ITYT Travel Forums  

Go Back   ITYT Travel Forums > General Travel Topics > General Travel > Trip Reports
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-06-2001, 10:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
ITYT Cabin Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 26
I booked a flight for two from AUS to BFL to attend a friend's wedding. I
booked it on Continental, so there were layovers in IAH and LAX. They put us on
American Eagle for the final LAX-BFL leg. So far, so good.

About a week before our flight left, I got a call from Expedia explaining that
there had been some rescheduling going on, and they had a new itinerary for our
trip. So I grabbed a piece of paper and carefully copied down the new flight
numbers and times. The final leg changed from American Eagle to United Express.
The agent said that if I had any questions, to call their 800 number (which is
1-800-EXPEDIA, impossible to forget, so I didn't write it down), and give them
my itinerary number (which I asked the agent to give me, and which I did write
down). Still no big deal.

Our flight out of AUS was scheduled to leave at 07:45, and with the typical
recommendation to arrive at the airport at least two hours earlier, plus the
prospect of dealing with 30 miles of I-35 traffic on a weekday morning, we
decided to get a hotel room near the airport the night before. So we got up in
time to arrive at the airport at 05:30 or so.

The Continental agent to whom we presented our tickets was very efficient in
getting our boarding passes for our three flights that day. She said I had
transcribed our new itinerary perfectly. Everything was going according to
plan.

The security line at AUS was insignificant, but since I had left my keys in my
pocket, I set off the metal detector. I was shunted off to the side to get a
full going-over with the wand and a pat-down. My fiancee thought this was quite
comical. We later realized that she had picked up my luggage, coat, keys,
wallet, and watch from the X-ray conveyor without any security personnel even
noticing. Anybody could have easily walked off with anybody else's stuff.

A short, uneventful flight left us in IAH waiting for our next leg to LAX.

The gate agents were doing "random security checks" which involved taking
people aside before they entered the jetway, and opening and searching their
carryon luggage. In observing this process, it appeared that there may have
been an indication printed on boarding passes that told the gate agents to take
a passenger aside for a search. We were unable to confirm this.

A somewhat longer, uneventful flight left us in the small, noisy United Express
satellite terminal at LAX. We talked to a guy who had been flying since the
previous morning, on his way home from his oil rig job in Angola.
Coincidentally, he was on the same flight from IAH and his home in BFL was
barely a mile from our destination.

Our final leg to BFL arrived on time with no surprises. We saw the full moon
rise; we had seen it set before we left that morning. Long day.

On the way back, our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:15. We got to BFL
around 11:00. (The recommended two-hour lead time just doesn't apply in BFL.
There is approximately one gate. There is no jetway. The baggage claim is
outdoors. More car rental companies (3) serve the airport than airlines (2).)

Upon arriving at BFL, it became clear why our flights were moved from American
to United -- American Eagle has pulled out of BFL. America West is the only
airline besides United. Anyway, when we checked in at the counter, the United
agent appeared surprised when we said we were scheduled on flight 5004 at
12:15. "You're on 5004? Can I see your tickets?" I explained the flight change
and gave him my handwritten updated itinerary. He asked for my travel agent's
number, I gave him 1-800-EXPEDIA and my itinerary number written on the paper.
He gave them the number, and they said it was missing a digit (huh?). So he
gave me the phone and after a couple of tries finally found my account via my
email address. Whatever.

The agent then had to sit on hold for probably 10 minutes or so, while Expedia
tried to figure out what was going on. This gave us ample opportunity to
observe what was happening behind the counter. There was a folding table set up
behind the counter, and every single checked bag was being completely opened
and thoroughly inspected by the luggage handlers. Every compartment was poked
and prodded by guys wearing latex gloves. They took several minutes to look
through each bag. I overheard one of the other gate agents say something like
"everybody on this flight won the luggage lottery today".

