Continental airlines, me, and GUADEC

I know I should probably be positive, but I’ve never taken much of a liking to travelling (to put it mildly), and yesterday and today aren’t helping…

I had been trying to wake up earlier this week trying to naturally adjust myself to European time. I left to the airport yesterday at 7:30 am and was expecting to have arrived in Barcelona at 9:15 am today (Barcelona time) — about 8 hours ago. Continental airlines wasn’t very helpful with those plans, and seems to have forced me into Hawaiian time or something to boot. Between an unexpected layover in Detroit where we weren’t allowed to deplane (because no gates were available for the plane), a huge delay in my second flight from Cleveland to Newark (that was even worse than the first flight’s delay through Detroit and back to Cleveland) and several hours waiting in their customer service lines (5 different lines at two different airports, the last one requiring two hours alone and at which they took about 10-20 times longer trying to fix my schedule than they did anyone else’s), all that travel time that should have gotten me to Barcelona merely got me into a hotel on the east coast of the U.S. (specifically, Newark). I got to a hotel (after three tries despite Continental supposedly having found me a space at a first one) at about 2:30 a.m. this morning (within an hour of when my flight to Barcelona would be landing), and since I was in some line or another every second I wasn’t on a plane yesterday trying to figure out how to get to Barcelona, I had no meals other than a quick breakfast yesterday. It hasn’t been very fun hearing “everything is full” with details from Northwest, Delta, and Continental out of a dozen different airports (why am I the one that gets the short end of the stick when I had a confirmed flight months ago that I didn’t miss through any fault of mine?) Yesterday they confirmed me on a flight to London tonight and they think they can get me from London to Barcelona on a different airline, Iberia, but Iberia apparently was closed and not-answering-calls-from-Continental late last night so I have to check today to find out for sure whether this will work or they have to give me a different set of flight plans. :-(

Good thing GUADEC is longer this year; I’m afraid that if it were only a couple of days, I’d be missing a huge percentage of the conference (if not the whole thing) due to the lovely Continental airlines. I’ll see you all in GUADEC whenever I finally make it.

2 Responses to “Continental airlines, me, and GUADEC”

  1. Chris WIlson says:

    Sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I wrote about my experience with Iberia last year.

    http://blixtra.org/blog/2005/07/22/iberia-never-again/

    The being locked in the plane over an hour was really annoying. I hope you have a better experience with Iberia if it comes to that.

    Ironically, I just bought a ticket for a continental flight at the end of July. Wish me luck. ;)

  2. Shane Bishop says:

    Newark sucks. See here: http://www.shanebishop.net/wp/2005/09/26/zoom/
    In the 24 hours we were stuck there, it was freezing cold, and my wife and I had neglected to pack warmer clothes. They don’t sell blankets anywhere in the airport, and even though there were people scattered everywhere with blankets that Continental had given them, the airline employees I spoke with told me they couldn’t spare any, at all. Worst experience ever.