April 19, 2010

in Airport Stories

I was originally slated to fly out of SFO on flight 158, service to Hartford, CT at 11:59 pm, 6/20/09. I received two emails and two phone calls from United’s automated system stating that the flight was delayed from 11:59 pm to 12:39 am (on 6/21/09). I checked into the flight early Saturday morning, but planned on printing boarding passes at the kiosk since I needed to check a bag anyway.

Upon arriving at the airport at 11:15 pm, there were no gate agents present. I attempted to check in, however the kiosk stated it was too late to check in. I picked up the phone next to the kiosk, and an agent said he would call and send someone to speak with me.

After 10 minutes of waiting, I called back, and some other agent told me there was no one to send, and to go downstairs to baggage claim. I spoke with the agents down in baggage claim, and they told me the flight was never delayed, and I must have misinterpreted the message. Additionally, my seat had already been given away and the flight was oversold. They told me to call reservations.

I spoke to a reservations agent over the phone around 11:30 pm (I was extremely irritated at this point). He said my best path forward was to stand by for flights in the morning, since nothing was directly available. In any case, I was told to wait until 4:30 am to talk to the next gate agent. I asked if there were any other airlines flying out that evening, and I was granted an instant response that there were none. I guessed this was a lie, especially considering the agent didn’t even give 10 seconds for a response. I demanded to speak with a supervisor, which he denied initially, but finally transferred me to a manager. The manager conceded that there was a flight leaving out of SFO at 12:40 on Northwest, but all he could do was cancel the flight out of SFO-BDL and I was on my own. I had him cancel that first leg.

I ran from terminal 3 to terminal 1, and at 12:30 am, NWA gave me a first class ticket at $623 (no economy remained) AND got my baggage aboard the flight. Incredible! I got on the flight WITH my luggage 10 minutes before the flight, while United gave away my seat 44 minutes before the flight was supposed to take off.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

madachode April 20, 2010 at 5:06 am

What is with you and others bringing up things that happend 1 year ago? How do you remember every detail about your stupid experience and manage to complain about it, do you have anything better to do?


Anshul April 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm


I am in splits looking at your name. I bet you know what the word means in Hindi (the national language of India). It means mother!@#$




Dan April 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

I wrote this article 10 months ago right after it happened. It just took a while for this website to post it. Nothing was exaggerated.


Gregg - admin April 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Dan is correct; his story was received a good while ago. We generally post stories in the order in which they're received. There were hundreds of stories that preceded his, mostly due to the CNN article about Mr. Poopy Pants. Thanks for your patience Dan!


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 12:19 am

who cares?


Jodi April 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

I still remember my bad flights, no matter how many years ago it was. Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about your memory problems Madachode!


david April 20, 2010 at 9:16 am

well the story is rememberable, but i am sure that some aspects were exagerated

your not going to be able to get on a plane 10mins later, there is too much paper work to go through, the bags wouldnt make it, and there are cut off times where it would take time for a manager to over ride it, and the paper work isn't just for airline purposes, its also for security reasons

besides to get to the gate, after going through security i doubt they would have allowed a passenger on with only 10mins

i am guessing a true story with exagerated time intervals


Salamandra April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I want the same potion, beverage or medicine those lunatics are taking. I am so up here of the super "incredible stories". Please, grow up so fantastic soooo liesss


Jon April 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

Whenever I receive emails or voice mails concerning flight delays, I keep them just in case the airport personnel says something different than what the email/voicemail says. I used to work for a major airline, and I know that sometimes the airport agents aren't always truthful when dealing with oversold flights.


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