Saturday, 11 April 2015

hakuna matata with the flight connection

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After an amusingly constructed pina colada, the worries of air travel ticketing begin to drift away. Our return flight was via an internal US Airways flight before we could pick up our BA connection.

The local flight's computer decided it would try to charge us extra for our return luggage. In fairness, I'd taken an empty 45 litre rucksack outbound 'just in case' and we'd still bought a further American Tourister from the local Walmart. It's those factory outlets, don't ya know?

Anyway. Our BA flight was code-share with US Airways for the first leg. The US Airways check-in computer was trying to tell us we only qualified for one piece of checked luggage each. The extra would cost a further $100 per item. That'd be $300. It's probably why many Americans seem to carry on what to me seem like excessively large cabin luggage. I notice it was trying to charge us the full transatlantic rate for what was only a domestic flight, too.

We decided to go to the person-based check-in having been lectured to by the passive-aggressive checkin 'helper' at the self check-in machines. Overall, a somewhat customer-hostile experience at this particular airport.

Fortunately we'd printed the T&Cs from the original booking which clearly stated 2 pieces each, even for the domestic return leg of the journey. This time it required 'further checks with superiors', but we finally got it allowed 'as a concession'. Ironically, at the gate they were pleading on this overbooked flight for extra people to give up carry on luggage which could be checked into the hold free of charge.

Then the plane was delayed which reduced our connection time (including changing terminals) to 30 minutes for the BA flight.

I will try to avoid this specific airline in future - although, come to think of it, they have now merged with American Airlines and the day of our flight was the last day that their Cactus call-sign was still in use.

Others were fretting about the delay, but my experience told me they'd hold the UK flight for a while and the pilot would use downhill advantage to still get us back to Heathrow on time.

Hakuna matata.

And that's what happened. Gold star to the pilot. More of a good mystery is that the luggage also made it to the connecting flight, and had the advantage of being first off the belt at T5.

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