Friday, August 10, 2007

Never Again

Drew Bear and I spent this week in my hometown in the sticks visiting my folks and my grandmother. Got a bonus day of my brother, too, who was in from DC for Ex-Students' Weekend. We had a good time, once we finally got there.

We flew into Amarillo via American Airlines, using the last of my AA miles because it was going to be rather expensive if I didn't. Because it's American, I had to fly through DFW. I even made sure that the days of flying (round trip, dontcha know) lined up well with his naps and feeding, so I wouldn't have to flash the plane to feed the munchkin.

Ah, the best-laid plans.

The flight to Dallas Monday morning was no problem, and I even found this cool lounge next to the Starbucks in Terminal C with comfortable chairs that I could feed Drew in. I grab some lunch, change terminals, and get to my gate, only to discover that the plane taking off BEFORE us hasn't even left yet, and it's now time for us to board! The plane bound for Amarillo was sitting out there on the tarmac waiting for the mechanical problem to be fixed for the plane bound for Springfield. I thought, 'those poor people,' and waited for the soon-to-come announcement for a gate change for the Amarillo flight. That did, indeed, happen, but now we were for sure going to be late. It was one of those 'Boarding all rows, come-on-down, people!' Everyone's on board, but we are just sitting there. The captain comes on and says there's a problem with the floor in the cargo hold, and Mechanical has to come over to take a look. (Ironic that this is another mechanical problem, just like the Springfield plane above.) They are going to sit tight and will get right back to us. When they do, we are informed that we are going to have to de-plane because it's going to take a few hours, and they aren't sure what they're going to do with us yet, if we'll get another plane or not, but PLEASE stay in the Gate area until further notified. Oh, and we aren't allowed to get our gate-checked bags, so I'm not going to have my stroller for the duration and have to hold my 20-pound son the entire time. 'How am I going to pee?' I wonder to myself, because you just can't set your infant on the floor of the bathroom, or let a stranger hold him. So you get the picture. I had to leave the Gate area to go to the bathroom, and was hurrying the entire time, just in case the lady came back to tell us we were leaving. I'd hate to miss it! Didn't happen.

TWO HOURS LATER, we get on the exact same plane. In that time, there was only ONE update as to our status, and that was that we were going to have to wait a half-hour before they decided what to do with us. ??? Get us another friggin' plane! This is your main Hub airport, SURELY you have another little small jet to fly us to Amarillo! But no.

So, the Schedule is all shot to hell, I fed my son in the airport YET again, and we made it to Amarillo 2.5 hours later than planned.

Oh, and I made the news that night! One of the local stations just happened to be in the airport to report on the National story about American flights being delayed all the time. She ran into my family, waiting for me to arrive, and hit the jack-pot. I had an on-camera interview, so did my mom, and we were on the 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock news! It was very exciting. I'm a celebrity now in my home-town.

On the way back, my flight to Dallas was delayed waiting on the arriving plane. No biggie, as I had a long lay-over and would rather hang with my parents than alone in DFW. THEN, THEN, THEN! The flight to Houston was delayed BECAUSE THE PLANE HAD A MECHANICAL PROBLEM! I just had to laugh at that.

I will never fly American again from Houston to Amarillo. Continental has a direct flight, and I will be doing that from now on. They've lost my business. Customer service was bad on all flights, too. But that's another story, this one's long enough.

So, that's 3 of 4 flights that were delayed, 2 for mechanical problems. Pigs, I need me a letter.


Bubba's Sis said...

Good grief! I'd be a crazy woman!

Eddie said...

I've been very disappointed with both American's and Airtran's service.

wendy bird said...

Not too long sweet hubby and I travelled with AA. It was horrible. We got on the plan an hour late, pushed away from the gate, got on the runway and the pilot rev'ved the engines and then turned it all off. We went back to the gate to 're-boot' the plane. In the end the plane was unable to fly. But at that point we were glad to get off (re-boot, gosh!) We experienced poor customer service as well.

cjh said...

I tell ya, Continental is the way to go. Southwest isn't bad either. I kick and scream if someone tries to book any other airline for me.

I think you do need a letter. I'm glad you finally made it there and back.

roller coaster teacher said...

Bummer! You did a great job juggling baby, plane, bathroom, ...

We've had bad experiences in the past year with Jet Blue and US Air. Believe it or not, our most reliable mode of travel transportation has been CAR.

cry it out! said...

Probably not what you want to hear, but I just flew into dallas with a 16-month old and I've never had a better flight -- on American. It was so easy it was absurd. Still, I feel your pain -- even though you made it sound so much more fun that it probably was. Great post.


Pigs said...

Yeah, you need a letter. Just choose from the array on my blog and alter to fit your scenario. Then you'll have $100 to spend at AA that you won't want to use because you know the same thing will happen again...