I got unlucky, I got called lucky, and I got lucky!

Yeah, I didn’t think that title made any sense either. I’ve posted quite a bit about this past weekend. First I got bumped on Saturday afternoon, and then I got bumped on Monday morning.

Well, my travel on Monday afternoon, from San Francisco to Chicago to Tampa, didn’t come without a bit of fun. I got to the gate for my flight from San Francisco to Chicago, and as soon as the gate agent arrived he announced over the PA that the flight would need several volunteers, so if anyone was flexible, they should let him know. I cheerily went up to him, and our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I’d be happy to volunteer, I’m already on the volunteer list and am really flexible.”
Agent: “OK, thanks, if we need you we’ll rebook you on the flight to Chicago an hour later.”
Me: “Sounds good, I’m connecting to Tampa, so that would allow me to still make my connection.”
Agent: “Oh, you’re connecting?”
Me: “Yes.”
Agent: “Then we’re not going to take you.”
Me: “Why?”
Agent: “We’re only looking for people ending in Chicago.”
Me: “But I would still make my connection.”
Agent: “Doesn’t matter, you’re off the list. I don’t want to have to deal with checked bags and rebooking connections and all that stuff.”
Me: “But I don’t have a checked bag and am already confirmed on my connection.”
Agent: “We’re not taking you.”

What the…? Fortunately they didn’t end up needing volunteers, or else I would have raised a stink. I can understand if he had a reason he only wanted people terminating in Chicago, though in this case it seemed as if he just didn’t want to bump me.

Anyway, I got on the flight and was dead tired, after a very early morning and generally long weekend, so conked out almost immediately. For the first time this year, I didn’t pay full attention to the safety video. Shame on me, I know. I drowsily woke up as the flight attendant started taking meal orders, starting with my row. I was still 90% asleep, though I was wide awake as soon as the flight attendant said “hey Lucky, feeling lucky?” I’m pretty sure my seatmate was confused as to why the flight attendant kept calling me “Lucky.” Fun flight, nonetheless!

Anyway, the flight was uneventful enough, and when I got to Chicago I headed to the Red Carpet Club to add myself to the volunteer list for the flight to Tampa. The Red Carpet Club agent indicated the flight was oversold by nine, which is fairly substantial for an Airbus 320. I headed to the gate an hour before departure, and almost immediately the agent started asking for volunteers.

I told her my name was on the list, and she already protected me on a flight the following morning in first class. As boarding started she processed my bump, along with three others. She gave me a room at the Crowne Plaza, saying that was all that was available. I got another $400 in travel credits and a $15 meal voucher as well. After asking at the customer service desk whether there were any other options, I was given the Hilton, which was a big mistake.

Anyway, I’d say it was a fairly profitable weekend!

Comments

  1. That was a serious downgrade in hotels. I stayed at the CP in January when I was stranded due to the snow storms on the east coast, and loved it.

  2. I do not know if you are doing Crack the Case or Sweet Dilemma, but that could have helped if you stayed at the CP

  3. I don’t work for an airline, but I fully appreciate the gate agent’s logic. If you had gotten the bump and the rebooked second flight had been late, you might have missed your connection. And then you’re more of a problem than you’re worth. I suppose the moral of the story is not to tell them that you have a connection?

  4. I had the same experience in ORD – was flying ORD-DEN-BOI. ORD-DEN was WAY oversold (they needed about 15 and it was a domestic 777), but the agent announced that she’d only take you if you were terminating in DEN. I went up already prepared with my alternate ORD-BOI non-stop a few hours later to which she did accommodate me, but she ended up not getting enough VDBs and had to IDB at least 5 or 6. Wow…

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