American Airlines

June 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm 1 comment

I’m a fairly experienced air traveller. I don’t travel weekly for business, or anything, but I fly more often than most of my peers, I’d say. I think this is my fifth trip by air this year, and I’ve been flying alone since I was eight, so airports don’t intimidate me. I usually have my act together and I know which lines I should be in.

Until this morning. Running on little more than three hours of sleep, I stumbled into O’Hare’s Terminal 1 and waited in line for about 15 minutes before I got to the front of the line at the United Domestic Economy counter. First, I tapped the screen in the wrong place and set the language to French. Fail #1. Fortunately, I still practice my six years of French study with my mom (a former French teacher) and Québecois parents at skating competitions, so I scanned the screen for a button that said something like “back.” There wasn’t any. So I asked someone behind the counter how to reset it. Sure, I could have dealt with the French touch screen if I’d had to, but I was too tired to think that hard and figured that resetting the screen would be easy.

Not so much. One of the women behind the counter told me to press Exit, but there wasn’t an Exit button. Another suggested that I just couldn’t find it, because maybe it was in French. I assured them that I knew some French, and there was no button that said anything like “exit” or “back.” I don’t think they believed me. So I clicked on the button that said, “J’ai besoin d’aide,” but it didn’t offer any pertinent help. Finally, someone else came over and discovered that the Exit button was mostly obscured because the screen resolution was off, so he tapped the blank corner of the screen repeatedly until I got back to the beginning and back to English.

Already flustered enough, I couldn’t believe it when I swiped my credit card and the screen said that they couldn’t find my reservation. My printer was out of ink this morning, so I hadn’t been able to print out my flight confirmation, but fortunately, I’d left the screen open in my browser, so I knew I could get the number from there. The confirmation number wasn’t recognized either.

So I picked up the handset next to the kiosk and told customer service that I needed my confirmation number. The man through the phone asked me what my flight number was and when I told him, he said, “1875? What airline are you calling from?”

It was only then that I realized that I was supposed to be flying to Seattle on American Airlines, not United. Epic Fail.

And of course, since this was O’Hare, the world’s busiest airport, American Airlines was two terminals away, not just a few counters.

Fortunately, I’m happy to report that I made my flight, although I didn’t have time for Starbucks. So I’m currently flying over Mid-American flatlands and am quite unespressoed, but I’m confident that Seattle will help me remedy this situation when I land.

And I definitely double-checked the rental car information before I walked up to the wrong counter.

I wrote this on the plane, but stopped in Marysville, WA, to grab some coffee and a snack. This blogging moment brought to you by the friendly baristas at the Marysville Starbucks. Thanks for chatting with me about my trip!

Next stop: downtown Vancouver! (And go Hawks tonight!)


Entry filed under: Travel Anecdotes.

Project Information Posted Vancouver, Part 1

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Maman  |  June 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Quand tu as dit “United” ce matin, je pensais que peut-etre il y avait quelque chose que je devais te dire, mais……

    De toute facon, je suis heureuse que tu sois arrivee a Vancouver!

    Bon anniversaire et je te parle plus tard!


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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