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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Denver, Could This Be Purgatory?

I am sitting here at gate B24 crying. We were on a plane last night, got on I forget when, 5:00 PM? Anyway, I know we spent 5 hours on the plane because the lady behind me looked at her watch as we were standing up to exit the plane, and said so. Somebody else agreed with her.

We were de-iced 3 times, then just got stuck on the tarmac after the pilot decided that we couldn't take off. They said they closed the airport, too - although this was never reflected on the DIA website. So after 5 hours of sitting on the plane we got off the plane again, and they told us to go wait at gate B 26 to talk to a customer service person who would reschedule us.

United Airlines Customer Service Hell - Denver International Airport - April 17th, 2009
Line Of Passengers Trying To Get Help From United Airlines

So basically, they were pulling the same thing they had the day before. The had absolutley no intention of rescheduling anybody in this line. They simply let people wait, and then annouced that there were no more flights that evening and then told us to call United Airline's customer service number to try and get a new flight.

They never actually told us the status of the flight that we had just de-borded from. We didn't know whether the plane would try to make it to La Guardia if the weather improved, or if it was just canceled. I knew enough to grab one of those pink discount vouchers - but when we called the magic number, they told us that all of the hotels nearby were already full and that the closest hotel with room was 30 minutes away. There was no shuttle service to these hotels, so we were responsible for our own transportaion.

We figured a Taxi would be too expensive, so we went to Dollar Rent-A-Car - but all they had was a minivan for $89 and a Suburban for $150. We took the minivan because it was midnight and we were cold and exhausted and needed sleep.

Then began a rather nerveracking drive to the Ramada on 120th Street. It was snowing and the fog was quite thick as well. I drove slowly. By the time we found the Ramada it was after 1:30 in the morning and I think I finally fell asleep around 2:00 or so.

I woke up at 5:00 or so and tried to check the flight status on the DIA airport - which is were we were told to look. While standing in line at the airport, my daughter had called and found that there was an 8:00 flight - After several trys - two of which resulted in us reaching a customer service center in India - who told us there were no flights. I think they told us that UAL doesn't fly to New York on the week-end. But I am not sure anymore.

Many of the passangers on our flight were on the phone to Jet Blue - (Jet Blue airplanes apparantly had no trouble with the weather) and decided to buy new tickets rather than deal with UAL. We tried to call Jet Blue as well, but by that time the ticket prices had gone from $250 a piece to $500 so we couldn't afford it.

So we went to the hotel. This morning we arrived at the airport 20 minutes too late to make the 8:00 flight - we got lost trying to find Dollar Rental and I am wandering around like a zombie after only 3 hours of sleep, and very little to eat.

The lady at the counter was everything but helpful and was telling us that it was our fault that we were still here. I asked her how long we would have to be at the airport for somebody at UAL to finally take an interest in us and make sure we get on our way - at this point I would be just as happy to go home.

She told me she didn't like where this conversation was going and threatened to call security. I thought about it awhile and then figured maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea - at least there would be a small possibility that they would help us. When I asked her to please call security, she then told me I could talk to a supervisor, which I agreed to and she produced in 30 seconds flat.

The UAL supervisor then told us it was our fault because we had missed the flight at 8:00 and we were sent off with a ticket to try our luck with Frontier Airlines. At this point I wandered into the smoking lounge, ordered a Red Bull and pulled out my copy of the latest issue of Vogue. I read up on shoes, and took note of the fact that big shoulders are back in a big, even daring way. I didn't know what else to do - and that seemed like the course of action that was least likely to get me arrested.

In the meantime, my daughter found what appears to be a sympathetic UAL employee who upgraded our priority or something. We are now again on standby - hoping to get on a flight to New York. If we are lucky, we will have one day out of our 4 day trip before we have to turn around and go home Monday morning.

RH

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1 comment:

Princess Freckles said...

OH MY! I really hope everything hurries up and works out! Hang in there! and when you make it to NY, Have fun!