Well, to start at the ending, I’m happy that I finally made it back home after spending the holidays with family. I was originally suppose to fly out on Dec 31 at 6 am from Pensacola, FL. I figured this was a safe bet from prior experience because not many people actually want to fly on New Year’s Eve and I was starting off so early in the morning that no matter what issues I ran into, I was most likely to be home before too late. Little was I to know that I would pay for such insolence.
I arrived at the airport at around 5 a.m. to find out that all flights had been cancelled out of area that morning due to bad weather and that the best US Airways could do was to put me on a flight out of Mobile, AL at 5:30 p.m.. So much for flying out early. I got to the airport in Mobile at 4:00 and was sitting patiently waiting for the airplane to pull up to my gate. As time drew on, I knew that the plane should be at the gate by now, so I kept watching the departures screen nearby for any hint of an admitted delay. As I knew it would inevitably to, the screen changed to show a new delayed depart time for my flight which was about 45 minutes later than its original. I did some quick calculations using the times on my itinerary (I had a connection flight in Charlotte, NC) and was relieved to figure out that I should still be able to make my connection. That was, until the screen again changed to now reflect a 1 1/2 hour delay in my flight. I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Up to this point, there were absolutely no airport employees present. Not at my gate or any gates nearby but after a few minutes of this second change, they appear to announce that most flights out of Charlotte were also delayed and that we might still make our connection flights but that they had already prepared us with hotel vouchers for Charlotte, just in case. Our flight actually kept to its second change and we landed about 15 minutes after my connection should have left but at the first screen I saw that it was also about 20 minutes delayed, so I began the airport dash because of course it was located in a different concourse.
I arrived to find my flight was already gone, no surprise there but when I approached the gate counter to arrange another flight, I was told by the agent that he could not help me at this time, he had to get all his paperwork done. No suggestion on who I could talk to or where I should go.. not even an attempt to find out what I wanted. Customer service at its finest. Also, I found out quickly that US AIrways had already closed its customer service counter, I guess there is no correlation between your customers and when you provide customer service. Who knew? I went to another gate and they were able to lock me on for a flight out the next morning at 9 am. I won’t get into the details, this post is already long enough but needless to say, it wasn’t the greatest New Year’s Eve I’ve had. The only thing open near the hShoney’s a Shoney’s and the idea of going to Shoney’s was even more depressing than the hotel room, so I just ended up watching the ball drop on TV.
The next morning I decided to check online for my flight status, just in case. I was finally learning as this flight was also cancelled due to “Flight Crew Unavailable”. That was a new one for me. I decided not to get too worked up because it could be that the crew partied a little too much last night, someone had to and in my opinion I’d rather them unavailable rather than operating my flight home! I decided to just do some work out of the hotel and finally went to the airport at noon which was about 4 hours before my flight. Fortunately, they managed to get me on an earlier flight and I only had to wait 2 hours for my flight.
Well, I finally made it home. I guess I shouldn’t be too upset, most of the people I dealt with during this ordeal were pleasant enough; considering they were working on New Year’s Eve. At least I made it home alive and well and I know it could have been much worse as I’m sure many people can attest to from personal experience. My take on the whole event, the year can only get better!