I think the first thought that ran through our heads when we finally landed in Portland on Thursday June 26th was "Thank God that is over" Yes, it is true, our flight to Portland can best be described as a 5 hour nightmare.
We arrived at the United terminal at LAX around 2 pm for our 3:47 flight so that we could get to our gate with little hassle. Apparently this was incredibly wishful thinking. Our first task was to check in our luggage...sounds simple enough. However, when we arrived at the United skycap it turned out that the one guy who knew how to charge us for our extra luggage was not working that day. (As a side note, it astounds me that United would impose a $25 fee per extra bag but would not teach their employees how to actually execute the announcement).
So after checking two free bags, we headed inside to check and pay for our second bag, easy enough. We got into line and walked up to a self serve kiosk only to discover that we could not self check our luggage; an agent was required. However, with all of the recent labor cuts, there were only three agents for approximately 100 people...so we waited and waited and waited.
Close to 25 minutes later our luggage was checked and we easliy passed through security...shockingly. After arriving at our gate, we decided to purchase a magazine for the 2 hour flight. (This might be a good time to mention that Oliver, Kevin's Golden Retriever was traveling with us as well). While waiting for me out side the "store", a women asked Kevin "What would your dog do if I stepped on his tail?" (Yes, someone actually asked this question). Kevin replied, "He would do nothing but my girlfriend might come after you"...Mikey, this might be a good target for Invisible man...
Finally, it was time to board, on time I might add. Another important side note. As a requirement for traveling with Oliver on the plane our seats need to be in bulkhead so that the dog has enough room to lay down. In order to make sure this is the case, we had to book our tickets over the phone to make sure.
Well, as I am sure you can guess, when we stepped on the plane, we were sitting in row 11, not the bulkhead. To make matters worse, it turns out the bulkhead seats are actually for Economy plus customer, who pay more for their tickets than the "lowly" regular fliers. So, for someone to switch seats with us they would actually be sitting in seats that were "worse" than what they had paid for. After waiting outside the plane for about 15 minutes, two men were found who agreed to switch seats with us...and finally we were off on our journey. Icing on the cake. When the stewardesses were serving drinks on the plane we were the only ones not served.
At 6:30pm we had landed and at least we knew that the rest of our time in Portland would be 1000 times better than our flight up here.