I actually only have one missed flight story, but it was QUITE an experience!!
In August, 2002, I was flying EWR
, with a scheduled 3½ hour layover at ORD
. What the heck - it saved a lot of money, AND
would give me time just in case there was a delay at EWR
Which there was...
Upon checking in and hearing the almost comical argument between two female African-American AAgents:
"I TOLD you I needed those Santo Domingo passengers right away - now they're all late and it's your fault!!"
which gave the response:
"Well, then, you should have TOLD me you needed them so I could SEND them to you!!"
Gotta love the New York area.
My flight to Chicago was scheduled as "on time"...yet five minutes before scheduled departure time, no plane at the gate, no agent at the gate, and no word.
Finally, it was announced there would be a one hour mechanical delay...which turned into an hour and a half. Finally, it was announced that there would be a gate change, as the outgoing flight would be departing from the incoming flight.
With this being less than a year post-9/11, there were still "additional security screeners" at every gate. Except ours. When it came time to board, the poor agent kept politely paging throughout the airport, "security screeners needed at gate XX immediately, PLEASE!!"
The crowd quietly laughed. I mean, what else are you going to do?
FINALLY, we boarded the plane!! We got ourselves on in record time, seated, stowed, ready...
And nothing. The Captain announced, "well, folks, we'd sure like to get underway, but it seems the tug operators have decided to move the disabled plane first, and so we'll have to wait until they're finished".
Groans from the cabin.
After moving one F100, ours finally got pushed back from the gate. Now we joined the line of about 30 aircraft to take-off. After take-off, we took a northerly route over Canada and arrived in Chicago almost exactly 3½ hours late.
Only one passenger had the chance to make his connection, and that was me. I was allowed to be the first person off the plane, and I ran as fast as I could to my connecting gate...
Only to see the MD80 pushing away. "Oh well" I thought. "My luggage wouldn't have made it anyway!!"
I checked the monitor for the next flight to San Diego and discovered there was a flight leaving in less than two hours. I made my way over to that gate and was second in line, behind a man arguing with the agent. When they were done, she looked tired and annoyed but asked politely, "may I help you sir?"
I smiled and said, "I certainly hope so! I've missed my connection due to being delayed at Newark - can you help me get home?"
She smiled and asked why I missed the connection. I told her the whole affair and how we couldn't do anything but giggle after a certain point.
"So, is there a seat on the next flight to San Diego?" I asked. She looked it up in her computer.
"Well" she said a bit discouragingly, "it's a crowded flight, but I think I can squeeze you in".
My mind immediately pictured being the back row of the MD80 on the right side, in a non-reclining middle seat. But hey, for what I paid? I can't complain! I was just glad not to be stuck in Chicago!!
Then I saw the boarding pass printed out - seat 6E
. "Dang, that's awfully far forward...OMG!! I'm being upgraded to first class!!" I thought.
"You're flying first class" the agent replied very officially. My head was spinning!! Then she printed out one more thing - it was a $15 voucher for food. "Go have dinner on us". She smiled. I was in heaven!!
"Thank you SO much!!" I enthusiastically replied.
The flight to San Diego was terrific, and I was home safe and sound.
The moral of this story is: always get behind an arguing customer and be the COMPLETE opposite of that person!!
You never know what might await you...
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!