked why, and was told that the plane was full and that there would be no room for it in the overhead compartment. Now mind you, I have one bag, not the multiple items that others had boarding the plane. So I grab my portable charger device and reluctantly turn my bag over to them. So I board the plane, and what do I begin to see? As I pass rows and rows of seats that already have passengers sitting and situated, yes, you guessed it, empty spots in the overhead compartments on the way back to my seat. How many open spots? If I was to guess, about 10-12 of them.
So I get to my seat, sit down, and think to myself, how was that fair at all? The could have let me try to see if there was a spot before taking it away from me. Then if there wasn’t, checking it then, no? That might have made sense. Let’s not go with that idea.
We get into the air, I am flying home, and that was what was getting me through this, getting to go home and see my wife again after a couple of days of being away. It was that time of the flight where drink service was to begin. I am like good, going to get me something to drink, calm myself down, and try to just not think about everything else and get home. My turn to order, yeah! I ask for Coca-Cola, and they ask if I want the can, I said sure, as I was thirsty, and wanted the rest. So they fill the cup half way, hand it to me, and they hand me another already opened can, that had less than half of it left, and they move the cart away. So I pour some more into the cup and its gone, I get almost a full cup out of it with the ice in it. Wow, did I feel important. Not!
Mind you, the second time they came around, I got a full can out of it. Just rubbed me the wrong way with everything else that had gone wrong that day, up to that point.
We finally land, and I think “yes, time to go home”, nope, I forgot I have to now go find baggage claim to get my bag. Would have been nice to have pulled it from one of those many open spots that was available, especially after all the other stuff people were allowed to bring on, and store up there. So off I go to baggage claim, by this time my wife is circling the pick up area, as they don’t like you to sit too long, and I keep texting “I will be out as soon as I can”. I got to baggage claim. How long do you think it took for the conveyor belts to start moving? I will give you a hint, it was between 19 and 21 minutes.
So I finally have my bag, go outside, finally see my wife waiting for me, load up my bag, and on our way home. I get home, and I wanted to share with my wife a souveiner I bought for our Christmas Tree while I was in San Fransisco. I open my suitcase, open the bag, and sure enough it was broke. My thoughts automatically went to pondering, would that have happened if I did not have to check my bag? I think it would have not. I was thankful my iPad and Galaxy Tab survived the trip, again never would have thought I would have had to check my bag, since it was the only thing I had on me.
So what did I learn? that although I had never flown with United Airlines prior to this incident, that I don’t think I want to fly with them again. It would take some really good kindness and generosity for that to happen again. I also learned that all people don’t get treated fairly when you fly, as I think if someone had just took time to check, I could have brought my bag with me in the first place. Lastly, that I hope experiences like this don’t happen to anyone else.
Thanks for taking time to check this article out. Leave any comments you have below. What have been some of your experiences with flying?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."