OK Boys and Girls, It’s time to tell the tale of our Saturday fiasco, but first….
Since it is midnight here on the East Coast, I can be the first to wish my love HAPPY BIRTHDAY on her birthday! Woot! But secondly, I did see a misprint by Bobs on her last post — her bib # is 9864, but I have since corrected it as she is asleep and I didn’t want people to get confused.
Also, if you want, you can sign up for update alerts HERE. It will send a text to your phone as to Bobbi’s time at the 10k, 1/2, 20k, and Finish. I don’t know exactly how accurate the times will be (if it is going to send clock time or chip time), but if you wanted to follow her … the bib # is 9864.
SOOOOOOOOOOO…. STORY TIME.
Let me preface this story to let you know, it will be text heavy. I don’t have any photos (well, I don’t think Bobs would like it if I have the photos I took of her asleep on the plane on here). Anyways, the story starts off like this:
Friday – I go online to see our seat selection for the flights to Boston. We had a flight at 6am local (PST) from Ontario, California to Houston, TX and then 1.5 hours layover then a flight from Houston at 12:30pm local (CST) to Boston by 5:30pm local (EST). Anyways, I was able to get both of our flights to have us EXIT ROW seats, woot!
Saturday (Early Early Morning) – I had to stay up until 1:30am to do many things and then we had to wake up at 3:45am to leave to Bobs mom’s house for her step-dad to take us to the airport and be there by 5am. So we get to the airport, paid someone a couple of bucks to take care of our bags since the line was already 80 people long.
So we go through security, then we get to our gate at 5:15am and there is this HUGE line which quickly struck me as odd! So I get into the line just because I figured it had to be something important. Minutes later we found out that our flight had been delayed until 8:15am local (PST). Now a side-note. I am going to make ** notes next to things that we were lied about and therefore will make me tell everyone from the rooftops to NEVER FLY CONTINENTAL!
Back to the story. After hearing about the 2.15 hour delay, I started doing the math, we weren’t going to make our flight out of Houston. **1** At first, we were told that the flight was delayed by weather, but later we found out by the pilot that due to FAA rules, pilots and flight attendants can only work so many hours in a row or something to that effect and therefore we had to wait 2 plus hours to be legal again. **2** How does Continental not know this was coming? Do they not have people working with numbers figuring these things out? It shouldn’t be one of these things were when a crew lands at the airport, that the people at Continental just figured out the hours and had to delay the flight. If you know that you are going to cut it close, then schedule for the flight to leave later, not screw up all 100 passengers.
Saturday (6:30am – 35th person in line) – So as an hour passed, we made about 3 feet of progress. I was getting quite worried about our flight from Houston, but figured that if our flight was “delayed by weather”, as they told us, then all of Houston’s flights should be delayed, right??
So, 7am comes up and I figured, I’m just going to freakin’ call Continental for help. **3** When I asked the lady about later flights from Houston to Boston, she said that there was none. Well, what she failed to mention was that they did have 2 other ones that night and a “Special” flight that opened up that wasn’t on the schedule. Anyways, so this lady goes on to tell me on the phone (while waiting in line) that the only thing that they could do without charging me money was for us to either go on the delayed flight to Houston and stay in Houston for the night or come back to Ontario airport at 12:55am local (PST) the NEXT MORNING to go to Houston, and then leave Houston at 730am local (CST) the next morning to be in Boston by noon local (EST). So the lady told me that she would temporarily put us on that morning flight even if we do get on the delayed flight to Houston.
Saturday (7:30am – 15th person in line) – So this line is going slow as can be because what better thing to do then have 1 guy working a counter with 100 pissed off passengers. Why didn’t I think of that!?!
Anywho, I get another idea. This trip was being paid for by my miles through NorthWest (NWA) / Delta (since they recently merged). Apparently when I booked this flight through NWA website, they put us on this Continental airline just TO BOSTON. So I called NWA (while in line) to see if they had a flight from Ontario to get us to Boston on Saturday. Well, they did. It left Ontario at 1pm local (PST) to stop in Salt Lake City then to Boston that evening…. but because airlines are nothing but screwjob (well…. not JetBlue or Southwest… they actually know what they are doing!), NWA tells me that since it was a “change in our schedule” that they would have to charge us $100. Tell me NWA, why so much?!??! I understand $20 or something like that but $100?!? The lady who I spoke with on the phone told me that they hardly had folks on this flight. I don’t understand why they think it would be needed to charge extra $100 for a flight that needed some bodies on it. BLAH!~
Saturday (8:10am – Finally going to speak with the Continental Counter Guy) – He really didn’t have much more to offer other than letting me know that the person I spoke with on the phone for Continental was a liar. He did try to get us more information, but at 8:10am we asked if the flight from Houston to Boston was delayed and he said that his computer didn’t say so. But I didn’t understand that. We were “told” it was delayed because of weather in Houston, but our flight was still on time??!??
