My own personal Amazing Race

I’ve always wondered if I would think the Amazing Race would be fun to do. After tonight, I’m convinced it would simply make me miserable.

So I’m sitting in the Omaha airport, waiting to get on my flight back home. My planned flight takes me through Denver, then on to SFO. All seems well – I check in, get through security, grab a beer. Then my cell phone rings, some 800 number. Luckily I decide to answer it.

A lovely recorded lady says “Hi! I have an update from United Airlines on your itinerary. Would you like to hear it?” Of course I press “1” to hear it. “We’re sorry,” she says, “but your flight 827 from Denver to San Francisco has been cancelled. But I have good news! We have rebooked you on flight 931 departing Denver Friday at 10:30am to Los Angeles International, and flight 1041 from Los Angeles to San Francisco at 2:55pm.”

WHAT?

How is this good news? I’m supposed to sleep at the Denver airport, and then take some asinine route through LAX to get home?

Of course, I’m traveling with a bunch of other folks who are also all on the same flight. I’m the only one who got the phone alert though. In any case, we all scramble to call and rebook our flights. The clock is ticking. I’m United Premier, but everyone I’m with is Premier Exec. So here’s how it netted out:

  1. All the Premier Exec folks were already rebooked on a flight from Denver to SFO that left 1 hour later than our normal flight. They took all the remaing seats. United (and my coworkers!) flip me the bird.
  2. I was, indeed, booked on the ridiculous DEN -> LAX -> SFO route. Bird #2.
  3. I managed to convince them to rebook me from DEN -> San Jose on a flight at 8:30pm
  4. I didn’t convince them to give me a voucher for a cab from SJC to SFO so I can pick up my friggin’ car and then drive it back to Mountain View. I could take some sort of bus, but apparently they don’t run as late as my flight gets in. Bird #3. At least eBay will cover that expense…

What a pain! United pulls off the hat trick and flips me the bird three times in the span of a few hours. BUT, at least I’m getting back to the Bay Area tonight… I’m sitting in Denver right now about to board the flight to San Jose. Whew! Thank goodness I answered that phone call; I’m sure I’d be sleeping on a bench tonight if I’d waited until I got here.

More on my trip to Omaha later. Let me just say that the architecture of the PayPal ops center seems a little odd given that it’s in the middle of Tornado Alley…

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~ by Nathan on February 9, 2007.

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