01 AUG 2003
Route: ORD.RBS.VLA.STL 220FL
45 minutes and 53 seconds
Photo © John Martin
Friday mid morning, I took a CTA train to the airport and transferred in downtown Chicago (which sucks, too far). Anyway, I arrived approx 1 and a half hours ahead of my schedule. I arrived at the check-in line for Mileage Plus card quick line up. I got there and I inserted the card in Kiosk machine. It says asking me for confirmation number or reference number. I pulled my paper print out from my computer after I purchased online ticket. There is NO locator or confirmation number shown. I was soooo pissed off, why doesn't United's system online didn't print out the confirmation number!?!?! I got really upset about it. I asked the ticket agent and she told me you need a boarding pass from kiosk. I told her I don't have confirmation number with me, that I got a print out from online. She doesn't care and told me to go to domestic ticket line up. I walked away pissed off. I walked and saw a very long line! I looked my clock, about 55 minutes ahead of my flight time. I cut to the front of line and I have to go get my ticket with my problem. A lady bitches me go back to my place in line. I don't give a damn what she tells me and she doesn't understand what the situation is. I told an agent it's emergency I'm late and explained what's problem. Agent was quiet and typing it then printed it out. I asked her where do I put my baggage? She told me go there, line up, and drop your baggage there. I went to the line... it looks like too long. I looked my watch, 40 minutes left! Arrgh! I gave up and I decide to carry on I hope TSA didn't take my shaving razor or something. I don't give a damn. I cut in line and told security that I'm late! He checked my boarding pass and go ahead line up at the security xray area. They went through my laptop and baggage. They didn't ask me anything about my bag. I go whoa! Good thing! I took my bag and laptop case. I walked fast to the C concourse to my plane at gate C2. I got on time to board. I looked outside there was a big grey clouds coming into Chicago. I was hoping to get out of Chicago before it rains. I went to cockpit very for a short time and asked pilot about details... time, route and attitude. I went to seat at 17A. I went to the back galley, since I was hurried and that made me very thirsty. I asked for glass of water. F/A gave me. I went back to seat and passengers get on board. We waited for about 20 minutes ahead of scheduled flight. The scheduled time passed and we wait another 15 minutes. I don't know what's going on. I looked out window the, grey clouds were here. I saw lighting flash at airport area. I go "oh, Jeez!" The F/A announces all planes must stop moving due to lightning. I asked F/A what's going on that she told me about it. We have to wait for another few minutes. The rain came pouring down hard. A few minutes it sweeping windy so hard and become zero visibility rain, pouring very heavily and loud lighting bolts. I go oh No! I felt the plane was moving against the tail bouncing with crosswind. F/A announcement that you may get off the plane and we have to wait more than an hour for the storm to clear up. I go jeez. I went off the plane. I walked to McDonald to get something to eat. QuarterPounder cheese and small fries. I went to back boarding plane and agent checked my boarding pass and went to the cockpit thanks goodness captain was there. I chat with him for about 15 minutes while it raining so hard. We chatted everything about aviation stuff. He was friendly. So I went back to seat. I waited for 30 minutes. The people came in board and wait for the storm to clear but the traffic control says due high wind and heavy traffic in coming or take off all plane same time. I waited more than 45 minutes again. The storm came again for a short moments there was heavy rain again. It stops. I saw some passengers over look right side windows and gossiping. I asked what's wrong? The ground crew see maybe hail damage on the wing. I go my mind thinking "oh damned" We wait to hear an anoucement after check the wing. 15 minutes later, the plane is okay no serious damage and may take off again. I waited more than an hour again. Approx 650pm finally the plane pushed back and start the engines running. We waited for 15 minutes on the ramp. Finally, a 737 taxiing out of ramp and to the runway 27L or 22L. As we stopped near international terminal. Pilots said there were 16 planes line up waiting for taking off. Somehow, we lucky got off in about 10 minutes into the runway 22L and took off roll at 7:20pm when the plane lift off the passenger next front of me. He raised both of his arms and said" WOOOOO" LOL it went climb to 10,000 ft and I pulled my laptop and started my GPS to track the plane on my map. It works fine. Tracking is so cool. The weather was heavy partly cloudy all the way and with some peeking we could see the landmarks and roads. As we arrive St Louis. I turned off the laptop for final approach. I saw the Gateway Arch. It looks great. The sun was set as an orange bright light. I saw the Arch reflection in the beautiful orange light. We touched down at 8:05pm which in my schedule supposed to arrive at 4:07pm. Over 4 and half hours late. I got off the plane. I told Captain "Thanks for flying". I went to the Thrifty rental car to pick it up. I drove to restrauant where my mother and step-father were with family reunion party. I arrived 9PM. It was so late and everyone was finished dinner. I ordered food to carry out and went back to Comfort Inn in O'Fallen, MO. It was the brand new hotel, about a month old. It is very nice hotel. Saturday, we had a good time with a family reunion all day at someone's house. It was good. I went back to the hotel for overnight.
N929UA (United Shuttle paint scheme)
Route: STL.CARDS6.CAP.PNT.PLANO.ORD 270FL
44 minutes and 38 seconds
Photo © AirNikon
August 3, 2003
Sunday morning, I went to eat a small breakfast. Everyone is leaving, driving out. I went to the St Louis airport at 9AM to drop the rental car off. I took shuttle bus to the airport. There was no line at the ticket counter. The secuirty line up is so light. I waited for a while, I drank a hot Cafe Latte from Starbucks. I saw the plane parked gate A18 to ready for Chicago. I got onto the plane. I asked F/A to see the cockpit. I went into cockpit. Guess what?!? I got, for the second time, a female captain. She is very short and from Phillipines. Wow! She is very nice. Co-pilot is nice, too. I chatted a few minutes with them. I then went to my seat 17A. I waited for take off. It was on time, pushed back and taxiing to the runway 30L. It was smooth taking off and climbing. After 10,000ft. I pulled my laptop and GPS device started. It was cool tracking to Springfield, Pontaic and Aurora. We descended. I turned off the laptop. It looks like a storm is coming to Chicago again. I see some grey clouds from the west. We arrived on time. The plane landed on runway 27L. Touchdown was smooth. Female captain did a great job! It arrived gate B7. I walked out and the pilots just left. I missed it. Oh well, I went to take the CTA train to go home. Like about 20 minutes after flight hard rain and lightning came. Oh boy, I was so lucky to be home to avoid end up diverting to another airport. LOL United service is good but the problem with my check in... they're not very good at it. I will write to United and must have confirmation number when I print out after purchasing an online ticket. That's all.