Messed Up Trip To Maui

March 19, 2010

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

On February 12th, 2009, me, my mother, and a good friend of hers traveled to Maui during the week that I have off from school. Although it was the most gorgeous place I’ve ever been to, I really didn’t think we were going to make it.

We got to the airport at around 830am for a 10am flight. Albany International (in NY) is never busy. The plan was to go from Albany to Chicago to LA to Maui, and we would get there at around 9pm Thursday (Hawaii time), 2am Friday (NY time). Well that didn’t happen. All because of ONE FLIGHT cancellation.

After our first flight out of ALB got cancelled (due to smoke in the bathroom?), we waited 2 hrs in line at the ticket counter, along with the rest of the people from our flight, to figure out what was the next step. Or should I say, STEPS.

The best thing they could do was as follows:

– Wait a few more hrs in ALB then fly to D.C and spend the night, or
– Get up the next morning and fly from DC to Chicago to Denver to Maui.

We did the last option. We were loosing a day, but at least were getting there.

So the next morning we get up at 4am. Let me remind you that it is now Friday, Feb. 13th. Go up and down all day. FINALLY we get to Denver. We think were home free. NOT SO FAST.

When we landed in Denver (a little behind schedule) we realized that we might not make our connection. But per the flight attendants, at least 20 people from this flight are getting on the flight to Maui. Okay. Well then, we sat in the plane on the tarmac for at least 20 mins because United Airlines is too cheap to afford ground crews. Needless to say, when we finally got off, we ran.

Did we make it?… of course NOT.

They had given away our seats to people on stand-by because we didn’t get there fast enough. I’m sitting there watching my plane leave. I’m crying. My mother is swearing and being threatened to be arrested, and all her friend wants to do is get a drink.

NOW – the plan is Denver to LA to Honolulu to Maui. And because of our “inconvenience,” they upgraded us to first class from LA to HI. At this point, I’m so exhausted I really don’t care what is going on. I don’t know what time zone I’m in or how long I’ve been up for. UGH!

We finally arrived in Maui at midnight Friday, HI time. Which is technically Saturday AM. So we lost a full day. At midnight Hawaii time it was 5am NY time.

So a vacation that was supposed to be just Maui, turned into Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Maui.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kad March 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm


I see this as an attempt to save money, which is fair. Each jump provides an opportunity for problems though.

Next time try JFK-LAX-ODD or JFK to ODD. The up front costs will be more than saved by aggravation-avoidance. I do understand that money is real, while time is something you can only spend at no cost to others.

At least you got there.


Aaron March 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

A hellish experience perhaps but one that is so common I can't see it as a true flight from hell.


Chris October 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm

When you have a itinerary that has several connections, you definitely risk getting stuck somewhere. It's basically a line of dominoes…if one flight is late, then you affect your ability to make subsequent connections on time. This may not have been your fault, it might just be the only way that particular airline could get you to Hawaii.

However, in the future, if you DO book flights with multiple connections, always allow yourself ample time to make the next leg, if possible. Anything under an hour is really pushing it for me, especially if traveling to airports like ORD, ATL or LAX.


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