It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this, but that’s because United Airlines tried to kill us all.
We were heading to Canada for Christmas, and we left on the 23rd of December. We made it safely from Salt Lake City to Denver without any problems at all.
Then we tried to leave Denver.
Our United flight was delayed due to…toilet problems. Apparently the flusher wasn’t working. So we waited. Soon enough (i.e. after a long time) they got a handle on the situation and we took to the skies, our wingless bodies soaring high in a giant metal bird.
Shortly after gaining altitude of, oh, I don’t know…10,000 feet, we were informed that there was a problem with our landing gear. The front gear was stuck in the down position. Great! That means we can still land when we get to Calgary!
Unfortunately, no. They wheeled us around, and after 45 minutes of cruising the darkening skies with landing gear partially down, we approached Denver once again. During that detour (in which we traveled absolutely nowhere), the captain informed us that he was (insert qualifier here) confident that we were not in any danger and everything would be fine.
Well, I’m glad he was confident, because the four fire trucks waiting for us on the runway apparently weren’t. Miraculously, we didn’t blow up, and we landed safely.
As we waited for our new flight, the loud speaker voice informed us it is exactly the same as our last (albeit botched) flight. Great! We had high hopes that they at least had the toilet working properly on this one.
About a half an hour later, that disembodied voice came up over the speaker again. The bodiless voice informed us that our new flight was also cancelled due to maintenance. I always knew United breaks guitars, but apparently they break planes, too. At any rate, they had us chat with the customer service desk.
I left Jill to deal with the six-month-old baby and joined the stampede of unhappy would-be flyers heading to the desk. I was about ten people back but still had to wait about thirty minutes before it was my turn to gripe and moan to them of all my problems. By that time Jill had made it over to me. We spoke with the nice customer service lady and we discussed options.
At best, the earliest hey could get us to Calgary was by 11:00 the following morning. Since my parents were already at the Calgary airport waiting for us to land, that probably wasn’t a great option. We didn’t want hem to have to go all the way back home and then back to pick us up the next morning.
But hark! What was that I saw on the departures screen behind the customer service lady? It was a horrid word – I name I tried to avoid at all costs. But it might just be our saving grace.
A flight was leaving for Edmonton (try not to be offended by that name) in an hour. I queried the lady about that flight. We procured the last two tickets (talk about huge blessing!) and she printed us off our boarding passes along with $28 in food vouchers.
We ate like royalty. Two overly-priced airport burritos and a vitamin water would have to see us through until we arrived behind enemy lines.
Edmonton is a great city. I mean, where else can you find a bunch of sub-par (understatement) sports teams and see a sign as you drive into city limits declaring “City of Champions”? It’s a silly place.
And so, with kid in tow, we made our way to the terminal. We boarded the plane. And 16 hours after we left home in the morning we arrived in Edmonton. That’s how long it would have taken to drive.
Because Unites breaks guitars.