Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Home but brain elsewhere

So nothing much to say. Just wanna go to bed...but I had to do laundry and sort paperwork and get ready for work tomorrow and brain is not being helpful. Still surprised at how badly this whole debacle in Chicago was handled by United. Not THAT it happened -- the weather's gonna do what it's gonna do -- but at the fact that this is not really anything new for the Midwest, yet United had no game plan to work within it. They just dumped on their passengers and made everyone wait till the weather calmed down and their regular schedule was back up and they were able to take the passengers whose flights were canceled on as standby in the normal flights. They had their routine and they were sticking to it and fuck any inconvenience to anyone.

Doesn't help that I'm grumpy because I got up at 5:30 am, got to O'Hare by 6am, found my flight was in Terminal 2...but I wasn't allowed to get my boarding pass at the United counter in Terminal 2 (no one was there and none of the electronic kiosks were operating); I had to go to Terminal 1 then come BACK to Terminal 2 to catch my flight. For no reason except United didn't want to do it any other way.

I found there were still several standby passengers who wound up on my flight. It's entirely possible had I not booked this flight and just done standby, I wouldn't have made it. Because it was a small plane. 50 passenger max, and every seat was filled. United couldn't put a larger plane into the schedule to ferry all those stranded passengers home more quickly because...hell, I don't know why, unless it might have cost them money.

Some people were told they'd have to pay the rescheduling fee if they wanted to try and get home via a different route from their original ticket. Never mind the circumstances, there are no exceptions and it's not our fault; it's "act of God" crap (I saw one guy nearly go ballistic over that nonsense and have the bitch dealing with him threaten him with the cops if he didn't calm down and let her fuck him over). Instead, people had to pay for hotel rooms (when they were lucky enough to get one), or sleep on the gate benches (like I did Friday night and which some people were still doing, this morning), and spend their own money to eat crap food and drink bad coffee and tea and sodas and live like animals because a billion dollar corporation didn't give a damn about them.

When I gave in and was able to get a room at the Hilton, I found they were just as bad, dragging every penny out of me that they legally could and, it looks like, flat out trying to steal some. First I was double-charged for their Wifi service (the desk clerk grumpily removed it from my bill), then when I got home and checked, I found three different "approvals" for charges by Hilton to my credit card -- one for the corrected amount of the hotel bill, one I can't figure out what the hell it's for and they SAY it'll go away because it was just an approval thing, one charging me for the WiFi, again. WiFi that kept stalling and couldn't even stream short news clips off CNN, and they tried to sneak-bill me for it three times. This is Hilton Hotels. Another billion dollar company. Not giving a shit about its clientele. Guess I should have expected this when they couldn't even bother to get an order of fish and chips right.

I'm still happy I made it through this without strangling someone...but it got close, a couple of times. Now I think I'll just get a shower and go to bed and worry about life tomorrow.

How very Scarlett O'Hara of me.


Writer said...

Sorry for all the stress. My former roommate had a similiar problem at an airport. They were very rude to him until he started videoing everything with his digital camera - at which point he finally got a free hotel room for the night.

JamTheCat said...

Thanks...and I wish I'd thought about that. My cell phone has a camera. Next time...