Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Today's original plan involved @gakisama and me flying back to Honolulu from Austin. However, the flight out of Austin was delayed ten minutes, and since the plane was a tiny Canadair thing, we had to gate check our suitcases. By the time we'd landed, I had received an email that we had been auto-rebooked onto flights tomorrow.
That wasn't a great solution, so I stopped at the first kiosk I could see. That told me to pick up the service phone, which connected me to someone who told me to go to gate b43 to get the new tickets. That was the gate for the original flight out of denver. When we arrived there, we discovered that we'd missed boarding by just a few minutes. So much for listening to email updates.
The gate agent then checked if we could get home, and put us on standby for a flight to Los Angeles that we might be able to connect through to get home. We tried that, but due to the bizarre way United handles upgrades and standby, multiple people on the same reservation do not have the same priority. That seems completely counterintuitive. For both flights to and from Austin, I was asked if I wanted the first class upgrade if @gakisama wouldn't get one. Similarly, I was asked if I wanted the standby seat to LAX without @gakisama. Weird.
We attempted to catch the next standby to Los Angeles (possibly connecting to Lihue), but somehow didn't make the list. I checked if Kayak could find anyway to get home today, only to find that no amount of money could make a connection from DEN to HNL.
I told @gakisama that we were pretty much stuck, and she suggested waiting in the customer service line to see if we could get dinner or maybe even a hotel for the night. I had little hope, but gave it a shot. It took awhile but a "Mrs. L. Rodriguez":
- tried unsuccessfully to find us a connection tonight again
- checked us in for the flight tomorrow
- made sure we remained on the ugrade list for those flights
- gave us $30 in food vouchers
- $300 in travel vouchers for the future
- booked us a fully paid room at the rather nice Renaissance Denver, which has a free shuttle to and from the airport.
We took the shuttle, checked in, had a decent italian meal at the hotel, followed by me passing out in bed instead of catching Castle.
The attached picture is of a print in the bathroom here. I suspect it represents "WTF am I doing in Denver, and WTF am I going to do?"