Spontaneous schedule change?
It was December (possibly 2015).
I had a canceled UA flight and received a text message early that morning to let me know. (Maybe it was later, did they text in 2015?) I had been rebooked for the following day.
It was 7am, but I was in California, so I was sure I could reach customer service, and did. I explained that I had to get a flight that day, I was booked to fly out of BFL (Meadows Field Bakersfield, my hometown) but offered that I would take the bus to LAX if necessary, but I had to get home, the drive from ATL to Ohio for Christmas depended on it...
After some time, checking and checking and checking, it seems a number of aircraft were stuck or delay in DEN... The CSR let me know I have a spot for you on the flight out of LAX, but it wouldn't work, not enough time to travel the 108 miles to get there, only flight for the day.
Then suddenly, I've just found an opening, can you get to BFL in 30 minutes? Would be BFL-PHX-ATL.
Raced to the airport, checked the bags, got the boarding passes, got to the gate. Last one to board, but T-22 (or so).
The GA scans my boarding pass but it doesn't work, tries several times, it isn't working... The GA is also the counter agent who printed my passes.
An FA comes to check, maybe T-18, she gets on the computer, tells me "you're at the wrong gate, you're at the wrong airport... What's going on here?"
She makes a phone call, I overhear bits and pieces.
She says I've got to get on board...
The GA is finishing that phone call, hangs up. Tells me:
Your boarding pass doesn't work, you're booked for a flight from LAX to Las Vegas.
He says I know you're flying to ATL, I printed your passes, but now you're booked to Vegas, I can let you on, but I don't know what will happen in PHX. Your other pass is no good.
The door closed, and I was in Bakersfield another day, we drove up on Christmas Eve and missed dinner instead of driving the day before.
To this day I've never know what happened between the counter and the gate. In that 7 minute walk. Security is a breeze when you're the only one.
I've tried to guess about a CSR computer window being left open, another passenger calling about a flight change, the change being made on my ticket... A customer "yeah, yeahing" the questions without realizing that it is someone else's name, or something... Could that be the explanation?
In the hours I spent on the phone that day I was told the change fee was paid by credit card, but the name and number for that card were not given to me.
I did wonder, was there another passenger who arrived at an airport for a trip that wasn't booked that day? I've made lots of small talk in the 100+ flights I've taken since then, but I've never gotten much of an explanation for how that could happen, usually people think I'm leaving a detail out, but I really checked in and received boarding passes that didn't work 7 minutes later because my flight had changed both my departure and arrival airports.
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