March 28th, 2009


Joys of flying United to Denver

I fly to Denver tomorrow for the first of the two annual database tests. This trip is complicated by my needing to come home early for my father's surgery, which should actually be over by the time I land Thursday midday. Afterwards, he'll be recuperating at my place for a while. (My brothers and SIL-next-door will be coping with everything while I'm in Denver.)

And the travel arrangements were complicated by GovTrip, the travel system we use to do all our travel paperwork these days, getting hacked about the time I wanted to make my reservations. Once I was able to get into GovTrip, I found the federal gov't contract carrier for Atlanta-Denver flights has changed again, from AirTran to United. My flights on United have been few and far between (they don't compete much in the Atlanta market), so it's basically a new system for me to figure out. The combination of late reservations and time restrictions on when I wanted to return has me on a United Express flight on a small Embraer plane for the 3-1/2 hour flight, and getting there a good 6 hours before I really wanted to. The return, on the other hand, will be on a Delta flight--because there was no United flight that was anywhere close to my travel time window. Takes extra paperwork to not use the contract carrier, but my supervisor approved it in this case.

Today's effort was online check-in. I got through most of it, put in my credit card info to pay for the checked bag, and the system blipped back to the beginning leaving me wondering if the payment went through. After ten minutes on hold I talk to Customer Service in India (apparently) to find out it did not, and I must start again. Grrrr.....