I had a rough first trip on United Airlines this week, with a creeping flight delay leading to a rather comical number of gate changes within a short time period that resembled a game of musical chairs. Tis the season for musical gates…
A Game Of Musical Gates In Denver Courtesy Of United Express
I took a day trip to Colorado Springs this week to visit an old friend and almost declared a trip in vain thanks to the unreliable operations of CommutAir (now rebranded as CommuteAir) on behalf of United Express.
United used to operate a nonstop SkyWest service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Colorado Springs (COS), but it has been cut due to the regional jet pilot shortage. Even when the service ran, however, the late departure from LAX and early departure from COS meant I usually connected from Denver (DEN) anyway. When I go to COS, I like to make it a day trip. That means the first flight out from LAX to DEN (a 5:20 am departure) and the last light back (8:20 pm). With well-timed connections, that gives me about six hours in COS.
But this week, there seemed to be one issue after another with my connection from DEN to COS. First, a delayed-arrival, then a mechanical issue, then a mechanical issue with the replacement aircraft.
By the time we finally left, two hours late, I was about ready to give up on the trip and fly somewhere else. But perhaps the most comical part of it was the gate changes from B55 to B82 and then back to B57.
United sends out updates via text messages. Take a look:
It felt like a game of musical chairs; a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music. Honestly, walking back and forth felt a bit like Airplane!
But I made it! Finally…
Flight delays happen. Hopefully the fairly aggravating “creeping” delay on my first United trip of the year is not an omen of things to come. In any case, while mainline operations are superb, you’ve got to be patient right now when traveling on regionals.