Hello guys, welcome to my new trip report thread on my two United flights. Fare warning…this will be long. So if you don’t like reading essays I suggest you just pass it on instead of commenting about how long it is 😜.
My dad dropped me off at the airport and I hurried through security and to my gate. Everything was going splendidly. The security has some minor issues with my trail mix, seemed to think I was hiding sharp objects inside the peanuts, but aside from that I was very excited. Why?
I was flying for the first time in my life on a Boeing B787-8 and I was raring to go. My specific aircraft arrived the night before from KIAD and had sat overnight at the gate.
The aircraft was being catered and I was excited! Then boarding began.
Boarding began quite quickly and we were fully boarded before the time of departure. I ws happy, excited, and playing with the IFE (review on that at the end).
The aircraft was pushed back and we began the warmup of both engines. I chatted with the guy next to me and paused to record the safety demo and pushback for my YouTube channel.
We hadn’t budged. Not one inch. 40 minutes after pushback we had remained in the same position as the pushback truck had left us. My new buddy pal next to me began complaining about the delay and even I was worried. I had 1 hour between landing in SFO and taking off for SEA.
Then the Captain came on the PA system with the following dreaded announcement:
“Uh Ladies and gents we seem to have a problem here. I’ve been alerted that some of the safety information cards are innapropiate for this type of aircraft, please reach into the seatback pocket in front of you and double check that it says B787-8. If your card is incorrect, hold your hand up and a flight attendnet will be there momentarily to retrieve it. We appologize for this delay and will get back underway soon.”
Inwardly I groaned. 40 minutes to find out that some of the safety cards weren’t the right ones? It was bizarre but I didn’t think much of it. I just turned on a movie and began watching Murder on the Orient Express while I waited. Then the movie paused as the new announcement came over:
”Uh ladies and gents, we will be taxiing under our own power back to the gate. It appears our cleaning crew who got this aircraft ready for departure put the wrong safety cards in. This is a safety hazard. We have someone bringing us replacement cards but until then we cannot depart Denver. Once we hook back up with the jetway the front left cabin door will be opened for any passengers needing to deplane and stretch or use the restroom. We apologize for the delay. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes”.
At this point everyone in the aircraft was mad. People were grumbling and the poor FAs were jogging up and down the aisles with a worried frenzy.
The Captain comes back on the intercom:
”Alright everyone the cards are now onboard and we will be getting underway shortly. If you do not have a safety card please raise your hand so our staff can get you one as quickly as possible.”
After everyone was given a new card the aircraft was pushed back again and we taxied to the runway and took off of RWY25 westbound over 1 hour and 30 minutes behind schedule.
We landed in San Fran and since the Captain was made aware that many of us had super tight connections, the crew asked everyone to remain seated unless they had a connection window of 10 minutes or less. I had a connection window of 3 minutes so I was able to bolt out of the plan only seconds after it parked at the gate.
My connecting flight was operated by a Boeing B737-800 Aircraft operating as UAL402. I raced to the gate and was stopped by a dismal sight. The doors were closed and the aircraft taxiiing away.
I was forced to spend 3 hours in KSFO because I missed my connecting flight. The next available one was at 2:30 PM. United gracefully paid for the trip for me and didn’t charge me a cent to switch.
We boarded and the aircraft doors were shut and I heard the Captain turn on the auxiliary engine. All was going well…until the engine promptly shut down and all air conditioning stopped and it became an oven in there.
The Captain comes over the speakers and says:
“Ladies and Gentlemen Welcome Aboard United flight 402 nonstop service to Seattle. Unfortunately we just had to shut our left hand said engine down. We were getting some red lights as the engine ws powering up and we need to run some tests to ensure it’s worthy to fly. We’ll keep you updated as we progress.”
At this point I wanted to throw my hands in the air and scream. I was so tired. I’d been stressed out all day, missed my connecting flight, had delays and issues wit rude gate agents and annoyed passengers.
When the Captain had that announcement go on, I literally felt my will fracture. I felt some hysteria building up inside but was able to combat it by using United’s WiFi. Thankfully some life saving FA had thought to turn the WiFi on so we could use internet while waiting.
The Captain finally comes back onto the PA:
”Alright everyone looks like the problem is fixed and we’ll get underway momentarily, we thank you for your patience.”
It was hilarious because at this point everyone, sweating from the heat, began cheering and clapping. Babies were crying, adults cheering, FAs hugging…crowds going wild. Okay maybe not the last part but I know I had a tired smile on my face.
Mount Saint Hellen’s and Mt. Hood coming in to Seattle
We landed in KSEA and Airlines was already stressing again. Why? Because my next connection flight on Frontier was bound to begin boarding in under 10 minutes. I advised the FA that I had a tight connection and he went out of his way to help me and some others disembark before the others,
I made it to the gate as Frontier was boarding Group 3. I was in 4 so I had 5 minutes to slump into a chair and catch my breath back.
The Frontier gate agent was the sweetest gal ever. She was humorous, cracked jokes, and gave all the younger children in line a Frontier trading card.
We got underway with no delays, pushed back on time, took off of the 24s out of KSEA and soared home. I was so emotionally and physically drained that I actually dozed off in an aisle seat for maybe a half hour. First time falling asleep in a plane since I was wee lad.
Thoughts and ratings on both United trips:
Flight Overall: The Flight was stressful, long, delayed, hot, and wearisome. The only redeeming factor for the first flight was that it was a B787-8. I give it both trips full of screwups and delays and headaches a 2/5.
Crew of both United flights: The crew performed their actions very well. They calmed down anxious people and made sure we had snacks and beverages and that we were happy. Both captains kept us aware of the delays and the reasons and were honest. I give the crew a 4/5.
Wifi and IFE: The WiFi worked like a doll. I watched Murder on the Orient Express and 5 episodes of Season 11 of Big Bang Theory. I rate that a huge 5/5.
United Airlines: United made some major screwups but they did pay for a new flight for me.their rude gate agents and customer service staff took some of that away but they didn’t leave me stranded. As an airline I give them a 3/5.
My Thoughts on the Frontier flight home:
I was tired, worn, sore, aching, hungry, and near my breaking point. Frontier brought me back from that edge.
Flight overall: The Flight was OnTime, landed 7 minutes early, and was smooth as a baby’s bottom. I rate it a 5/5.
Crew for Frontier Flight: The Crew had a huge part in playing to keep my sanity. I chatted with 3 of their FAs and they were all so pleasant and nice. As I was wearing my Frontier Airlines T-Shirt, they complimented it and we got into some discussions on the perks and cons of being an FA. I rate the crew 5/5.
Wifi and IFE: Clearly I’m going to rate this a 0/5 as Frontier doesn’t have either of those haha.
Frontier Airlines as a whole: My day was so rough. Frontier just went above and beyond the call of duty to make me feel at home. I rate them as an airline 5/5.
I ended up chatting with my friend at the F9 customer service Facebook page and he was horrified to hear of my day. He and I talked a lot about the perks of flying a major carrier like United and then we talked about the perks of flying Frontier.
He was so happy that I’d had a good time with them and that I’d be “sure to come back next time”, that he gave me a voucher for my next meal (at any place it was a $20 for any upcoming trips that they “would screw up on.” And he is mailing me a package of Frontier merchandise.
I cannot tell you how much Frontier means to me. They are by far the best airline. I’ve given 3/4 major US carriers a chance and the on,y one I would fly again soon was Delta. Southwest and United just didn’t cut it for me.
So that’s my trip report and the just lovely time I had. Any feedback, questions, concerns, queries, or comments just drop them below. I know this was long but I needed to get it out so I could feel like I accomplished something yesterday haha.