First of all, I had a lovely day yesterday at United’s Fleet Week/Family Day Open House, which they hold every year. They really stepped it up a notch, and the new CEO, Jeff Smisek, was even there. Not only that, but he was walking around (dressed casually) shaking hands and making small talk with employees. I can’t even begin to say how impressed I was by the guy (as well as the great event they put together), so thanks to everyone that worked hard to make the event happen.
Anyway, this morning I was booked on the 5:45AM San Francisco to Denver flight. The flight showed as being full before I left for the airport, so I arrived extra early. It’s kind of sad when you’re the second person at the gate for a 767, even ahead of all of the once a decade flyers that are convinced you need to show up two hours early and don’t understand how yogurt can be considered a liquid.
Anyway, I asked the gate agent if she might need volunteers, and she added my name to the list, though told me to remind her since she was old (her words, not mine). I was in coach, and there were 77 people on the upgrade list after first class had checked in full.
As boarding was about to begin, two guys walked up to the gate. They immediately struck me as air marshal, and a brief conversation between them and the gate agents ensued. “We don’t have you on our paperwork,” said the gate agent. After some back and forth they were given two seats, and seconds later the gate agent announced “first class is now checked in full.” So it appears as if these two air marshals demanded to be placed on the flight last minute.
As boarding began, I went up to the gate agent and asked if she’d need me, and she said “yes, we’re even over by two more than we expected.” Hmmm, wonder why… 😉
Anyway, I’m a happy camper. I got rebooked via Chicago (which means more miles) in first class, and got $400 in vouchers. Those flights are looking full as well, so I’m certainly crossing my fingers for some more fun.
Then again, between flying Premium Service first class out of Tampa this weekend and two bumps, I’m not complaining.