Poor Senior Management. Her 15hr, 30min flight from Hong Kong was scheduled to arrive at NJ Liberty airport at 1:55pm (US/Eastern) yesterday, but due to the bad weather, she got diverted to Albany (in upstate New York).
At first, it looked like there'd be a delay of an hour or so, after which the plane would make the short flight to New Jersey, but sadly, it was not to be.
After hanging around at Albany for more than seven hours (that's right, 'seven hours'), the folks at Continental Airlines finally managed to provide coaches to transport the passengers to Newark by road. They arrived at their original destination at around midnight, a total delay of ten hours. As a final insult, the folks at Continental told everyone their luggage was back in Albany (still on the plane). I'm heading out to pick it up this morning.
As you can imagine, the passengers weren't happy with how things went. Partly because of the long delay, but mostly because the airline (not the flight crew) didn't seem to think it important to keep their stranded customers appraised of what was going on.
Their 'Flight Status' web page never even showed the flight's diversion. Right up until the revised landing time, it simply showed a 35-minute delay, after which it changed to a 'Flight not found' message.
If there's a contact number on Continental's website which will get you a real live person to help find out what's going on, they've hidden it well. Thank goodness for cell phones or I wouldn't even have known where Senior Management was.
When there's an unexpected problem, most folks will cut you some slack if they know you're a: trying to resolve the issue and b: keeping them updated. Let's face it, in this technological age, there's really no excuse for not keeping people informed.
If I'd been overseeing things, I'd have had someone put helpful information on the company website and made sure the flight crew got regular, twenty-minute updates, so the customers on the plane would know we were working on the problem.
Senior Management says yesterday's fiasco was by far the worst travel experience she's gone through. I've never had anything near as bad happen.
How about you?
What was your worst travel delay?