sunday surfing: flying the sometimes not so friendly skies with united airlines

united airlines photo Apologies for the Sunday Surfing slacking as of late ~ my summer has been way busier than usual and originally planned. I’ve successfully completed the second of 4 weeks of travel I have planned for the month of  July. I feel a little summer cold coming on, 6 planes in 2 weeks will do that to you so I’ve ramped up my Vitamin C and Zinc intake. My formula? OJ and Airborne Chewables. And, lots of rests when not planted in an United Airlines seat.

In my recent travels, I’ve met some fascinating people, heard some incredible stories and learned a few interesting facts…

  • Don’t believe marketing research works? Read this article and find how you might be “drowning” yourself by chugging 8 – 8 oz. of water daily. {This is the only note that doesn’t really relate to travel, but I learned this in my training class I traveled to this week and thought I’d share. Hey, I found it interesting.}
  • I’ve toiled with the idea of forking out the 500 big ones or 7,000 miles for a United Club membership, but haven’t really thought about it too seriously until this month with all my travels and delays. I might just try out the $50 daily fee on my next trip to see if I want to make that investment. Anyone else out there belong to an airline club? Have you found the benefits to be worth it?
  • On future cross-country flights – Houston (IAH) is getting removed from my connections list. Why, you ask? Delays coming and going, that’s why. I avoid Chicago like the plague – thunderstorms in the summer, snow in the winter. And, on this one trip – Houston got me not once, but twice. Mechanical delay, bad weather and the removal of a passenger for being irate resulted in my delays. Seriously, on the way home – a passenger in first-class thought the PA announcement was too loud, become verbally abusive to a flight attendant and we had to turn around and go back to the gate. Rumor has it that he was arrested. I’m still googling to see if it made local Houston news. Redeeming factors by United? On my initial delays – a free glass of wine. I was planning to buy one anyway but due to the delays the F.A.’s noted the captain bought the first round. B for effort, IMO they should have made an announcement to the all passengers. And, the gate agents in Houston were friendly and helpful. They got me re-booked on a flight heading to SFO that night (in First Class – so yep more free wine) and arranged for a shuttle to take me from the airport to my hotel in San Jose. Sadly, no redeeming factors with the irate customer – not even an announcement acknowledging what happened. But the women behind me, did end up with a free glass of wine. I think the F.A.’s were just tired of her asking a million and one questions.
  • Would you exchange homes with a stranger? On that same flight with the irate customer, I met this author, Annalisa Zox-Weaver and her two boys. Since she’s an author, she has the flexibility to work from anywhere so every year she picks a city and participates in a Home Exchange. Last year, Paris. This trip, Williamsburg. What’s the benefit? No lodging costs which makes this a little different than Air BnB.
  • Again my IAH to LGA flight was very entertaining, it started off with me hearing about a story of the most tragic women to ever take a flight. I’m not going to recount the story here, it would deserve a post all to itself…especially if it happened to me and not the person sitting next me. As this flight was one for the books, I might have to develop a short story as there were many, many characters and subtle nuances….I can say it’s one I won’t forget for a very long time.
  • As part of my July travel, I’m heading to Germany (Frankfurt and then to the southwestern region) – if you have any must see activities or general recommendations while in Frankfurt please sound off in the comments section.

Happy Sunday Surfing! Although, I’m sure most of the world will be tuned in to see the final World Cup Match. Hey, if Germany wins, might trip will surely be very entertaining.

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Note – this post was NOT sponsored by United. They just happen to be my preferred airline through my work travels, and  I happen to be spending more time with them this month than my own apartment. 🙂

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