I’m sitting in the Fort Lauderdale airport watching my flight for Seattle via Charlotte board without me. It was scheduled to depart at 2:55PM ET, it is now 3:45, and there are still about 25 people waiting to board. There’s no way this flight leaves the gate less than an hour late, which makes it highly unlikely we could catch our 6:10PM connection… the last flight from Charlotte to Seattle tonight. So we’ve rebooked through Phoenix, scheduled to arrive in Seattle a couple hours late, after having spent an extra couple hours in the airport at FLL.
Flying sucks. It totally sucks.
Last year it took us a whole extra day to make it home from our annual pilgrimage to visit grandma in Florida, while this October a nonstop flight to Philadelphia turned into an all day ordeal as our plane turned back to Seattle an hour into the flight due to leaky toilets, only to have us reboard the same plane with the same leaky toilets hours later.
And talking to my fellow travelers, my experiences are far from the worst, let alone unique.
Of course, mechanical failures and bad weather happen, but back when I was my daughter’s age—you know, back in the good old days of regulation—the airlines would respond by booking you on the next available flight out, regardless of carrier.
It’s time for a passenger bill of rights that guarantees the same.