United loses Curling Brooms

Applespiel was February 22nd through 24th, and the beginning of a very busy curling week. 

I stayed for Monday night league on the 25th, and managed to sub for my host, Chicky. 

The 27th was the first night of the Hollywood Wednesday night league, which I'll cover in my next installment.

We've all heard how United Breaks Guitars.  I'm pleased to say that my Curling Brooms survived in both directions.

I've travelled a bit, and I should know that it's best to avoid Chicago O'Hare in winter.  It's especially tough when your flight in or out of Chicago is short, and Appleton, WI to Chicago is under an hour.

Longer flights that are already in the air are going to have to land at Chicago.  Flights that haven't left the ground can be cancelled if weather is challenging.

So, I find Tuesday morning that my flight out of Appleton has been cancelled. 

It's not that big a deal, the airline personnel are there to help you out, and all you need to do is call, or find someone at a customer service counter.

Without flights to Chicago, my Appleton to Chicago to Orange County itinerary is out.  (So is my ride home from the airport).

They re-route me via Delta to Detroit.  Long stop-over in Detroit where I completely failed to find a United Employee to verify my itinerary.  I know it's Appleton to Detroit to Houston, TX and on to John Wayne Airport.

Bad weather, so a wait for De-icing in Detroit.

The flight attendant (I'm now on United) is going around the plane letting people know if their connection is tight, and where possible giving gate change information.  She didn't look for me, and I couldn't get her attention.

Tight connection in Houston -- too tight.  I missed it -- I probably would have missed it even if there wasn't a gate change, and I probably would have missed it even if the gates were close. 

I had to get a supervisor in Houston to tell me that there was (barely) room on the flight to LAX leaving right then.  The agent was more interested in going on break.

To make a long story shorter, I left Appleton before noon, and arrived at LAX near midnight.

It took a while to get someone's attention, but I did find out that my luggage and my Broom and my Curling Shoes made it successfully to John Wayne Airport.

I needed them in about sixteen hours.  I asked them to leave them right there, and I'd come for them.

When I went to pick up my luggage on Wednesday, the two baggage agents were too busy to help.  My broom wasn't lost, but nothing about this was easy.

So I'm very disappointed with United.  They weren't much help on the trip out, and they were no help at all on the way back.

When I travelled a dozen or more times per year on Business, the airline personnel always took great care when a passenger was inconvenienced.  Those days are over.

Will I go back to Appleton?  You betcha!  I just won't fly through O'Hare -- and I'll avoid United. 

Posted July 13, 2013