United No More

As I’m writing this post, I should be en route to Tokyo to catch my connecting flight back Singapore. But I’m still in San Francisco.

Last 3 weeks, I been traveling around San Francisco mixing a bit of pleasure and work. The experience has been amazing especially for startups but the experience has been tinted by the flight carrier I’ve booked – United Airlines.

Early Warning

This is the first time I’m taking United Airlines. Before booking the flight, I heard of bad experiences passengers have of United Airlines but I always thought how bad could the flight be?

Delay One

When I boarded the flight from Singapore, I experienced a delay that lasted about two hours. The Captain told us it was mechanical issues, so it’s good at least we know what we are expecting. I understand that there can be situations where flights are delay (pretty common) so I was alright, in fact the on-flight service was not bad.

Delay Two

Luckily for me, I had spread the time for connecting flight to be 3 hours apart, so I was able to linked to my connecting flight. But at Tokyo, the United connecting flight was delay again. This time not we did more received any information about “why the delay happened” but this was a bad start to our relationship.

Delay Three

I arrived early at SFO Airport because I know going thorough the US custom will take a long time. So I was all ready waiting at Gate102 around 1130 and I waited for the gate to open. It was suppose to open at 1225. But the plane arriving was late and United had to delay again.

Delay Four

We were an hour behind schedule. We boarded the plane. I got all comfy and took a nap. I woke up only to realized that I’m still on the group. The flight was suppose to leave at 1315 and now it was 1545. We were told there were some mechanical issues so the maintenance had to check again before clearing us to fly.

Smoke wings

Finally, after much waiting we are going to fly. 30mins into the sky, the right wing saw smoke and this really stress several passengers including me. The Captain spoke and calm us down so did the flight crews. The solution was to fly back SFO but he had to dump some of the fuel to get us back safety, so the plane spent some time circling around dumping fuel. Situation was getting a little intense in the cabin but it got better when the Captain said that the plane is on the way back SFO and would be landing soon. Pressure released when the plane touched the ground. Many people missed their flights and schedules but we were safe and alive.(that’s the most important, good job Captain)

After these ordeals, I would not be traveling United Airlines anymore. I shared this experience because it was the first time I got so stress up taking an airline and I’m the kind of person who seldom complained about services but I’m writing this to clam myself down.