Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back From Chicago

The SCTE conference wrapped up yesterday morning. Overall, I think it was very worthwhile to attend.

My flight wasn't until 4:10 Chicago time but hotel checkout was noon, so I wound up getting to O'Hare with plenty of time to spare. I made it through the TSA gauntlet without having to submit to the anal probe, then wandered around looking to find somewhere to grab lunch. I would up getting some McDreck and camping out at a relatively quiet gate.

O'Hare doesn't have free wifi but I had enough time to occupy that I deemed it worthwhile to buy access from Boingo; $6.95 for a 24 hour period. I used it for an hour or so, enough to check email and a couple of forums. The speed ranged from OK to dreadful, probably depending upon how many people were trying to use the connection simultaneously. That, or someone was downloading some massive PowerPoint presentation.

After awhile at my gate, I began to wonder if I was at the correct gate. There weren't any updates on the board behind the counter, and I saw that the monitors operated by United showed that my US Air flight was departing from a different gate. After going to that gate I found that the stamp on my boarding pass was correct. I ran into a few other people who did the same thing. I subsequently spoke to a US Air rep, they know about the problem, and United refuses to correct it. This is emblematic of the "customer last" attitude of US airlines. If United won't fix it then someone at US Air needs to go up the food chain at O'Hare and get them to kick United in the butt.

Once in the air things went a lot more smoothly. Even though we were late in boarding and taking off, we had enough of a tailwind that we made up enough time to actually arrive early. Even better, once we debarked I got my bag in about 15 minutes, a record for Philadelphia, where up until know it has usually taken nearly an hour.

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