Back home from yet another week in Portland. The week itself was uneventful and just work. But my flight back, unfortunately once more with my “favorite” airline United, provided for another bad experience, just two weeks after my United disaster on my way to Memphis. This time all seemed perfect. Initially. Our Airbus A320 was perfectly on time, already out of the gate at PDX airport, when suddenly the captain came on and said we need to go back into the gate, as the aircraft was imbalanced due to improper loading, so they would need to unload bags from the back and put them into the front.
For sure I was happy the pilots found out while still on the ground, but then, fixing the screw up of the ground ops team cost us 45 minutes. Which is not good when my connection time in Chicago was just 55 minutes, which is already on the short side for such a big airport. I asked the flight attendant if they have any information on the connections, if they hold the plane or if we get rebooked. The answer I got was that they have no information and can’t get in touch with anyone on the ground. Comfortingly she said that they normally don’t hold planes and even try to get the international flights out on time and helpfully suggested that I could check the inflight magazine in the seat pocket for the fastest way to get from one concourse to the other. But she did offer me a red wine to help relaxing.
I had a window seat, and at least I got treated to some nice aerial views of Mount Hood, the barren landscape of Montana and of the Chicago skyline during arrival. For those photographs and how the story ended, continue after the jump…
We touched down in Chicago at 5:24pm, taxied for a few minutes and arrived at the very end of the B gates at 5:34pm. My advantage was that I was seated in row 2, so I grabbed my roller bag and backpack, was the second passenger out the door and raced like Usain Bolt at the Olympics through concourse B, down through the colorful connecting tunnel (if you are a frequent reader of this blog you have seen the photos) to concourse C, up the stairs and over to the gate. The gate agent didn’t even bother to check my passport, scanned my boarding pass and let me into the plane. I just heard a “glad you made it, sir” from the purser of the United 777, then he closed the door behind me. We pushed back at 6:01pm, again on time.
Lessons Learned? Don’t fly United! And 25 minutes is a long enough connection time for Chicago O’Hare, as long as you can run.
All photos taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/2.8. Post-processed in Lightroom CC Classic.
Wish you a great Saturday!