I said my goodbyes yesterday and ended up not flying, thanks to plane maintenance. My first flight out yesterday was so severely delayed that it would not land at my stopover until thirty minutes after my plane to Germany had already taken off.
At the gate: "You don't want to take the flight? We'll put you up in a hotel." Me: "When the other option is to go home and sleep in my own bed?"
I was extremely disappointed in the paltry compensation that United Airlines offered me. So ... maintenance on our part caused you to miss a transatlantic flight, delayed you by close to 24 hours, and cost you a day in Europe? Here's a $100 travel voucher.
I've seen higher "sorry we fucked up" vouchers for customers asked to take a two-hour bump. I can say pretty dispassionately that they cost me my only day in Germany that I had to myself. No point yelling, but I'm very frustrated.
So ... I came home with an idea. I took the initial flight they offered me, but noted that they were searching Delta flights as well as United flights, so on the way home I texted a friend also going to Munich and said, "What's your flight number?"
I called United last night and asked if there were any seats available on Delta 130 for the Atlanta to Munich leg. They confirmed there were, and I requested that I be put on that flight instead. (Though, come to think of it, there was little 'request' and more 'you have already screwed up, how about you make this less shitty.')
I was promised a call back within two hours. Since my sleep schedule is mostly EU already, this was middle of the night for me. I gave the agent (Basil) not one but two functional numbers I could be reached at, as soon as the flight was arranged for me. I awoke three hours later with the sinking realization: no call.
Back to the phones for another call to United, this time to Anita, where I requested confirmation that I was actually on another flight, and could you please provide specific flight numbers? (At this point it was a case of "I want to believe you, but without paperwork...")
Finally, at 11:34pm last night, I had flight info.
I've spoken with Delta this morning and confirmed I have a seat on the Huntsville to Atlanta leg. I don't have a seat yet on the Atlanta to Munich leg, but I've had one employee, each from United and Delta, confirm for me that seats are available on that flight.
Dave and I may not get to sit together, but it looks like we'll at least arrive in Munich at the same time. Maybe if we're nice, someone will even take pity on us and let us sit together ... and I guess I'll get to see Atlanta's new international terminal E.