So, back to the BFL-LAX flight 5004. Apparently what happened was a schedule
change, and Expedia did not have my cell phone number so they were unable to
contact me to notify me of the change. The gate agent said the next flight at
12:40 was full, but we could wait on standby in case there was room. Or, we
could rent a car and drive to LAX. We chose the latter, because if we didn't
make standby there probably wouldn't be enough time to catch our 16:00 flight
out of LAX (good thing we had long layovers). He gave me American Eagle's phone
number so I could try to get a refund for the unused BFL-LAX flight -- I'll be
satisfied even if the refund just covers the cost of renting the car.

We piled our bags into a Ford Escort from Hertz, and drove to LAX. It only took
about two hours; we arrived at LAX at 14:10 (an Escort can do 110 if you really
want it to!). While on the Hertz bus to the terminal, we passed the Southwest
ticket counter line. It reached all the way out of the terminal building, onto
the sidewalk, about 100 yards down to the next terminal, and halfway back
again! Pity the poor souls on Southwest.

The Continental agent in LAX got us all set up for the flights home. We had
unwittingly stepped into the first-class line, but she would "let it slide"
because of our prior snafu (gee, thanks).

The wait in the security line was only about 10 minutes. One really nice thing
about the "ticketed passengers only" policy inside airports now is the complete
lack of people soliciting money in LAX. This used to be a big issue - they even
had multilingual signs posted explaining that the people asking for money were
acting on their own and not on behalf of the airport. Not a soul came by to
jingle a bucket of change in our faces, asking for donations for some cause or
another. That was the thing that used to annoy me most about LAX.

This time at the gate, the agents were calling out names from a list of
passengers whose luggage and person would be subjected to further search. We
did not win the luggage lottery.

The final two flights were uneventful, with the exception of a flight attendant
asking whether "a doctor, nurse, or paramedic" was on board, shortly after
takeoff from LAX. Whatever the incident was, it appeared inconsequential.

After a short layover in IAH, we arrived home safe and intact (and with all
luggage). Moral of the story: Make sure your travel agent has your cell phone
number!
__________________

ghewgill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2001, 10:28 PM   #2
Junior Member
ITYT Cabin Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 26
I booked a flight for two from AUS to BFL to attend a friend's wedding. I
booked it on Continental, so there were layovers in IAH and LAX. They put us on
American Eagle for the final LAX-BFL leg. So far, so good.

About a week before our flight left, I got a call from Expedia explaining that
there had been some rescheduling going on, and they had a new itinerary for our
trip. So I grabbed a piece of paper and carefully copied down the new flight
numbers and times. The final leg changed from American Eagle to United Express.
The agent said that if I had any questions, to call their 800 number (which is
1-800-EXPEDIA, impossible to forget, so I didn't write it down), and give them
my itinerary number (which I asked the agent to give me, and which I did write
down). Still no big deal.

Our flight out of AUS was scheduled to leave at 07:45, and with the typical
recommendation to arrive at the airport at least two hours earlier, plus the
prospect of dealing with 30 miles of I-35 traffic on a weekday morning, we
decided to get a hotel room near the airport the night before. So we got up in
time to arrive at the airport at 05:30 or so.

The Continental agent to whom we presented our tickets was very efficient in
getting our boarding passes for our three flights that day. She said I had
transcribed our new itinerary perfectly. Everything was going according to
plan.

The security line at AUS was insignificant, but since I had left my keys in my
pocket, I set off the metal detector. I was shunted off to the side to get a
full going-over with the wand and a pat-down. My fiancee thought this was quite
comical. We later realized that she had picked up my luggage, coat, keys,
wallet, and watch from the X-ray conveyor without any security personnel even
noticing. Anybody could have easily walked off with anybody else's stuff.

A short, uneventful flight left us in IAH waiting for our next leg to LAX.

The gate agents were doing "random security checks" which involved taking
people aside before they entered the jetway, and opening and searching their
carryon luggage. In observing this process, it appeared that there may have
been an indication printed on boarding passes that told the gate agents to take
a passenger aside for a search. We were unable to confirm this.

