me? angry?

It may surprise you to find out that I'm not always sunshine and rainbows. Well... for those of you who know me well, you may not be shocked, I guess. :)

I mentioned at the end of my vacation post that I'd tell you about our flight experience later.

Everything was planned to be perfect. We flew through Houston where we met up with Julie to take the same flight to Florida. We left on time for our first flight. And our layover was short. ... Apparently too short. This is where things got ugly.

I'm not sure why, but our flight that departed Minneapolis on time landed in Houston 15 minutes late. Our layover was only 35 minutes, so we hauled bum to get to the other terminal where Julie was waiting for us - so we had to run through Terminal C, take the tram to Terminal B and get to our gate. As we rushed toward the gate, I see our plane backing away. It left without us. It left 4 minutes earlier than the scheduled time. I know this because above the door to the walkway it tells you what time they left: 9:51 a.m. It was supposed to leave at 9:55 a.m. [Insert wave of anger here.]

The conversation with the guy working the gate went something like this (at least as I recall):

Me: That's our plane.

Guy: Yes, you all arrived 15 minutes late on your other flight. I already re-booked you on the next flight, though. Guy smiles.

Me: So, you knew we were late and on our way, but didn't wait.

Guy: I asked them if they could wait and they said no...

Me: But they could leave early?

Guy: ummmm...

Me: They took off early. Without us.

Guy: They said they couldn't wait. But you are re-booked for the next flight.

side note: next flight is 4 hours later. This does not please me, either.

Me: Please help me understand this. My flight on your airline took off on time in Minneapolis. Your airline got me here late. But your airline wouldn't wait for us even though you knew we were on our way. Correct?

Guy: I'm sorry ma'am.

Me: Instead of waiting, your airline decided to take off before the posted time. The time that is on my itinerary.

I give Guy a confused, unhappy look.

Guy: I'm sorry ma'am.

Me: I put my phone number in the reservation for a reason. It would have been nice if someone from your airline would have called to see where we were so I could have told you we were close.

Guy: I'm sorry ma'am.

Me: Fine. Whatever. What do we need to do now?

Guy provides re-issued tickets for next flight for me and the guys; gives me two exit row seats because I had upgraded when we originally checked in for 3 seats with extra legroom. He explains the next flight only had two available.

Me: I paid for three. I assume you will be refunding the third.

Guy explains to me again that there were only two (yes, I understand that - I paid for three) and then tells me the information desk located directly behind us should be able to help.

Julie: What about me?

Julie was on a different original flight so did not get rebooked with us automatically.

Guy: Well, you could have made it - you arrived over an hour ago.

Julie: Um. No, I didn't.

Guy: Well, you could have made this flight either way.

Me: Yeah, no. She is travelling with us and we were meeting here. She arrived just before we did. It was not over an hour ago. She was waiting for us and your airline decided to leave early.

I become afraid we will begin the cycle again and take deep breath while Guy looks at his screen again and types a bit.

Guy: Looks like I can do something for you.

Guy issues ticket for Julie on the next flight, also, with no extra fee - probably because at this point he likely doesn't want to deal with me anymore. Who would?

At some point during this debacle, I think the guys had backed away and just let me go. Then I went to the information desk and, long story short, got all three of my upgrades refunded and got to keep the exit rows. I relaxed a bit with the woman at the info desk, presented my documentation, and took a few deep breaths. Not sunshine and rainbows, but I was well-behaved.

Now, you might be thinking Whoa, Crazy Lady - I'm glad I wasn't there with you! Or you may be thinking Haha, I would have paid to see that! In my defense, I didn't yell, stomp my feet, or cry (almost, though). I like to think I held my ground and voiced my displeasure with the situation in a way that got the point across but they didn't have to call security (barely, perhaps - it's all a bit fuzzy).

I think that Belva will especially appreciate this post because she was with me the one and only other time I was that irate girl at the airport when we were delayed and then almost stranded at the airport because of a snowstorm - that was my second or third time flying ever. This is probably my... I don't even have any idea - 40th trip? I've flown a lot.

Here's the thing: I've been stranded overnight a couple of other times and have been delayed a bunch, too. It's bound to happen and it's part of flying. Given this story, you may not believe me, but I normally don't care. Stranded? Find a hotel. Delayed? Find a book. Not a big deal. In fact, the first time I was stranded overnight, I thought it was great! It was an opportunity to prove to myself that I could take care of myself because I was travelling alone and stuck overnight in New Hampshire. And on our way home we were delayed for 3 hours because of the high winds back home. I didn't really care - I had a book to read and we were still getting in that night. And Julie had a long layover so we were there with her.

So what happened this time? I put a lot of work into coordinating this vacation. My second real vacation in 5 years. I was looking forward to this, planning for this, and not only did it affect me but it affected 4 other people. And they left without us.

That being said, I probably should not have been mean to the guy at the gate. It wasn't his fault personally. So, Guy, I'm sorry. But I'm still mad at the airline.

In the end, the vacation was totally worth it, though. I had a blast and I relaxed and I was happy and nice and sunshine and rainbows. :)


Disclaimer: This post reflects my recollection of the events which may have happened completely differently - but this is my story and I'm sticking to it. Even though it's a bit unflattering.

and p.s. if it makes me sound any less ridiculous, we (the 5 of us) were 10% of the passengers who were scheduled to be on that flight. It was a small 50-seater plane.


  1. Oh Brenda that's good! Feel like I'm listening to Saturday night live!~jenny winjum

  2. No fair! You had every right to be frustrated! They knew you had landed and hello, when has a plane EVER left early before? Out of control.

  3. Hmmmmm, I bet the others kept backing away farther as you kept arguing. Good thing you got some seat money refunded. Good Going. rk

  4. Too funny! You were a ball of fire! (I always thought my temper came from my mom's side of the family. I found it interesting to see it in action through you - apparently it can be a Kruse trait too.) The boys were standing behind us, waiting to jump in if you needed them. I don't think the "guy" wanted to deal with the "big boys" too. lol

    P.S. You did a great job planning the trip, and I thank you for setting us up for a wonderful time!

    Love, Julie

  5. Brenda, Glenn (dad) just read your article and enjoyed it. When he read Julie's note he said he thought the temper came from the Diersen side. Well--------we had a little talk. MOM

  6. @ Jenny - I am laughing, now, and will for a long time. But at the time, not so much!

    @ Laura - thanks for validating that I wasn't completely off base. :)

    @ Julie - haha, good point about the boys. I didn't even think about that he was probably intimidated by them, too.

    @ Mom (and Dad) - I don't know where it came from, but it got me some of my money back. :)


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