We love to travel. This comes as a surprise to no one. So, we tend to do so fairly frequently. Most of the time, things go pretty smoothly… we’ve had a few bumps, but nothing disastrous. Our Memorial Day trip to Texas began rather bumpily indeed.
The flight was scheduled for 25 May, my birthday. As a “celebration” of sorts, we used passes to the United Club lounge we obtained through our United credit card. We figured we’d relax there for an hour or so, grab some lunch to take on the 12:35 flight, and go. Arrive in plenty of time for dinner and our niece’s concert.
Then the delay was announced.
We were rescheduled for 3:00. Okay, so maybe we grab dinner running out of the Houston airport and barely make it in time for our niece’s concert. Not ideal, but at least we can relax in the lounge for a few hours. Just need to grab some lunch and head back in, right?
“Sorry, sir. These are one-time passes. If you leave, you can’t return.”
This is just an unbelievable policy that makes no sense to me. You can’t get to the lounge unless you have a boarding pass, which means you’re going on a flight. How is getting lunch, then returning, taking advantage of them?
I complained on Twitter, had a back-and-forth with their Internet media specialist that went nowhere. We had an enjoyable (albeit expensive) sit-down lunch at the airport, and went back to the gate. Eventually, the flight gets pushed back to 4:00, then 5:00, ruining all our plans for that day. I get bored and start wandering the airport. The entire airport.
When I’m about as far away as I can get (three terminals over), Gina texts me that the flight may be leaving soon. I high-tail it back (thanks to moving sidewalks), and when I’m just about there, I hear a “sir? excuse me, sir?” behind me.
Lo and behold, it’s a guy from the United Club, asking if I was there earlier with a woman, and had to leave. When I confirm that, he asks me to come back to the lounge, he’d like to return our passes, since we barely got any use out of them.
So, kudos to United for making that right. I was impressed… though the damage was done, at least we can return at some point (maybe… the passes expire at the end of the year).
And the flight delay? They thought something was wrong with cabin pressurization, but it turned out to just be a faulty sensor. Annoying, but I guess good that they’re taking all precautions. We finally board around 5, right after I run to grab us some food for dinner on the flight. Plans ruined for the day, but the flight was smooth, and the trip ended up great. Nothing overly eventful, but from a Blues brunch with Gina’s family to dinner with friends to a few days in Galveston with her parents… it ended up being just about everything a trip there should be!
Now we’re in the midst of our week and a half home before heading back out. I held auditions for the show I’m directing (still deciding on cast), we’ve got a friend’s wedding tomorrow, then we’re staying by the airport Friday night. Where are we going? I’m not telling!
Why? Well, I’m just a quirky guy.
Oh, a few people know about it… it’s not some big secret, and it’s nothing overly exciting or exotic. For some reason I can’t explain, I just feel like waiting to reveal things with a picture on Facebook or something.
To me, this is fun.
Thankfully, my wife understands, or at least tolerates. All I know is I can’t wait to be back on vacation again, even if it’s just a few days. And then, it’s less than two months before we’re off to the UK!