John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Trip report 1: Unfriendly skies

As I mentioned yesterday, neither my flights to nor from the east coast went smoothly.

Outbound, I was supposed to fly from Madison to Cleveland, and thence to Washington Dulles. Unfortunately, the plane to Cleveland developed engine trouble or computer trouble or some combination of the two, and we took off about 49 minutes late. Since my scheduled layover in Cleveland was 45 minutes, that presented something of a problem. Luckily, a friendly United Airlines gate agent was able to get me the last seat on a flight leaving for Baltimore-Washington International, which may not sound that convenient but was only three miles or so farther away from where my brother was coming from to pick me up, and I landed in Maryland less than an hour later than I would have landed in Virginia.

Inbound, I was supposed to fly from Dulles to Chicago O'Hare, and after an hour thence to Madison. We boarded the plane at Dulles a little late, but not so much so that it would prevent me from making my connection. Once we boarded, air traffic control informed the pilots that takeoff would be delayed a bit longer. The flight attendants handed out cups of water while we waited, but then ATC said we'd be delayed another 75 minutes, so they made up deplane and pointed those of us who needed it toward United's customer service area. I joined the line at customer service, but also called United Customer Service from my mobile. The phone reps won; I waited on hold for under a minute, and by the time I reached the front of the line -- it didn't seem worth the effort to get out of the queue -- the phone agent was ready to book me onto a flight from Chicago to Madison the next day. As I mentioned yesterday, it took quite a lot of repetition to convince him that I didn't want to reschedule the entire trip for June 30, just the ORD-MSN leg of it, but finally I got the message across and I was rebooked. One overnight stay in Wheaton with my dad later, I was finally back in Madison.
Tags: illinois: wheaton, maryland, travel, virginia

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