Friday, March 14, 2008

Unforgettable events @ Air China

So to recap, we were supposed to take off @7:30am by United to Beijing, instead we were stuck at PDX until 7:30PM. We managed to get a flight to LAX, and the United assisted worked some magic and got us on to Air China. The tickets show confirmed, and she said we should get boarding pass at the terminal.

So I thought the worse is over!... well... hang on..

We reach LAX, manage to get a shuttle to terminal 2. When we reach the ticketing folks we had another bombshell waiting for us.

The agent claims we have seats, but they are not confirmed :), heck i don't know what that means. She claims united did not confirm, so we are actually on standby for a 1:15AM Flight. She asks to go to united counter and ask them for travel/compensation since its united fault.

We head all the way to Terminal 7, where the united counter is located. Gale checked into it and saz that we are confirmed and don't understand why the Air China folks are giving a hard time. Since it shows as ticketed and ready to go.

She promised that if we come back someone here will take care of accommodation etc. So we are like a ping pong ball back and forth between the 2 terminals.

We head back to Terminal 2, since Dave is this super flying club member, we walk to 1st class check in, A guy called peter was so kind and it was swift with no issues.He basically gave us boarding passes with seat numbers assigned. He also gave us Red Carpet club passes to use while we wait.

We just managed to go to the club level, and just about got connected. Peter was back looking for us. He said we would need to go back to ticketing and get a new boarding pass. When we asked why, he didn't say anything but just said its same seat but new boarding pass. so we follow him out of the security gates again...

Now the same jokers are waiting at the ticketing and grinning at us. She saz i told you to wait, so there is no confirmation yet, but we are on standby #4,5. Oh Crap again...

So we keep standing there venting nothing but fumes, and after that drama she decides to give us the same seats and boarding pass. I noticed on the way back that my boarding pass was missing my Mileage number. Dave suggested to get checked at the counter before boarding.

Now back to security another time, We decide to go directly to the gates before another drama unfolds. I forgot to check at the front desk for mileage so we are at the Jetway. The same joker is now standing there and looking for me. The guy says my bag is large. I showed him two other people carrying about the same sized bags in. Now he says my bag is heavy. He was desperately trying to get my bag to check in, so maybe he can lose it as well?

Dave is insisting it is not heavy, and not big, so we decide to walk in and put this overheard. We told him if it doesn't fit we will check it in. The guy kept following us and said the hostess wont let us in. We just kept waking and the flight attendant didn't worry at all. This guy retreated back!!!

Once we were in the aircraft Dave suggested i check my mileage situation. So i walked out of the aircraft and the same joker was standing there. He claims nothing can be done now for mileage and i will need to check at Beijing. I told him its unlikely i would be able to do that, and wanted the credit entered now. When he refused i asked him to give me his name and agent #.
This is the hilarious part. He closed his ID card to i wont be able to take note of his name, and said he will call his supervisor, everything is fine.

The supervisor calls out his jokers from Front desk. Now the front desk lady comes out, and said all counters are closed and they cant enter any mileage anymore. I told her i gave my numbers during ticketing and they purposefully missed it. Asked her to give me her name and the other guys name. Now she said,"OK, give me your ticket and i will get this fixed". She came back after only2 Min's or so with my new boarding pass that had the mileage credit on it.Finally we got that squared away and back in my seat.

So much for the most adventurous, ridiculous journey... Air China sucks.They have no concept of service, almost everyone in the counter seems lost and running like crazy. It looked like they were just trying to be mean and stupid. They chickened out when I asked them the names for fear that i might call and complaint. But any case, we think the worse is over and it was a good lesson on survival on a trip to china.

If Dave was not around, they would have checked my bags in and most likely lost em too..., glad i wasn't alone.

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