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Location: Maine, United States

I am a 40 something year old mother of 2. I have always been interested in crafts since my sister and I spent summer weeks with my Grandmother, who was a very crafty lady, while my mother was in college. I mostly quilt since I seem to have an obsession with owning large quantities of fabric, but at one point or another think I have tried almost every craft out there.

Monday, June 26, 2006

someone needs to tell me

Someone really needs to tell me who is safe to fly. I have limited choices flying out of our small airport in Maine, but I have tried them all. I used to have to travel a lot for work and for convenience of scheduling and problems with United, Continental and USAir, I almost always flew Delta. Until the day they called me at 2:00 am, 2:30 am and 3:00 am to tell me my 6:00 am flight had been cancelled and they had rescheduled me on a 9:00 am flight. After I got to the airport for my new 9:00 am flight I found they hadn't actually bothered to tell the other airline I was now going to fly with them and they didn't have a seat for me. Consequently I had to wait an additional 3 hours to catch the next flight out and then got searched at every airport because my tickets were last minute. NOT MY FAULT. The end result was that a flight that should have taken max 5 hours took over 9 and was very stressful because my bags and I got searched at every checkpoint.
After that horrible day I switched to Northwest. They worked well for a while until about my last 3 trips. Equipment problems and last minute gate changes plagued my previous 2 trips, but nothing major. Then was the trip I took last week. I left my house feeling fine and boarded on time and arrived in Detroit, but then sat on the tarmac for about 25 minutes because the airport was closed. I guess it was for weather, but since I had a fairly long layover I figured it would be fine. Got into the airport ate lunch and found our new gate. The gate had another flight listed so I went up and checked for sure. Yes, we had the right gate. After waiting for a while the announcement comes that the equipment for the flight is in the hanger for repairs. They were "trying to find other equipment" and would keep us informed. Shortly they say that they have a new plane and it is coming up to the gate, but that the ramp is again closed for weather, but "as soon as it pulls up we should be able to turn it around in 30 minutes". So we watch the pretty thunder and lightning and as the plane starts towards the gate they announce that they have changed our gate. We gather our things and hurry to the other end of the airport. It couldn't be a close gate. No way. We finally start to board and think we are under way. Not at all. After we got on the plane they announced that we would be waiting 45 minutes while they offload fuel since the plane had been set up to go somewhere else. Again not on much of a problem UNTIL they remove the air conditioning. By the time the plane was in the air it had to be 100 degrees and my sinuses were completely clogged. I had a very uncomfortable flight and was sick for my entire business trip.
I was anxious to get home in my own bed, but my return flight had a new adventure for me. As we check in we are informed that both my flights are delayed. Ok, at least I will get home. My sinuses including my ears are still plugged so I am not looking forward to it anyway. To make a long story shorter we arrived over half an hour late in Detroit and my second flight wasn't delayed after all. I had exactly 10 minutes to get from gate A23 to C32. Anyone who has ever been to the Detroit airport knows that is not a short distance and there is no bus. I run as best as I can carrying my laptop and other things and barely breathing because I haven't recovered physically from my first flight. Then I am still about 8 gates away as they announce that everyone needs to be on my flight for immediate takeoff. So I go flying down the escalator and wrench my shoulder trying to make it. The girl tells me as I am gasping for breath "I know you had a long run I just need your boarding pass" At that point I just wanted to smack her. Like they couldn't have held my plane for a little longer so I wouldn't have to kill myself since it was their fault I was late in the first place? It was obvious they knew I was there and when I had gotten in. Don't the airlines care about customer service at all anymore? I am still recovering. My ears have been plugged since I flew in on Thursday and I have had a horrible sinus headache that has only abated when I have taken pills. I used to love to fly. I still like to travel, but flying has become such an ordeal it's almost not worth it unless you have a day at each end to waste getting to and from your destination.
Sorry this has been such a long post. I had only intended a short rant, but after I got going I couldn't seem to stop myself. I guess I will have to look on the bright side... I only have to travel for business once or twice a year now.


Blogger anne bebbington said...

It sounds to me like airlines have flushed customer services down the pan - after all you're only a passenger :o( - sadly if you have to cover great distances you can't even vote with your feet and use an alternative

2:40 AM  
Blogger The Calico Cat said...

Qantas was really nice... (not very helpful on this side of the pond...)

8:42 AM  
Blogger JudyL said...

That is exactly why I will do my dead level best to travel only to spots that I can get to without flying. Sometimes it is necessary but I feel the airlines do their best to make it difficult for us and when you figure that the entire time you're traveling with the airlines is probably going to be a hassle, I choose to avoid them at all costs!

Sorry about your problems with them.

Judy L.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I fly ONLY when absolutely necesary. Not because I dislike flying but because I dislike the hassle of flying. At least usually when I fly on business it's just to OKCity and thats only a little over 6 hours drive. By the time I drive to Houston (2 hours), arrive early to go thru security crap (another 2 hours) fly to OKC (1 hour) wait for luggage and ground transport to downtown (usually another hour) I could have just driven and not been much later getting in. AND I have my car when I get there and am not dependent on public transportation to get around while I'm there.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Sounds like a bunch of horrible experiences. I hope you are feeling better ASAP!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

That totally sucks and I would be pissed off too!! I don't fly often, but I think I've been pretty lucky when I have. I usually like Northwest. I flew TED early this year and the workers were very unprofessional and rude.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I always try to get a non-stop flight. Yes, I will drive 2 full days to get down to Boston airport for a non-stop flight to Germany and then take the train to Austria instead of taking the very interesting route the airlines try to offer me if I fly from Canada! Oh well, traveling is always an adventure and unfortutly flying is still the fastest way ...



2:22 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I'm not sure that any airline is safe from problems or delays. I like to travel and fly frequently so I always have my *activity* bag with me to entertain myself and try not to get upset.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Linda_J said...

what a horrid, horrid time of it, Tami. I rarely fly and when I do it is Airtran from ATL to BMI--not much help in your case. I do believe that customer service for most things has gone the way of the dinosaur though. None one really seems to give a rats patootey about doing a good job.

Hope those ears unstuff and the sinuses calm down soon.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Terrible, terrible - and I'm sure everyone feels sympathy for your traveling woes. It sure doesn't make you look forward to the next trip.
Besides taking along lots of interesting things to do, it might help to think of the folks who traveled via wagon train. I think I could put up with almost anything as long as there are decent washrooms!

9:20 PM  

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