Much Anticipated Montana – I wanted to go to Montana badly last year but things didn’t work out with Dave’s schedule, but this year – Yes! We made it work. Lots of discussion about how to get there – drive, fly, high gas prices, etc. Driving will take 14 days, flying ten days, gas is expensive, yada, yada. We finally settle on ten days and search for the best airfare. Yuck, yuck, yuck – the best we can find is United Airlines. I really don’t like those folks. I traveled full time, week in and week out, to different destinations across the country for eight years before I started Legends of America. I got to know those airline folks way better than I ever wanted to. In any event, I haven’t flown United in seven years due to previous experiences. Ok, well years have passed, we’ll try again and save a little money over the two other airlines that make their way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Bad mistake -- you get what you pay for. I should have either paid the extra money for one of the other airlines or taken a flight to Denver on Southwest Airlines and drove the rest of the way.
Alarm buzzing at 3:30 a.m., rush, rush, rush and on our way to the airport by 4:45 for a 6:21 flight to Denver. The airport is quiet, easy to find parking spaces – this is going to be a good day. A brief thought -- enter the United Airlines Gate to meet more than 100 people standing in line and only three agents to handle all these folks. I’m having a panic. There’s no way we’ll make their 30 minute check-in rule. Finally, another passenger tells us that the 6:21 flight is cancelled and they are rebooking all passengers on a 7:45 flight. Well, that’s not a huge delay, problem is, we can’t meet our connection in Jackson Hole and spend 5 ½ hours in the Denver airport, watching numerous southwest flights take off while United planes sit idle at the gate. We finally arrived in Jackson at 3:00 p.m. rather than 9:30 a.m. as anticipated.
In the meantime, United never said a word as to the reason for cancellation – there were no weather problems. I suspect pilot shortage or an undersold flight. Just makes me fume that they “stole” a full day of our vacation. Then, when we finally arrive in Jackson, it takes more than an hour to get our rental car, terrible customer service, and the highest rate I’ve ever paid anywhere for a car rental at Dollar Rent-A-Car. Won’t be using them again either. It’s 5:00 o’clock before we finally get a view of the beautiful Teton Mountain Range, but we are so weary and irritable we barely enjoy it. Just 60 miles into our trip, we check into our hotel, who doesn’t honor our Corporate Lodging discount, and charges $70 more than they were supposed to. This is not starting out as a good trip!! But, I’m going to bed and am determined that tomorrow will be a GOOD day. Please, please, please.