A somewhat longer, uneventful flight left us in the small, noisy United Express
satellite terminal at LAX. We talked to a guy who had been flying since the
previous morning, on his way home from his oil rig job in Angola.
Coincidentally, he was on the same flight from IAH and his home in BFL was
barely a mile from our destination.

Our final leg to BFL arrived on time with no surprises. We saw the full moon
rise; we had seen it set before we left that morning. Long day.

On the way back, our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:15. We got to BFL
around 11:00. (The recommended two-hour lead time just doesn't apply in BFL.
There is approximately one gate. There is no jetway. The baggage claim is
outdoors. More car rental companies (3) serve the airport than airlines (2).)

Upon arriving at BFL, it became clear why our flights were moved from American
to United -- American Eagle has pulled out of BFL. America West is the only
airline besides United. Anyway, when we checked in at the counter, the United
agent appeared surprised when we said we were scheduled on flight 5004 at
12:15. "You're on 5004? Can I see your tickets?" I explained the flight change
and gave him my handwritten updated itinerary. He asked for my travel agent's
number, I gave him 1-800-EXPEDIA and my itinerary number written on the paper.
He gave them the number, and they said it was missing a digit (huh?). So he
gave me the phone and after a couple of tries finally found my account via my
email address. Whatever.

The agent then had to sit on hold for probably 10 minutes or so, while Expedia
tried to figure out what was going on. This gave us ample opportunity to
observe what was happening behind the counter. There was a folding table set up
behind the counter, and every single checked bag was being completely opened
and thoroughly inspected by the luggage handlers. Every compartment was poked
and prodded by guys wearing latex gloves. They took several minutes to look
through each bag. I overheard one of the other gate agents say something like
"everybody on this flight won the luggage lottery today".

So, back to the BFL-LAX flight 5004. Apparently what happened was a schedule
change, and Expedia did not have my cell phone number so they were unable to
contact me to notify me of the change. The gate agent said the next flight at
12:40 was full, but we could wait on standby in case there was room. Or, we
could rent a car and drive to LAX. We chose the latter, because if we didn't
make standby there probably wouldn't be enough time to catch our 16:00 flight
out of LAX (good thing we had long layovers). He gave me American Eagle's phone
number so I could try to get a refund for the unused BFL-LAX flight -- I'll be
satisfied even if the refund just covers the cost of renting the car.

We piled our bags into a Ford Escort from Hertz, and drove to LAX. It only took
about two hours; we arrived at LAX at 14:10 (an Escort can do 110 if you really
want it to!). While on the Hertz bus to the terminal, we passed the Southwest
ticket counter line. It reached all the way out of the terminal building, onto
the sidewalk, about 100 yards down to the next terminal, and halfway back
again! Pity the poor souls on Southwest.

The Continental agent in LAX got us all set up for the flights home. We had
unwittingly stepped into the first-class line, but she would "let it slide"
because of our prior snafu (gee, thanks).

The wait in the security line was only about 10 minutes. One really nice thing
about the "ticketed passengers only" policy inside airports now is the complete
lack of people soliciting money in LAX. This used to be a big issue - they even
had multilingual signs posted explaining that the people asking for money were
acting on their own and not on behalf of the airport. Not a soul came by to
jingle a bucket of change in our faces, asking for donations for some cause or
another. That was the thing that used to annoy me most about LAX.

This time at the gate, the agents were calling out names from a list of
passengers whose luggage and person would be subjected to further search. We
did not win the luggage lottery.

The final two flights were uneventful, with the exception of a flight attendant
asking whether "a doctor, nurse, or paramedic" was on board, shortly after
takeoff from LAX. Whatever the incident was, it appeared inconsequential.

After a short layover in IAH, we arrived home safe and intact (and with all
luggage). Moral of the story: Make sure your travel agent has your cell phone
number!
ghewgill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:46 PM.



Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0