When you’re not important … and you know it

I’ve been waiting at O’Hare now for five hours now. I still have at least three hours to go, assuming United doesn’t cancel my flight. My scheduled 5:45 p.m. flight is showing an estimated departure time of 10:33 p.m.

It’s been a windy day in the Windy City, with winds gusting up to 60 mph. This significantly reduces the number of flights that can take off and land.

As much as I wish it were otherwise, I know I’m not important to United today. Although they haven’t said so, it’s clear what they’re doing. They’re pushing the brunt of the delays and cancellations on to passengers headed to minor destinations or on flights with low loads. Flights to major cities are on time or have 1-2 hour delays. Flights like mine are delayed for hours.

It makes perfect sense. Why inconvenience 150 passengers when you can inconvenience just 50?

Update: United did indeed cancel my flight. With my options left to spending all day Christmas Eve trying to get on the sold out flights or taking a confirmed seat on Christmas Day, I ended up taking a flight back to Baltimore. 22 hours of travel to end up back where I started!


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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