If humans were meant to fly, we would have wings, plus pouches for carrying those itty-bitty bottles of in-flight hooch.
And thus we would have even less use for United Airlines, which yesterday managed to disrupt the travel plans of yet another O’Grady. Back in March the bastards got me, but this time they discomfited Herself, who managed to fly all the way from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu despite having booked a flight to Bibleburg via Los Angeles. (Editor’s note: They got her in March 2007, too.)
I can’t fault United for the original problem, some class of mechanical that required diversion to Honolulu for repairs.
I can and do fault the anonymous fuckwit in Honolulu who told Herself that she had been rebooked onto a flight leaving at 11 a.m. local time Tuesday — a flight that vanished mysteriously shortly after I confirmed this reservation with United customer service, which as you will recall is operated out of Spaminacanistan, Lower Intestinopolis, or some other exotic locale in which the native tongue is Squinch and the English competency limited to the phrase “I am sorry for the inconvenience, sir.”
During a follow-up call I was told that Herself had in fact been rebooked on a flight due to leave not at 11 a.m., but at 7 a.m. By this time, of course, there was no way she could make it — a few hours earlier United had shipped her off to a hotel 10 miles from the airport and that 7 o’clock bird was practically taxiing as customer service and I chatted so enjoyably at the top of my lungs.
We discussed a variety of alternatives, some merely whimsical, others outrageous and physically improbable, to say nothing of deleterious to various internal organs should one prove successful, before I finally got Herself a seat on a 7:28 p.m. flight that should put her in Houston — Houston! — around 8:13 a.m. on Wednesday, and have her home by 10:40 a.m., a mere 24 hours behind schedule.
It goes without saying that Big Tex could have triathloned it faster. But then Herself gets around and about on nothing stronger than the occasional beer or glass of wine.
And of course, if you’re to be stranded somewhere, there are worse places than a Waikiki Beach Marriott. And I plan to suggest that United customer service go there directly, just as soon as Herself has the wheels down in Bibleburg.
• Late update: After double-checking the latest arrangements, I found that thanks to a late incoming plane out of San Francisco, Herself was now looking at a 90-minute delay exiting Honolulu. This meant she would miss her connector from Houston to Bibleburg and would have a tough time beating Jesus here, even if she drafted Big Tex. After a little more rooting around online I found a late-night Honolulu-Denver-Bibleburg deal, but trying to book it over the phone as The Boss cabbed it to the airport proved impossible (“I am sorry for the inconvenience, sir. …”). And thus I threw up my hands, told Herself to get a chokehold on the first English-speaking United agent she found in corpus and book that fucking flight. And lo and behold: The agent was helpful, if slightly uninformed, and once she had the 411 she even laid an aisle seat on Herself without any pressure applied to her carotid artery.