Friday, November 11, 2011

The 22000 Miles Long March – UA 705

The 22000 Miles Long March - Check-In

The 22000 Miles Long March – UA 705 

The 22000 Mile Long March – Hyatt Regency O’Hare

The 22000 Mile Long March – CX 807

The 22000 Mile Long March – CA 108

The 22000 Mile Long March – CA 115

The 22000 Mile Long March – CX 806

The 22000 Miles Long March – UA 973

The 22000 Miles Long March – Conclusion 

November 10, 2011 – CO 1660 UA 705 (San Francisco, CA > Chicago O'Hare)

I was damn lucky.

As I said before, my flight (original flight) was overbooked. So VDB is an option.

When I tried to print my boarding pass, I was asked if I want to VDB with the offer of $200. Of course, I said yes to be on the list only. I know for sure that no one will ever take $200 for VDB.

When I checked my luggage yesterday, unlike what the United Premier Executive and Continental Elite Desk told me, the Continental refused to check my luggage all the way via Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, which meant that my luggage would make a stop at Chicago O’Hare.

This was messy. My major concern for VDB was the luggage. As I have previously assessed my situation, if I took VDB, Continental would most likely to rebook me on the next morning flight at 6 am. And this was not going to work.

I was wrong.

I arrived at the gate when Continental started boarding. I talked to the Ground Agent, who informed that they did VDBed some already, but no longer seeking any more. As a Continental OnePass Gold Elite (Status Recognition from United), I could board the aircraft at that moment. But as I mentioned, 43.75% of the passengers in that flight were elite, so you can imagine how messy the boarding process it would be. And I was not in a hurry to board anyway (as I got an aisle seat).

As I was promptly board the aircraft, I heard my name was called when I was waiting in the jetbridge. And yes, Continental denied my boarding after I have promptly boarded the gate (but yet to the plane). The gate agents were amazed that I actually heard them.

So I was VDBed and got a $300 travel voucher. And what was good about that (and bad for others), Continental rebooked me on United to an earlier flight, which was delayed due to “Operation”. So I was only delayed for 1 hour from my original flight. But it was too bad that I have to travel without Economy Plus (Well, it was still worth it for $300).

As I previously mention, I like travel on Economy Class because you keep in touch with the world, which indeed I had. During the flight, I shared my perspective of justice with a trial lawyer (I did buy him a drink on flight by my Continental drink vouchers).

Also, the flight attendants appreciated my assistance for translation. There were a Chinese couple, speaking in Mandarin, who apparently first time on the aircraft. They know absolutely no English. So with my assistance, the flight attendants were able to help them as best as they can.

And what the most wonderful was my luggage. Since my luggage was traveling without me on Continental. So when I got off my flight, I was trying to find out about my luggage. It turned out that Continental has taken the initiative by transferring the luggage to United. My luggage was in fact under the care of United’s baggage agent, not just on the baggage carousel (That happened to me once with Air Canada, which at that time, I was using the restroom).

And that’s the value of being an elite.

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