Texas Traveler, Beware! Part I


I recently endured an experience that provides me with a good, heartwarming opportunity to warn you about the kind of treatment you can expect at the hands of some Texas airlines and airports, depending on the weather. Beware, traveler: this could happen to you! (Cue dramatic music.)

On October 15, 2007, I got stuck in Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport for more than ten hours, and barely avoided being stuck there for eight more because I was persistent and, I’ll admit, just a little bit rude with the representatives of ExpressJet Airlines and their corporate parent, Continental Airlines. Their foolishness landed me in this situation, and when it came time for a little customer service, they treated me like an inconvenience to be ignored. I won’t be flying either airline again. In fact, the situation turned me off to air travel altogether, because I could have gotten to my destination more quickly by bicycle.

Now, before I embark on my rant, let me point out that I realize that the <>

my research, they have problems with getting off the ground on time, and their customer service is abyssmal. Complain? It is to laugh — and don’t dare try it when you’re already on board one of their planes. With the security situation the way it is, if you get the slightest bit irate, you can get kicked off. In June 2007, in fact, ExpressJet kicked a woman and her 19-month-old child off a flight because the flight attendant got upset about something the toddler was saying. I’m not making this up. The attendant told the woman to drug her baby with Benedryl to shut him up; again, not kidding. When the mother refused and some other passengers stuck up for her, the attendant had mother and child removed from the plane in Houston. Continental says they’re “investigating.” I’m sure they are, but isn’t that like setting the fox to guard the henhouse?


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