Monday, October 29, 2007

The Rest of the Story...

So when last I left off, you were with me on my trip home a week and a half ago. It gets better (and worse)...

So we board the CRJ-200. These are just about my least favorite aircraft because they are tiny and First class is not available. I have the aisle seat. I always sit in the aisle on these things because you can lift the armrest and hang a cheek out into the aisle if you feel like you're crowding whoever is stuck in the window seat (as much as I prefer window seats in general, the curvature of the small planes makes it impossible for me to fit there.

So I settle in. There is no one in the window seat when I sit down, but I have been told the flight is oversold. Sure enough, here comes my seatmate. He's not quite my size, but still a big guy. And he has been bathing in garlic. so I make a hole for him to get in, he buckles up, and I sit down, lifting the armrest to make a little more room. He absolutely reeks of garlic.

So we're off and about halfway, he decides that he's claustrophobic. I don't blame him. There happens to be an aisle seat across from me open, so he climbs out and grabs that seat. I'm not going to complain because I now have both seats to myself.

We land in LAX about 15 minutes early, so a quick arrival at the gate means that I'll have an hour to go from terminal 8 to terminal 6. Of course, that means that our gate isn't ready. So we park. After 20 minutes, we roll up to the gate, slightly behind our estimated arrival. I have about 40 minutes to get to the new gate. Plenty of time, but it also means that my next flight is boarding, since it is a widebody. I walk at a reasonable pace and arrive at the gate about 20 minutes to departure, having also made a quick pit stop on the way. As I roll up, I hear the gate agent say, "Folks, sorry for the delay, but we're going to grab a flight attendant from the next gate over and as soon as she is settled in, we'll begin our boarding process." GRRRRR! I'm just glad that I didn't run all the way over or stress myself too much. That's the way these things always seem to work out.

So we finally board after all of the people who don't speak English or don't care to read the big number on their boarding passes get out of the way. I'm seated all the way in the back of Economy Plus. The good news is that it is Economy Plus; the bad news is that the seat won't recline all the way. But there is no one behind me. So I settle in to the window and find a pillow and blanket. No one immediately sits down next to me. I'm holding my breath waiting to see who eyes that seat... NO ONE!!!! So up goes the armrest and I know that I'm not going to be crammed in that seat for four hours.

We leave about 15 minutes late, but at this point, I'm really too tired to care. There are some bumps along the way, but I manage to doze for a little bit. We land at ORD around 0500, actually ahead of schedule. When I get off the plane, I note that it is schedules to fly back out to DEN as UA 707 -- the same flight that I left Chicago on a couple days before. So I join the sleepy line of red eye travelers and head off to find my bag. Amazingly enough, once the bags come down, mine is an early arrival (I was worried that it wouldn't make the connection).

I finally made it home around 0600. Slept until Noon, missed the soccer game. My whole day was messed up.

So on the whole, I did get home. I lost my first class seats, but managed to mostly have two seats to myself. When they rebooked the reservation, they recoded my fare basis to "Y" (which is considered full fare economy) which means that I picked up an extra 50% of miles and segments for my trouble. And UA is supposed to be mailing me a voucher for my troubles.

Still, not a day that I care to repeat.

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