So it was decision time. Do we (1) Come back at midnight for the later flight to Houston (2) pay an extra $100 and fly via NWA at 1pm or (3) jump on this delayed flight and hope and pray that our connecting flight is delayed. And if it was, we would be sleeping in the Houston terminal. Bobbi REAAAAAAAALLY didn’t want to spend the extra $100 so I let her make the decision. Houston here we come.
Saturday – (Somewhere over Western Texas) – Earlier in the flight, the pilot told everyone the real story as to why this flight was delayed. And later in the flight, the captain came on the telecom and told everyone that storms had **4** just rolled in to Houston and now we were going to have to fly in circles for over an hour until the storm passed. Seriously, it “just” rolled in. This storm wasn’t the “cause” of the delay we were told earlier…. UGH!
Saturday – (Landed, 2:35pm local / CST) – So when we landed, no one could tell us any of the schedule changes if any because there were 100 folks going to like 75 different cities. So once we were able to get off the plane, there was a guy from Continential who had a sheet that let people know the gate number and latest flight info of connecting flights from people on our flight. So it got to my turn and I was surprised, he said “Gate E-1 at 3pm hurry”. So I took Bobs carry-ons and told her to RUN and she did.
So I get to the gate and **5** DELAYED until 4pm. I thought dude had “latest” schedule. BLAH!
Well at that point it was close to 3pm and it would be 330pm local (CST) when they would start boarding folks so we had a food court next to us and so we ate.
We came back from getting food and **6** DELAYED until 4:45pm. oooooooooooook.
So we found a nice spot of seats next to an electric plug and we hooked up our laptops and did stuff for a lit bit then, **7** DELAYED until 6pm. SERIOUSLY?!? So of course, they butter us up and gave everyone a $4 voucher to use in the food court…… this is blood money!
So anyways, a lady who was a passenger on the flight went up to the front desk to ask the people what was up with all of the delays if our PLANE WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE!! And the rep from Continental said “Your pilots and planes are here, but your flight attendants are stuck in San Antonio due to weather”. **8** WTF?!? Now I say this because remember how earlier I said that that there were actually 2 flights that were going out of Houston to Boston after our scheduled flight…. well those flights got cancelled at 4:00pm local (CST). So basically you had 2 sets of flight attendants in Houston with nothing to do. HELLO, use them!!!!!!! They were all going to Boston anyhow.
Saturday – (6:00pm and getting upset) – So we decide to PAY for internet access since our stay in Houston was DELAYED 5 times to this point from the original 12:30pm time. Minutes later we get a chippy happy lady come over the intercom, “Thank you so much for your patience. I’ve got great news for those Boston passengers, the flight from San Antonio has taken off and will be here shortly”. And the airport explodes we cheering… Woo-Hoo!!!!!!
Then somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30pm local – The lady comes back again. “I just wanted to let you know that the plane has landed here (another round of applause) and so it will take 20 mins or so for the attendants’ flight to find a gate because all of the gates were being used”. ooooooooooooook.
Around 6:45pm local, the lady comes back again. “It will be only a few more minutes folks. It will only be 10 more minutes.” At this point, Bobs and I start to pack up our things. Starting at 3:00 and nearing 7:00pm, we were finally going to get on the plane, right?!?
Saturday (7:00pm – and the tongue of Matt is unleached) – At 7:00pm the intercom comes on and everyone was expecting them to start boarding our flight, but no, we get…
“The 462 flight to Boston has now been CANCELLED. Please form 3 lines at our desk to get help with rescheduling. The flight was cancelled due to FAA’s rules on amount of hours pilots and flight attendants can work, blah blah blah…” WTF x2!! **9** Seriously!!? You expect me to be a pawn in your masking of this choas??! Doubt it! Remember how earlier in Ontario we got the same crappy answer. And again I ask, don’t they have people figuring these things out?? Why not use that other flight crew. YOU KNEW AT 4:00PM THAT THE OTHER CREW IN SAN ANTONIO WOULDN’T MAKE IT IN TIME TO BEAT THAT TIME REGULATION. WHY LIE TO US?!??! So anyways, after hearing this, I told Bobbi to run into line, but since we were on the back wall, Bobbi ended up like 90th in line.
