Ticked off doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt last Wednesday afternoon at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
It was 3:10 p.m. and I was sitting in the American Airlines terminal waiting to board my flight to Seattle.
Thoughts of sipping an overpriced, specialty Starbucks coffee from the franchise’s birth city flowed through my head.
I could taste the caramel macchiato on my tongue.
Or was it a pumpkin spice latte?
Meh, it doesn’t matter because I was not able to slowly sip either drink.
And it was entirely my fault.
There is nobody else to blame but myself for missing that opportunity.
My ticket told me I was supposed to depart for Seattle aboard Alaska Airlines at 3:20 p.m.
For some reason, however, my mind thought the American flight leaving O’Hare at 3:30 p.m. was the flight I was supposed to be on.
I was in the wrong terminal and preparing to board the wrong flight.
Needless to say, I goofed.
Despite my known lack of speed, I got on my horse and chugged from Concourse H to Concourse L.
It was about a five-minute sprint.
I was gassed upon arriving at the departure gate, only to see the airplane I was supposed to be on already having pulled out of its station and headed for the runway.
That is when the fun really began.
And by fun I mean the uttering of countless curse words, the highest levels of stress and frustration beyond belief.
Let’s just say that the lady at the Alaska Airlines gate where I missed my flight will not be receiving a Christmas card from me.
I don’t hate people. I dislike people.
But I think she is worthy of a few ounces of hatred.
Anyhow, she said that because the ticket stock number on my boarding passes — from Chicago to Seattle and Seattle to Edmonton — were Air Canada numbers I needed to go see them.
After a 10-12 minute walk and a brief chat with the Air Canada attendant, he mentioned United Airlines had a direct flight from Chicago to Edmonton later in the day.
Therefore, I was pointed in the direction of the United ticket counter. Fortunately, I could see it from where I stood.
But as quickly as I got to United, I was sent back to Air Canada.
A lengthy verbal argument with a different Air Canada staffer ensued.
I wanted an understanding of who actually was responsible for re-booking me on a flight, or flights to Edmonton.
Feeling a little more reassured, but still fuming and sweating profusely, I headed back across the mammoth terminal to find that lady at Alaska Airlines.
She was there and didn’t look pleased to see me again.
For the second time that day, I got the runaround from her before returning to the Air Canada booth for a third time.
Finally, a young Air Canada representative did what so many before him had failed horribly at doing.
Leaving O’Hare at 5:20 p.m., he re-booked me to Edmonton.
That man saved my bacon.
By way of Calgary — courtesy United and Air Canada — I made it to Edmonton not long after my originally scheduled flight from Seattle touched down.
Admittedly, I am the one at fault for this mishap.
Nonetheless, it would make much more sense if airlines had the ability to book flights — for people in situations like me — with other carriers just like so.
It’s not like I’m asking a lot. Am I?
Simplifying similar situations when they arise for other passengers might possibly cut down on disgruntled passengers like myself.
Then again, it would also help if I actually read my boarding pass correctly that day.
My suitcase you ask?
I got it — three days later.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.