Getting to Vermont: July 2017

17 07 2017
  • PER to SYD Thursday, overnight at SYD airport
  • SYD-DFW Friday – flight delayed nearly 2 hours, but only 30 mins late into DFW. First Class upgrade on points, didn’t sleep; First Class only half full (only 6 people of a possible 14)
  • DFW- DCA (Ronald Reagan Airport, Washington DC) – delayed leaving for 40 mins as bad weather in DC area meant air traffic issues. Had a 2-hour window to next flight, reduced to 1 hour after the delay leaving DFW. Asked on arrival about next gate, only to be told flight to Burlington VT was cancelled! So after 35 hours of little to no sleep, my final 90-minute flight (due to depart at 10:20pm) was cancelled because of air traffic issues resulting from earlier bad weather in Washington DC area. No flight until 3pm following day, so had to find a hotel nearby and wait it out. Suitcase tagged from SYD to BTV, so it remained in the bowels of Ronald Reagan Airport — I was assured (by Sheena, AA Customer Service counter in Terminal C, 14 July 2017 ~10:30pm) that my bag will be retagged and will join me on my new flight on the 15th. Here’s hoping!!!
  • 3pm flight to Burlington the next day was 40 mins late leaving. The Admirals Club lounge AA agent told me my suitcase had been sent on the 10:20am flight and was already in Burlington, and the AA app confirmed this. The agent told me to go straight to the baggage claim people to get the bag as it would be behind the counter/out the back. On arrival at Burlington, that’s what I did, but the agent there said she didn’t have the bag and she ‘knew all the bags out the back’. She checked her system and said it was on the baggage carousel for my flight. But after waiting for all bags to come through, it obviously wasn’t there. So back to baggage claim where another agent said, ‘Oh yes, it’s out the back — I remember the name’. And I was reunited with my suitcase after wasting nearly an extra hour at the airport trying to get it. The incompetence of American Airlines has really been on show this trip!



From my Facebook post about this trip and the delays:

Well, it’s midnight on the east coast of the US and I should be landing at Burlington airport in Vermont about now. Instead, I’m in a hotel room in Crystal City, Virginia (no, I have no idea where that is either, but it’s close to Reagan Airport in Washington DC). It’s a long story, but after 35 hours awake (cat napping only on the long flight, as usual), I’m about done and ready for bed. Short version — weather at DC delayed my flight to DC from Dallas by 40 mins. All good, as I had a 2-hour window. Got in with an hour to spare to find that AA had cancelled the 10:20pm Burlington flight! The next flight is 10:20am tomorrow, but it’s fully booked, so I’m on the next one after that — 3pm tomorrow getting in to Burlington at 4:30pm. My 8 days in Vermont is suddenly 7.

Good news — all the precautions I take when flying (like spare undies, basic toiletries, t-shirt and leggings, basic chargers and at least one US power adaptor) came to good use this evening ‘cos my luggage isn’t with me (it was checked from SYD all the way through to Burlington). AA assures me my suitcase will be on my next flight with me, and that it will be held with a rerouting sticker on it in the bowels of Reagan Airport, not floating around on a baggage carousel all by itself. I’m sort of second guessing that decision to leave it, but assuming everything is OK I just have to go through TSA Precheck with my carry-on as I already have my boarding pass for tomorrow’s flight.

And yes, that’s the SHORT story! I’m knackered and am going to bed. Let me know if there’s anything important I missed while I was incommunicado.


While this was all going on, I received several emails from AA, but they ALL had incorrect information! I checked with both Qantas and AA agents and got them to confirm that I was still listed on the correct flights etc. The emails had:

  • incorrect dates (checked at SYD – all OK; assumed clerical error in the emails)
  • incorrect info (leave DCA 2:59pm, arrive 11:51 pm!! when actual time of arrival was scheduled to be 4:30pm; another clerical error)
  • rebooking details when my flights were was still showing as OK at Admirals Club in DFW (likely incorrect info on the system that the agent’s could see even though the auto emails may have been correct)

Other observations:

  • DFW — AA gate in Terminal A had CNN on the TV (no captions that I could tell) and were piping the talking head commentary through the ceiling speakers. Why??? It wasn’t a crisis, just political heads over-analysing every little thing. It was super distracting and annoying.
  • Movies watched on the Qantas flights: Going in Style (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin), Hidden Figures (LOVED it!!)
  • Admirals Club International First Class Dining Room at DFW — special invitation etc. What a joke! Get more food and a greater variety at the Qantas domestic lounges in Australia.
  • Admirals Club at DCA was one of the nicest and well-equipped I’ve ever been in — highly recommend.
  • Also AA’s ‘First’ class is a joke (see post on Qantas food and for comparison)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: