Missed United Airlines Flight from OKC

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Introduction: The Long Way to Costa Rica
Missed United Airlines Flight from OKC
Irregular Operations on United Airlines
Review: Landry’s Seafood – Houston Intercontinental Airport
Missed Flight on American Airlines from Miami
Review: Springhill Suites by Marriott – Miami Airport South
Review: American Express Centurion Lounge Miami
Review: American Airlines (737-800) Economy Class Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica
Review: El Camino Del Vino

As I mentioned in the introduction, this trip was different because I was not traveling alone. Another abnormal thing was that instead of staying at a hotel near the airport, I decided to stay at my friends’ house which is 20 minutes away. Here is the story of how we missed our flight from Oklahoma City (OKC).

I selected the early flight (5:15 a.m.) from OKC so that I would have time during the three hour layover to review two Priority Pass restaurants and finish up in the American Express Centurion Lounge. We left my friends’ behind schedule, approximately 30 minutes prior to boarding. This is not usually a big deal, but there was a torrential downpour in the city. The rain slowed the commute by a few minutes.

Of course, my friends were worried that we would miss the flight because we were cutting it so close. We decided that since we all had carry-on luggage, a call to United Airlines for telephone check-in would be the best option.  Any other time I would have made the call, but since I was driving, this was not an option. My friend spoke to a helpful agent that was able to check the three of us in within a matter of minutes.

We made it to the airport 10 minutes prior to boarding. Let me stop here for a second. If you have ever flown out of OKC, you know what a pain is to find a parking spot in the covered garage. The hunt for a parking spot significantly cut into our time. Once we were parked, we hustled to speak with an agent to ensure that we could make the flight. She stated, “if you hustle”. With the security checkpoint being nearby, we breathed a huge sigh of relief…Costa Rica here we come!

Out and About in Costa Rica
Trail to the waterfall

Not so fast. As we processed security, one of my friend’s (the guy who called United) boarding pass would not display on the mobile app. We ran back to the agent to get a boarding pass. By this time, the check-in was closed. Our only option was for her to call the gate agent for permission to print my friend’s boarding pass. After a five minute conversation, the gate agent told the agent helping us that we would have to catch the next flight because she was closing the door early. What???

At this point, our only option was to be rebooked on the next flight to Houston which was scheduled two hours after our original one. We sat around at the gate to waste time. Finally, it was time to board. The captain welcomed us aboard and told us that we should get to Houston a few minutes early. That would give us a little more than one hour on the ground, but at least we would make it to Costa Rica.

United Airlines ERJ 175 First Class OKC to IAH
ERJ-175

Well, this was too good to be true. As we began our pushback, the captain stated that he had an issue with the hydraulic system. He shut down the engines and attempted to restart them, hoping to fix the problem. This did not help so we were towed back to the gate. Not only were we back at the gate, EVERY passenger had to deplane.

As you can imagine, the gate agent was inundated with passengers inquiring about the length of the delay. When I finally spoke with him, he stated that he was not rebooking any passengers because the problem could be fixed at any second. He them informed us to not to wander off because boarding would occur once the issue is resolved. Sure enough, we began boarding 15 minutes later.  I asked again about rebooking because I was afraid that we would miss out connection in Houston. He assured me that everything would be handled automatically, if not, speak to a customer service agent in Houston. Great…

Final Word

This was definitely not the way that I wanted to begin my short trip to Costa Rica, but I am used to delays so I just rolled with it hoping for a better outcome in Houston. Unbeknownst to me, the situation would deteriorate further before improving.

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