So, I went to Calgary this past weekend and I now have a host of things to remember. And a host of things to complain about to United. My 3:15 pm flight out on Friday was canceled due to aircraft maintenance It was, at first, delayed by about an hour and a half. When I received notice, via text, we were already pulling up to the airport two hours ahead of the original flight time. I was kicking myself for not having remembered to bring one of the United Club passes I had. I get two every year for having the United Explorer card.
I checked in and, being TSA prechecked, walked right up to security. No wait. Yay! Except I “failed” what I think was a gunpowder residue test. I overheard one of the TSA employees make a comment about “that’s why I don’t use that machine”, referring to the testing machine used to test the strip they swiped my hands with. It took about 15 minutes for further testing the pat down in a closed room. Wow. Good thing I wasn’t in a rush.
Once through I got the bright idea to call Jay to ask him if he could take a picture of my United Club pass and send it to me. He did, and that got me into the Club. Not 10 minutes later, as I was getting ready to charge my iPhone, I got a text from United saying my flight had been canceled. I was at the customer service desk in the Club in about 20 seconds and was immediately booked onto the next flight, leaving at 7:42.
That flight was delayed in order to wait for incoming connections and because it was such a cluster getting everything sorted out. When they scanned my boarding pass, it indicated that I hadn’t paid for the ticket and it took a minute or so for the gate check person to sort that out. Ultimately, United thought I still had an open ticket days later – whatever that means.
I think they substituted a larger plane in order to accommodate as many passengers from the canceled flight. However, the standby list had about 18 people on it. Not sure how many were left behind to try for another flight on Saturday. Anyway – after 7+ hours at the Denver airport, I did get into Calgary. The roads were terrible and it was too late for my designated ride to come get me. So, I had to pay $70 for a cab.
Lesson #1 – bring a Club pass (if I have one) just in case you’re stranded for hours or you need quick access to customer service.