Come Fly the Friendly Skies

So we made it to Colorado, despite the best efforts of our airline which should really remain nameless although alert readers may just be able to take a guess at which one from the title. It didn’t help that we were booked to fly from Glasgow to Colorado Springs via Newark (sensible enough) and Houston (geographically senseless) – and when we got to Newark, we discovered our flight to Houston was delayed for three hours making catching our connection impossible. The airline-which-shall-remain-nameless was on top of the situation, though, and had booked us through on the next available flight from Houston to Colorado Springs, which was at 9am the next day.

‘So will the airline be putting us up in a hotel?’ we asked. The Customer Service woman looked at us as if we’d asked for the moon on a stick, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. ‘No, we wouldn’t do that,’ she said.* Could we claim a refund? ‘Well, you can go to our website and click on our feedback form,’ she suggested, to a hollow laugh from the other half. Could she suggest anywhere we would be able to stay near Houston airport? ‘No I don’t know anything about the Houston area’ (Unfortunately she was not adjusted for sarcasm so this one went straight over her head). Could we phone our relatives who would otherwise be setting out to meet us? Well yes, we did at least get a phone call – after all, suspected murderers get nothing less – so while the other half was phoning up his parents to let them know the bad news, I went over to the departures board to have a look.

Back to the customer services desk. Could we get on that flight to Denver that was departing in an hour or so? She looked at her computer. Why, yes we could. And there was a connecting flight to Colorado Springs that would only get us in an hour later than planned – and with no need to go via Texas. Result. No guarantees that our luggage would go with us, but at this point we didn’t care (and it is, as we speak, being delivered by someone called Richard, having had an impromptu overnight stay in Houston; the luggage, that is, not Richard**). As to why the airline-that-shall-remain-nameless hadn’t thought of this itself, I have no idea. I suspect it just doesn’t have the sort of finely-tuned seek-out-an-alternative instinct that years commuting in London instils in you… Or maybe it just didn’t give a toss.

So after only 20 hours travelling we finally arrived in the lashing rain, to discover that the weather gods had preceded us by some days, presumably not having had to travel via US carriers, and the desert is looking a whole lot greener than it normally does. Indeed, the weather has been rather more Southwest Scotland than the Southwest. But the in-laws’ bikes have been brought out of the garage and patched up enough for another couple of weeks’ use … and checking the height of the water in the Fountain Creek is now the new checking the level of the ford.

*You know all that burdensome red tape that company bosses are always complaining the EU weighs them down with? Things like ‘if you strand your airline passengers in Texas overnight because reasons, you have to actually make sure they have somewhere to stay’? These are exactly the sort of regulations that those dastardly Eurocrats in Brussels are strangling red-blooded businesses with. The bastards.

** Update: just as I was about to post this, it arrived.

8 Responses to Come Fly the Friendly Skies

  1. velovoiceblogspot says:

    Oh God. I’m flying with that airline next month to Oregon to see my parents. Shall I start shopping right now for a hotel in my layover city? Just in case?

    • misspiggy says:

      Based on my experience, allow an extra three hours’ delay time for every flight. Or possibly change to another airline.

  2. charles says:

    The joys of international travel. Rest assured airlines do not like you, you are a nuisance at best. I average about 10 to 12 long haul return flights per year and assume that at some point each year i will lose my temper to the extent that both sanity and liberty are at risk. Throw in the connecting flights and that makes about 40 to 50 airport experiences. However if you ever need an insider’s guide to Johnnansburg airport (Oliver Tambo) where the free wi-fi is, where the coffee is ok and which flights are not announced if they are going to leave on time – why not go thaat extra mile to leave people behind?, I am your person…

  3. disgruntled says:

    @velovoice – my understanding is that the EU regs kick in for any flight originating in the EU so as long as you have just one layover, you should be covered. You may need to argue your case though!
    @Charles – if I never have to fly again, I would be a very happy person, but if I ever have call to pass through Josi again, I’ll be in touch…

  4. Bob says:

    What’s that expression? “You can’t fix ‘stupid’,”? (confused on the punctuation there, please forgive.) We were forever trying to avoid connecting flights on our jaunts to Europe or back. It looks as though your connecting flight luck ran out after the first one. Good thing you’re resourceful.
    Well, able to read and such…

  5. disgruntled says:

    I think you didn’t need the comma, but otherwise, awesome punctuating there, and I speak as an editor

  6. WOL says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t have to go through Dallas (Tx) — the ironic joke hereabouts is if you’re going to Hell, you have to go through Dallas. But then, Dallas is having a very thunderstormy spring, and they may have routed you through Houston to get you clear of the weather. That would have been about south enough. And speaking of weather, you absolutely do not want to be anywhere near Oklahoma this time of year.

  7. Dayna says:

    From what I hear, your experience is fairly typical of flying in/around the USA. Sorry if that’s not much comfort, but on the up-side – your luggage arrived! 😊

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