I flew to Raleigh over the weekend for a sweet wedding of some sweet people. My flights were booked on Continental Airlines, and I guess their main hub is in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately Huston was being inundated with Hurricane What’s-his-face, which means the airport was closed. For some reason it was still really easy to get to Raleigh–they just threw me onto a (later) American Airlines flight.
But getting back to the bay area was difficult. I see two fairly large flaws in the way Continental Airlines (and probably other airlines) operates:
1. When I got to the Raleigh airport this morning to check in they told me I had been moved to a crappy flight tomorrow which had two layovers and still went through the Houston airport (which may or may not be open). They didn’t even consider trying to book me on another airline. I don’t know why the ticketing people in SJC were so accommodating on Friday yet the ticketing people at RDU were so useless. Eff that, I wandered over to Southwest, got booked on a flight without having to wait 30 minutes, AND the person working there wasn’t a bitch.
2. Unfortunately the Southwest flight was also delayed about 3 hours because of the hurricane, and I ended up having to wait 5 hours at RDU before my flight left. So I wandered down to the Continental side of the terminal to try to cancel my crappy rescheduled flight. But lo and behold all their gates were closed. So, uh, their primary airport goes out of commission and they just curl up and die? What the hell? Couldn’t they have re-routed some of their flights through other airports that they use? I’m sure it’s pretty complicated to arrange to have your flights go through a different airport, what with having different airport fees, finding available gates, filing new flight plans, finding enough ground crew to work, etc. But it’s so lame to just cancel flights for days at a time and strand your customers.
But hey, at least I wasn’t trying to get to Galveston, Texas!