SO, I get my phone out and get ready to tell someone off and try to get another flight out of Houston into Boston that night (either with Continental or paying $100 via NWA). So as I am on hold with Continental, I see a big poster with their slogan on it “Work Hard, Fly Right”… Bunch of …………………….. So anyways, I get a hold of someone on the phone (while Bobbi was in line) and I asked about any flights that I could get on that night to Boston and she said there was none **10** Later we found out that there was another flight out of another gate of Continental’s that was leaving at 8pm local (CST). Anyways, after I was done telling this lady that they have dropped the ball so many times and how I didn’t like the fact that the staff had lied to me saying “just a few more mintues” and etc, I told her that her company was not living up to their slogan. I told her that I was “Working too damn hard and not flying right” and that she should comp me a discount, a flight or a hotel over night and she said that she couldn’t. So I told her to mark this down next to my name…. “I will never fly with this company again, and I will be sure to tell everyone I know to NEVER FLY CONTINENTAL AGAIN. And so it was noted. I guess.
Saturday (7:45pm – finally our turn at the Houston’s gate counter) – So the couple in front of us found out that there WAS a flight leaving from Houston tonight to Boston … in fact, 2 more!! Seriously, does Continental WANT to make this our worst experience possible?!? So the person behind the counter told the couple in front of us that both flights were full and would put them on a waiting list, but said that they have already put a lot on the list and it would be doubtful that they get on. So it was our turn. I said that I wanted what they had…. A possible shot at stand-by. But then I remembered how when I spoke with the lady on the phone from Ontario that she put us on the list of the early morning flight (730am local) on Sunday morning from Houston to Boston, so I asked if we were still on it…. AND WE WERE! So at least if we didn’t get on tonight that we were still on that flight as we later found out that there was stand-by for that morning flight from all of the passengers of the 3 cancelled flights that day from Houston to Boston. So we at least had something. So after getting a printed ticket that said stand-by, the counter person told us to go take it to the other gate to get on the list …. so of course I told Bobs to RRRRRRRRRUN FORREST RUN!~
Saturday (8:00pm local) – Bobbi had ran into line and we talked to each other saying that if it comes down to it, that I would send Bobs to Boston and I would stay in Houston if there was only 1 spot left. So we get to the person working the counter at this gate and I said “Here’s our tickets and if you could note that if there is one spot left on this flight, that we were still going to put Bobbi on it.” And the guy quickly said, “I think you are on this flight”….. WHAT?!!? So the guy goes through the newly printed tickets and behold, we both had a ticket. We were 5 rows apart, but somehow we were already on the flight … **11** Do your computers not work with each other? The lady at the other gate is telling everyone that they couldn’t get more than stand-by, but 2 minutes later we get to the new gate and they act as if they had been waiting for us?!?! My head is spinning.
So we go and sit down just staring at our tickets. How did we get these tickets? We really don’t know. The one thing we could think of is that we might of been bumped up to first on the list because we were already scheduled to fly out the next morning and maybe it was some sort of hierarchy that since we already had a spot on a flight that those waiting on stand-by there could at least get 2 seats in the next morning’s flight. We didn’t care…. Now it does suck that we weren’t sitting next to each other and that we didn’t have EXIT ROW SEATS like I got us assigned to on Friday, but at least we were in the plane, where later a nice older gentlemen switched seats with me so I could sit next to my love.
Saturday (Going for a 12-pack) – We boarded the plane at about 8:15ish. And as if we need ANYMORE crap from Continental…. We were sitting in the plane for about 15 mins when the intercom came on…. “Ding… This is the captain speaking. We are going to be delayed here as we are trying to fix some things and we can’t take off until these things are taken care of.” **12**. The 12-pack is complete. Oh, what’s another 30 min wait going to do?!? At least if this flight got cancelled because of the “FAA Hours Rules”, we still were locked for sure for the early morning flight…. but yes, at 9:00pm local (CST), we took off.
Sunday (1:20am local EST, going for a Baker’s Dozen) – We landed. It was very late and we were very thankful to have a wonderful host to come pick us up at that time of night. So we get off the plane and start to walk down to the luggage claim area. Before getting to the luggage area, I said to Bobs how it was funny that the ONLY people in the airport were folks on our flight. So we walk down to the luggage area and everyone was starting to make their way down to Carousel #2. Now, we just got there and we KNOW that the bags haven’t been off-loaded yet and we see the bag carousel was not moving and no one was taking bags off of it … and what does my eyes see … OUR BAGS!?!? **13** How did our bags make it to Boston before us?!?! Didn’t we get on the earliest flight that actually flew to Boston from Houston?!?! UGH I DON’T CARE! Let’s just go! And so, at 2:15am local (EST), we finally got to go to sleep…. And good thing for me for I only had 2 hours of sleep the night before and maaaaaaaybe 30 mins of sleep on the flight to Boston…. Needless to say, I slept 10 hours last night.
Sorry for the length and if this story is missing words or something. It is late here 2:00am (local) and I’m about to go to bed and I didn’t re-check my story. I will edit later if needed.