Thursday, May 08, 2008

Aloha Home

We missed our red-eye flight home Tuesday night because I didn't anticipate island time at the car rental return.  United let us fly standby the following afternoon.  It meant staying another night in paradise.  Perhaps the universe was telling me that I had to learn a lesson about island time before I was ready to go home?

Flights appeared easy to get when we booked, but the supply of seats between Hawaii and the mainland evaporated when Aloha Airlines and ATA Airlines both declared bankruptcy and ceased operations.  We were lucky to get home the next day.  So many people have been struggling to fly standby to the mainland, waiting for days.    

Several people stranded by Aloha told me that United sold them seats on short notice for only ~$50 more than Aloha charged for advanced notice fares.  That was great for them, but it made my standby situation more dicey.  Winners and losers, we all got home eventually.

BTW, I heard that United flight attendants had low morale, but our flight crew behaved like troopers.  When the plane (actually 2 planes, long story) was delayed for two hours due to mechanical problems, they waived their union rules and worked a very, very long day to get us home.


  1. I suppose there are worse places to be stranded for an evening. I'm glad to hear that there are times when workers rally (I'm in a union) to do what's right by all, rather than just right by the union.
    Welcome back.

  2. I belong to a union, too.

    I remember in grad school, when they gave us 0% raises, again, while our rents were climbing 10-15% a year, I asked the university who else were going without raises.

    The faculty got theirs. Why? The administrator replied it was because of the faculty union. The staff got theirs. They belong to a union also.

    I asked how the students could form a union. They said that we didn't need a union because we had a special relationship to the university. Yeah, like the right to teach 3 classes for $800/month and pay out of pocket (with after tax dollars) for health insurance.

    I dump all appeals for $ from my graduate institution into the recycling bin. They would have gotten so much more out of me if they treated me decently.


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