Let me preface this blog by saying I had the absolute best time celebrating my friends and their marriage in Mexico. I would do it all over again, to be a part of such a beautiful day. With that being said, let me tell you how United Airlines tried to ruin my entire trip…
When I booked a trip to Mexico, I decided to book the same flight my friends were all on, which seemed like a no-brainer at the time; I wanted to start my Puerto Vallarta trip off right, flying down with half of the bridal party. We were flying with United Airlines on the way down, with one stop in San Francisco and then straight Puerto Vallarta. Returning home, we had a straight flight home, via Alaska Airlines, (sounds pretty straight forward).
First mistake: Booking any flight with United Airlines.
Second Mistake: Booking a flight with a connection. I never book connecting flights, unless I absolutely have to. But, once again, I wanted to get the party started with my friends, so I went ahead and booked the flight.
The morning of the trip came and our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00am. Around 4:30am, my husband and I were scrambling around the house like crazy, looking for his wallet. I was trying to calm my nerves as he had NO CLUE where it was. I finally asked him what he was wearing the previous day, and low and behold, it was right there in the pocket of his shorts. Marcus’ parents were at our house, because they were keeping the kids while we were gone. We quickly hugged them and ran out of the door. I did not want to miss my flight! His parents stood at the front door to wave goodbye. We hurriedly jumped into the car and Marcus put the pedal to the metal as he backed out of the garage…
Marcus’ dad had his car parked parallel to the garage. As Marcus backed out in the pouring rain, he didn’t see his dad’s car and he ran right into it.
Sweet, baby Jesus.
Marcus’ dad does not play about his cars. He is what you’d refer to as a “car connoisseur”. I watched as his eyes went from relaxed to a full-bulge and his jaw hit the ground as Marcus smacked his precious car.
Marcus quickly hopped out, assessed the situation, looked at his dad and said, “I’ll fix it when I get back.” He jumped back into the car and off we flew. Luckily, the only damage was to our car. Wait, did I just say, “luckily?”
After that happened, I had a weird feeling in my soul. I knew this was just the beginning of a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.”
We arrived at the airport just in time to check our bags and board the flight. I got all settled in first-class, exhaled like Whitney Houston and waited for take off.
Third mistake: I should not have exhaled.
At the time, it was 6:00am and our connecting flight in San Francisco was scheduled for 9:30am. At 6:15am, the captain announced that we have to get off the plane because there is an issue that needs be fixed. You have got to be kidding me!
I turned to Marcus and said, “We are not going to make our connecting flight.”
United Airlines made all of us get off of the plane and then proceeded to send over all 140 passengers to customer service, where there was ONE agent at the counter. Were they going to quickly put us on a new plane? Were they going to apologize profusely and help rectify the situation?
They started passing out cards telling us to call the United Airlines hotline to figure out what happens next. So all 140 passengers start dialing customer service. Wanna know how that went? There were ten of us from the wedding party on the same flight; we were all frantically making calls, trying to get on another plane to make our connecting flight.
Suddenly, around 7:15am, we heard an announcement to get back on the plane… the problem was fixed.
Ummm, I’m not trying to re-board a broken plane.
But we all did anyway. Almost every passenger on the plane was connecting in San Francisco, to either go to Mexico or Hawaii. As we re-board, the United Airlines flight attendants apologize and offer everyone a free movie.
I’m already in first-class, I do not want a free movie, I want to get to Mexico.
We sat for another 45 minutes as we were pushed back to leave for various reasons. At this point, our connecting flight was down the drain and once we reached San Francisco, we would need to book another flight to get to Mexico. My anxiety level had officially gone from a 9.5 to a 10.
When we landed in San Francisco, we were told by United Airlines that if we had a connecting flight, to simply check the United App for our new flight time.
Okay, thank God, we will be rerouted on a new flight!
Marcus and I checked the application and United Airlines put us on a flight, going first to LA at 3:00pm, then to Houston, where we had to STAY THE NIGHT and then fly out to Mexico the next day, getting there at almost 3:00pm. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! This is first-class treatment? To have to fly all over the world and then not get to Mexico until the next afternoon? No way!
Once again, we waited in line forever for customer service. They were not phased by our concern; they actually did not care at all. There was no, “Sorry”, no, “We will do what we can”, nothing. As the guy behind the computer keyed away, for what seemed like an hour without even making eye-contact with us, the best he could do was send us to Denver for the night and then to Mexico in the morning. Oh… and we were bumped to coach.
Okay, so give me my first-class money back.
At this point, I was so pissed that I could only laugh. I actually walked away and let Marcus handle the situation, because I was not in my right mind.
The group of us that were planning on flying into Mexico together were now separated. Some had to stay in San Francisco for the night and we were sent to Denver, with our cousins. Oh wait, we got $40.00 in food vouchers for our troubles. Oh my gosh! Thank you United Airlines, you’re too kind. We drank our vouchers in tequila shots.
I had finally calmed down and accepted the fact that I would not be staying home an extra day with my babies and I would not be going to the sun in Mexico. Rather, I would be spending the night in Denver. Then, the announcement:
“Flight 537 to Denver is DELAYED an hour and a half.”
At this point, all hope was gone. I was never getting to Mexico to celebrate my friend. I just wanted to go home.
We eventually boarded the flight to Denver. The flight was quite possibly the worst flight I had ever been on. The turbulence and shaking were unbelievable. At one point, it felt like someone or something was pushing the plane to the right and then the to left. Then I felt the plane accelerate so much, that I thought the wings were going to fall off. At this point, I started praying Hail Mary’s and asking God to watch over my kids, because this was the end for me. I grabbed Marcus’ hand and prayed to make it to Denver.
We made it. Thank GOD!
After all of that, my nerves were shot to hell. But guess what we had to do? We, once again, had to wait in line at customer service to receive $40.00 more in food vouchers and a free hotel at the Marriott for the night. Once again, United Airlines, you are too kind.
At this point, I was mentally and physically drained. We arrived at the Marriott, drank our vouchers in tequila and hit the bed around 2:00am, only to wake up at 4:45am to catch an 8:00am flight to Mexico. If this flight was delayed for ANY reason, I was going home.
The next morning we were our P’s and Q’s. We arrived super early to the Jeppesen Airport. We ate breakfast and once again boarded another United Airlines flight. It was running on time, but Marcus and I were in the very back of the plane, by the bathrooms. It smelled like someone had stepped in dog poo and the man in front of me snored like he should probably be hooked to a c-pap machine. At this point, all I could do was laugh; trip was unbelievable. But, I was one step closer to Mexico.
We made it! We touched down in Puerto Vallarta and it was sunny and 75 degrees! Thank you, Jesus! It was now time to relax, recharge and celebrate our friends union! As we’re leaving the plane, I receive one last text message from United Airlines and it read:
“Two out of your six bags did not make it on the flight to Mexico and will arrive on a later flight.”
I nearly lost my religion.
When we get to baggage claim, all of our bags are sitting there waiting for us. They made the flight and were perfectly intact. I guess that text was United Airlines’ way of giving us one last “screw you.”
We lived it up the entire time in Mexico and were so relieved to fly back NON-STOP, via ALASKA AIRLINES.
I will never fly with United Airlines again. Their customer service and their lack of rectifying the situation was beyond ridiculous, they barely wanted to give us food vouchers.
Those that are looking into flying United Airlines, I would think twice. Those that do choose to fly on United Airlines, just be careful and let my story always be in the back of your head… because one day it may happen to YOU!