Tuesday, September 16, 2008

O'Hare Flooding (Again) and United's Red Carpet Club

Here's another picture of the flooding at O'Hare the other day.  I'm relatively sure that the loader vehicle there has a set of rear tires obscured by the water.

Saw on the news that evening that Terminal 2 of O'Hare got evacuated due to the rains.  In the terminal I was in (1?), there were lots of water-catching pylons made up of those x-ray trays all over.  Walking around the terminal to stave off boredom reminded me of those Hertz O.J. Simpson commercials, with the dodging and weaving.  Hey, it's football season, and I don't mean EPL.   

This was the scene about an hour before the scheduled departure.  Relatively stress-free compared to the scene a few hours later when the flight got cancelled, due in part to the rain/flooding, in part to maintenance issues on the plane.

This is United's Red Carpet Club (or at least one of them) at O'Hare.  It's mostly empty because I was practically the last person to get a hotel booking voucher from United.  Just imagine a load of passengers on a 747 filling this space.  

I think she *was* the last person to get a hotel.  Eating granola bars and drinking tea gets real old, real fast if one is stuck around for 2 hours.  Especially if there is no free wifi! (Boingo offers 1 free hour of wifi at ORD, but that runs out in a blink of the eye when your flight gets delayed)

This is the bar.  Where you have to pay for a drink.  Wha!?!  What is the point of an airline membership lounge where one has to fork over money for drinks?  And where the drinks cost the same as the bars out in the terminal.  There's no point to this lounge business in the US airports with these dumb cutbacks.  I think this woman got her hotel and flights rearranged already, but she's a college football fan.

The cancelled flight meant a hotel voucher, a taxi voucher (that only covered about 60% of the taxi ride to West Bumfuck), and a $15 food voucher for use in the airport, all courtesy of the airline.  The final poke in the eye by United is that the food voucher cannot be credited towards drinks.  In my estimation, a low-fat, carbonated drink filled with carbohydrates counts as food to me.  

Whatever.  Screw the voucher, it's been a long day.  Order some tasty dishes and finish it off with a Goose Island brew.

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