greetings from Omaha, Nebraska

I’m writing this in the airport in Omaha.  “What the heck am I doing in Omaha?” you might ask.  Well, our flight from Kansas City to Denver was canceled due to “crew issues”.  I called United at the ticket agent initially said the next time we could fly home would be the 28th.  Two more days in KC!!!???  But she kept checking some alternatives and found that we could fly from KC to Omaha on US Airways, and then have a 3 1/2 hour layover before taking a United flight to Denver.  On the plus side, we got to sleep in an extra 90 minutes this morning, so we didn’t have to get up at such an ungodly hour.  On the down side, though, we’re not going to get home until about 6 hours later than the original plan called for, which ruins most of one of my rare and precious days off.  Oh well.

The weird thing about the flight cancellation was how inconsistent the information about it was.  I’d gotten a text message on my phone on the 24th.  The message just said there has been a change to the flight, and we could either call or rebook online.  So I checked online and United’s website said the flight was still scheduled, that we were booked in it and confirmed, and that we even had seats assigned.

So I didn’t worry about it until last night (the 25th).  I checked the website again, and found that we were still booked and confirmed for the flight, and that they still had our seat assignments.  The only thing they didn’t have info for was the gate number.  Just to be sure, I called United’s 1-800 info line.  After answering a few questions, the phone system computer also confirmed that the flight was on, that we were ticketed and confirmed, that we had seat assignments, and that the flight was on time!  OK, sounds good.  But just because I’m extra paranoid, I guess, I hit 0 to speak to an agent.

The agent, a nice young Indian woman, then confirmed the bad news – the flight had indeed been canceled, contrary to what United’s website and phone information system said.  I just can’t understand how a flight can get canceled, and then 24 hours later the airline’s website still says the flight is happening and on time.  I suspected there would be several dozen travelers who showed up this morning at the KC airport only to then learn the flight was canceled.  Unless you signed up for SMS or email notification of flight changes, you would’ve never known about this ahead of time.  Sure enough, when we got to the KC airport this morning to check in with US Airways, there was a HUGE line at the United ticket counter.  Sucks to be them.

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