I hate it when that happens...to the pilot.

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Jenny & Curt, Feb 6, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jenny & Curt
    Original Member

    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Leaving DCA, bound for IAH on UA700 on February 3. Boarding went smoothly, but there was clearly a bit of a delay. Got a text from UA that departure would be delayed until 12:20 (about 25 minutes late). Shortly thereafter, cabin crew announced that we'd be delayed due to a "crew issue;" that the pilot was on his way and would arrive in about 20 minutes. Crew said they would be all ready to go, and that as soon as the pilot was on board, we'd go. We had a pretty tight connection in Houston, as did lots of others, so we hoped we'd get out OK.
    Pilot arrived as expected, and we departed DCA. Shortly before takeoff, pilot came on the PA and said, "Sorry for the late takeoff, folks. I made a human error and showed up at the wrong airport. I'm really sorry, and we'll do our best to make up the lost time."
    I know as pax we always worry that we'll go to IAD instead of DCA; JFK instead of LGA, etc. I'm sure the pilot was really chagrined, and traffic was terrible in DC that morning due to rain, so it's good he made it back in from IAD. It was also really nice to have him be honest about what happened.
    Everyone did their best to get connecting pax off first, and it was a nice flight. I hope all the connectors made their flights.
     
  2. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Kudos to the pilot, those kind of things happen to every one from time to time. Not just during travel, but in everyday life.

    With that said, I think the best way UA can - only requires 5 mins of effort - drastically reduce the potential for this kind of error is to change how they name IAD/DCA on their website/system.

    Instead of Washington, DC [DCA/IAD - Reagan National/Dulles] move Reagan/Dulles into the name like:

    Washington Regan National
    Washington Dulles Intl

    That might help differentiate the name and more clearly identify which DC airport.

    This is what DL does:

    Washington-Reagan National, DC
    Washington-Dulles, DC
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  3. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'm no pilot, but I did the same thing last year, going to DFW instead of DAL. I was certain that I wouldn't make it, and tried to get a different flight out of DFW, but they were all full. I'm from Dallas originally, but still thought it too tight when the TA said, "You'll make it. No sweat."

    As many here know, DFW has been installing new toll booths for about 15 years now (They are finally finished, but they weren't last year), and during the transition there were people (surely kettles) who couldn't figure out how to pay. On a slow Saturday, it took me 15 minutes to get out of the airport. I couldn't change lanes because of the concrete barriers.

    The Avis driver at DAL has to be the slowest moving man I have ever encountered in such a time sensitive position, and I told him I needed to get there as quick as possible, please. Didn't speed him up a bit. As we finally left the parking lot, some idiot had parked in front of the exit lane. Mr. Tortoise sat there for a while, "to see if they were coming back," then finally got out, checked the car for keys, strolled inside the building, came back and moved the car, strolled back into the building, then came back to the bus to take the now-packed bus to the terminal.

    Once inside, a very nice young lady baggage handler said I was actually too late, but she saw me trying to run with all my luggage, so she waited on me. I got out, but I was in need of an IV with both hydration and tranquilizers. E145s don't have IVs, but I did get one cup of water. :(

    But at least I made it. Unbelievable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    DFW is a fun airport! I recall taking a taxi from DFW to my Fort Worth hotel some years some years ago - before GPS was commonplace. The taxi driver told me how he and his fellow taxi drivers were amused by watching airline passengers renting a car and spending 20-30 minutes, driving in circles, trying to find their way out of the airport!
     
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  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    [quote="Newscience, post: 2284610, member: 139899"The taxi driver told me how he and his fellow taxi drivers were amused by watching airline passengers renting a car and spending 20-30 minutes, driving in circles, trying to find their way out of the airport![/quote]
    It's not just the visitors, either. There are so many locals that travel infrequently and never get the hang of it. I have always thought it to be the easiest airport in the country. Just follow the freaking signs! It's proof that you can't dumb things down enough.

    Many years ago, AA had big boards after the toll ticket booths listing departure gates for all the upcoming flights. It was great, as you could just check the board as you drove by to make sure you went to the right section of the right terminal. Some foreigner (not just a non-Texan, but a non-American ;)) stopped his car in the fast lane to read the boards. Another person of equal intelligence came up behind him and slammed him from behind. I don't remember the details, but I do know that there were serious injuries, if not deaths.

    The response by those involved in the accident? Sue AA. And they won! Sheesh! So AA took down those great boards that would still be so useful today. Even in this high-tech world, gates can change, and glancing at a roadside board (they were huge) would be incredibly valuable when cutting it close to avoid a last minute gate change resulting in your arrival at the wrong place.

    That's how two idiots and three attorneys ruined it for the rest of us. :rolleyes:
     
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