Everyone hates flight delays. How about a delay that was about 4 times the planned flight length? To make it worse, the flight ultimately got cancelled.
Sorry for the poor photo editing skills…but it fit my mood, and it’s better to laugh than cry
While I will lay much of the ineptitude on United’s shoulders, but they weren’t the only source. After waiting a while, I gave up on flying out and booked a hotel room. I was pleased that the Sheraton O’Hare was only $99 with a AAA rate despite countless flight issues due to the winter weather in Chicago. Shortly after doing this, the flight was cancelled. I had already made arrangements to change my flights, so I could head out.
Once I made my way to the Bus/Shuttle Center, I then waited more than 45 minutes for a shuttle. No idea what was going on, since they normally run 3 times per hour for this hotel. Ultimately I decided to get on a shuttle for the Holiday Inn which is next door. Unfortunately, my own ineptitude got in the way, and I ended up on a shuttle for the Holiday Inn Express which is a few blocks away. That was a fun walk in the snow/sleet.
I finally arrived at the Sheraton after midnight, covered in snow, I was shocked to see a long line for check in. The line only got worse, when a full shuttle finally arrived. Apparently they did not have enough rooms available, or any way to tell what was available. They were actually going room to room to find available spots. Wow. After 15-20 minutes, some rooms were found, and I was able to check in. I feel worse for the 20+ people behind me in line trying to check in. I’ve stayed at the Sheraton O’Hare before, and they have just completed a nice renovation, but after 2 recent stays with serious issues, with plenty of other decent options nearby, I don’t plan to ever return to this property. You have been warned…
On a more positive note, when I called in to the 1K line to adjust my flights, United was extremely cooperative and helpful to rearrange my flights to better fit my schedule under the terms of the travel waiver. Maybe I just had an excellent agent, but this was refreshing. I also contacted Starwood’s social media team, who was proactive, but ultimately despite good people, I have to think the Sheraton staff is being let down by poor management. It feels very similar to the situation for United’s front line staff. It is impossible to be successful without a proper support structure from management.
Regarding my travel plans for the remainder of 2015, I am close enough to 100,000 elite qualifying miles on United that I have committed myself to sticking it out just for the Global upgrades. Not that any US carrier is special, but in my experiences, I’m looking forward to returning to American in 2016, certainly for domestic flights.