Phoenix has a lovely airport. I can't speak to the rest of the city, since I have only ever been in the airport. But I know the Phoenix airport really well. How is that you may wonder? Let me tell you about my trip to Minneapolis for UX Intensive.
I knew better than to book a flight straight on NorthWest to Minneapolis. I opted for the US Airways one with a stop in Phoenix simply so I would still get miles on United. I WILL get Premier status this year!
I left San Francisco at 8:25 this morning, on a United flight. Got to Phoenix early. Which was good because United and USAirways are in different terminals. I had a leisurely lunch and then headed back through security to my gate. Where I discovered they had overbooked the flight. Lovely.
BUT! They had another flight they could put you on that got in 10 minutes earlier than the oversold one. Great! So I volunteered. Two other folks also volunteered and the three of us got our paperwork (I now have 1 free ticket on US Airways, go me!) and headed over to terminal 3 where NorthWest is. It will be okay, I thought. NorthWest isn't as bad as I remember. Heh. Famous. Last. Words.
We get over the terminal 3 and head up to the counter. The woman at the desk gives us dirty looks and tells us that she has no seats, all her planes are full. Don't we see that our paperwork has code UCI on it? That means it wasn't confirmed. After a huffy call to US Airways, she tells us that she can't do anything for us and we have to go back to US Airways. Lovely.
So, we shelp back out into the 100 degrees, again, to terminal 4. The two folks with me are beside themselves with worry and angst. I walk up to the first class ticket counter and explain our story to the woman. She was lovely. She made multiple calls and even got a supervisor when I asked what other compensation they could give us.
They kindly explained that they never move volunteers over unless the other airline has seats to give. One of the folks I was with watched the guy call NorthWorst and check there were seats. What happened in the 15 minutes it took us to get over to the other terminal is anyone's guess. Someone read the computer wrong or was looking at old data, is my guess.
The two other folks are now headed to American Airlines where they will fly to Chicago and then transfer to Minneapolis, getting in at 11:10 tonight. If they checked in early enough they'll get first class seats on the CHI-MIN leg.
I am now sitting in the food court of the mall that is Terminal 4. I'm on the 6:20 flight out of Phoenix, but at least I'm direct to Minneapolis. I'm scheduled to get in at 11:50. The only saving grace is that I'm first class. Oh, and I have a $5 meal voucher to spend in the food court here.
At least they have free wifi. I guess I'll go over my slides for tomorrow.