I was scheduled to fly from PHL-ORD-SNA this evening, but becuase I have been under the weather the last few days and just wanted to get home ASAP, I showed up early at PHL this morning to try to get on a non-stop flight to LAX leaving PHL 0643.
At first, I thought I the agent would refuse my request to do a co-terminal standby (something I have done dozens of times before), but after thinking it over for a moment and tapping away at her computer screen, out came a departure management card showing I was waitlisted on my desired flight.
I had some breakfast in the Red Carpet Club and then proceeded to the gate where I assigned an exit row aisle in row 12 (A319). I asked about an upgrade and was told that First was full. By this time, all seating areas but Seating 4 had boarded, so I picked up my bag and proceeded down the jetbridge, hoping some overhead space still remained.
I noticed that 2C in First Class was open and the thought ran through my mind that I should probably go back and add my name to the upgrade list in case the passenger was a no-show. But I decided it was not worth it and took my seat.
Five minutes later one of the gate agents came onboard and asked the woman in front of me, a Premier Executive according to her boarding pass, if she still wanted to upgrade as a passenger in First Class failed to show. I was tempted to speak up and say I wanted the seat, but that would not have been classy and so I just fumed for a few moments, then settled back into my Economy seat.
It really wasn’t that bad. There was a middle seat open next to me (one of three open seats on the plane) and a transcon in Economy once in a while is a humbling experience.
After liftoff, it became clear that I had made the wise choice in not speaking up. My reading light began to flicker, then shut off. Five minutes later it began to flicker again. I pointed this out to one of the FA’s who said she would write it up.
As that FA came by with the beverage cart ten minutes later, she witnessed the light flickering and promised to get me a form so I could be compensated for the inconvenience. Score!
I actually was working during the flight and the FA must have been peering over my shoulder because she asked me what kind of law I practiced. I told her I was still a student and she asked if I could recommend a good divorce attorney. <awkward silence>
We had a nice chat and I was offered whatever I wanted from the BOB or liqour cabinet for the remainder of the flight, in addition to picking up the skykit. Good thing I didn’t press for that upgrade!
Finally, take a look at the arrival time:
Schedule padding is a great psychological trick, but I’ve got to hand it to UA today for a smooth day of flying.
I’ll be back in the air tomorrow and the only thing more I could ask for are oversold flights!