Flying un-United

United has just located Pat Hickey’s suitcase!
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People often ask me why I drive to as many road games as possible and I explain that it’s usually more reliable and convenient.

That opinion has been reinforced by my recent experiences on United Airlines.

When I arrived in Denver last night, the pilot congratulated himself for getting up to the gate 15 minutes early. As we departed from the plane, he thanked us for flying United. Forty-five minutes later, I discovered that my bag and I weren’t United. A computer check showed it as still sitting at Dulles Airport in Washington but I was assured that I will have it before I fly to Dallas tomorrow morning.

Last month, I flew United to Atlanta. Being a seasoned traveller, I know the first flight in the morning is usually the best bet in winter because the plane is there and ready to go. This time, they discovered that the plane which had been sitting on the tarmac for 10 hours had a mechanical problem. Since it was Thanksgiving, the mechanic had to be called in from home. The end result? A four-hour delay, a missed connection in Washington and Thanksgiving dinner at Five Boys Burgers (coming soon to Montreal) at Dulles Airport.  

I did get to Atlanta the same day which is better than my United flight to Atlanta last season On that occasion, I got as far as Washington only to be told that bad weather had closed the airport in Atlanta. A later check showed that United was the only airline which felt the conditions weren’t suitable.

Add the enhanced pat-down – mandatory when you’ve had two knee replacements – and you should understand why I’d rather hop in my car. It’s never lost my luggage.   

44 Comments

  1. D Alcorn says:

    Peaches and Herb sang about this airline :  

    Dis-united and it feels so good …

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  2. jennifer1984 says:

    but what if you are going home for christmas for 2+ weeks? i needed 2 checked bags! luckily with all the problems i had, they tagged my baggage priority. nice to have them come down the baggage claim first for once in my life.

  3. Chuck says:

    Traveler’s rule #1: never take anything (or enough) that you have to check. If you can’t carry it on, you’ve got too mch.

    Centre Hice: Sainte Flanelle, illustrated history: 1935-36

  4. Chuck says:

    I lived off of the Five Guys location in Arlington, VA (just outside of Washington) when I was visiting there. THE BEST burgers, hands down.

    Centre Hice: Sainte Flanelle, illustrated history: 1935-36

  5. Psycho29 says:

    Five Guys has been open in Vaudreuil for a few months now. As far as fast food goes…..AMAZING!

    Best burgers and fries…..A bit pricier than most…..but amazing!!!!

  6. New says:

    Man airplane travel is for the birds. Chubby old sports reporters are notorious for hijacking planes but extras from the movie Phantasm cruise on through. You really can’t drink because when you board you’d need to stand in line to use the can and there’s someone in there giving birth, providing you aren’t ground bound for a couple hours and seat tied anyway. No one can read seat numbers. You have to smile and explain that 14 is after 12 and this is 11. You get settled and the guy beside you needs to get into the overhead bin for something where the guy in 14 put his crap anyway. If you get an aisle seat they ram carts into your fingers. If you get a window seat you can see the gremlins tossing Hickey’s bags. If you’re in the middle you don’t get an arm rest and they make you watch a video confirming you have no chance of getting out if necessary. The stewarts and hostess always walk by and stare at your crotch, then tell your seat needs to be fully upright. You discover that your seat is broken so you pretend to sit fully upright.  Soon as the plane takes off the guy with the greasy dreds reclines his seat into your lap. Like you were his dentist or something. The guy on your left is fiddling with his shoe and lighter. You hope the dreds don’t catch his attention. The guy on your right is drooling on your shoulder.  You try and lean back on your broken seat but the lady behind you says “Excuse me!” in one of those irritating voices that just tells you she can make this flight even more miserable for you. When they land they won’t let you off but people still think it is faster to stand up and put their carry on in your face.  Then if  there’s a storm and you can’t disembark, they turn off the air, and you sit.  The staff treat you like cattle in a pen throughout, probably because you accept it.   Your bags don’t come onto the carousel till last, and if they do someone grabs them into a crowd of 250 people never to be seen again. The little pictures of bags to circle on the loss report don’t look anything like yours. When you get out of the terminal the only vehicle left is driven by someone who used to be a pilot so he circles the airport and city twice before landing at your hotel.  The phone in your room is blinking. Good news your bag is safe and sound right where you checked it in. When it arrives it smells of WD40 and glows in the dark.

    You pay for this.

     

  7. jennifer1984 says:

    same thing happened to me on Wednesday morning.

    after being told i would miss my connection (flying Air Canada) at night, they booked me on the first a.m. flight so i could make it to my mom’s on time. but the plane had been sitting for 6 hours overnight and surprise….. mechanical problems!! so my flight was cancelled.

     

    i hate flying. i would have drove but i was coming home early and my boyfriend will be driving to meet me at christmas in our hometown. we’ll drive home together. way to go flying.

  8. NightRyder says:

    Why are you so anal about the complaints? If you don’t want to read them, don’t bloody read them.

  9. t1tan5 says:

    Why are some people so anal about this post? If you don’t want to read it, don’t bloody read it! Anyways, US based airlines are absolutely horrible. There’s a reason that Air Canada (a terrible airline as well iMO) is the best airline in North America.

  10. sidhu says:

    The Habs I/O writers are taking a very liberal approach to what relates to the Habs and will be of interest to the readers. 

    The fact that a writer’s car was vandalized by Flyers fans, in my mind, falls within something that would be relevant and interesting, whereas a problem with an airline is stretching things a bit too far.

  11. Izzy says:

    sorry…dbl post

  12. Izzy says:

    last time I flew from mtl to LA my luggage was sent to Spain. I had just arrived for a two week gig wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Three suits, a blazer, several ties, dress pants, electric razor, toiletries, camera, reading glasses…..all in the hands of someone named Enrique in Barcelona. One month later back in Mtl, my insurance company coughed up 1500.00 for my loss ,as they hadnt been able to recover my bags.

     Eight months after that I receive a message from Air Canada that my luggage was at the airport….lol…two pairs of underwear, one shirt so gawdy that it wasnt worth stealing and two rolls of undeveloped film were inside.

     

    still hearing chuckles from the organisers of the conference I was working as I flip flopped 2 ties and two pair of dress pants each day for the two weeks.

  13. Izzy says:

    last time I flew from mtl to LA my luggage was sent to Spain. I had just arrived for a two week gig wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Three suits, a blazer, several ties, dress pants, electric razor, toiletries, camera, reading glasses…..all in the hands of someone named Enrique in Barcelona. One month later back in Mtl, my insurance company coughed up 1500.00 for my loss ,as they hadnt been able to recover my bags.

     Eight months after that I receive a message from Air Canada that my luggage was at the airport….lol…two pairs of underwear, one shirt so gawdy that it wasnt worth stealing and two rolls of undeveloped film were inside.

     

    still hearing chuckles from the organisers of the conference I was working as I flip flopped 2 ties and two pair of dress pants each day for the two weeks.

  14. madcap_habsfan says:

    Isn’t there any other airline you could fly? or is it pretty much the same deal across the board?

     

     

    -“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” Chuck Palahniuk

  15. Robert L says:

    I’m just wondering how many KM’s are on Pat’s ’96 Accord these days?

    Mine (a ’97) made it almost to 400,000 before she was put out of misery!

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