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TSApre worked (and it does not suck)! TSApre failed (that does suck). TSApre kept on failing consistently for five months.

For the first few times (10?), everyone (including the TSA agents at Dulles) were convinced that I had been randomly selected again. After all, I have a Global Entry identity with a nice plastic card and everything. Then, last week the TSApre icon thingy was added to boarding passes regardless of whether you are selected for extra screening or not. None of my boarding passes had the icon! Uh oh. THis was obviously a system problem somewhere.

The new icon looks something like this. (Not sure who this guy Timothy D. Jester is, but he posted his boarding pass for us. Uh thanks Timothy. And sorry that you are on a waiting list for upgrade even with Global Services status. Typical.)

United app puts a TSApre icon on boarding passes now.

United app puts a TSApre icon on boarding passes now.

I thought the system failure was United’s fault since they had “changed my frequent flyer account to cohere with the TSApre database” and I was directed to “double check” all the data. I did everything I could to check through the website and even spent an hour on the phone with United last night.

This morning we discovered that the failure was my travel agent’s fault. They had my birthdate wrong in their system. Easy fix, and important too. Now the TSApre icon is on my boarding pass.

Moral of the story? Double check your birthdate entries if TSApre is failing for you. Apparently big brother cares when you were born.

FWIW, I made it through a very long (30 person) TSApre line in 6 minutes. Not bad.

TSApre and United

April 16, 2013

Don’t count on it. It fails more often than it works. (There is supposed to be a 10% chance of being flagged FWIW.)

meh-graphic-buckle

When it works it’s great. But it doesn’t work very often for me!

TSApre is good.

Sadly, though Logan just re-did security completely, they did not put in a TSApre lane. And they don’t enforce their premium security lane either. So today I got to stand around in line, remove my shoes, take of my belt, and wait while an entire pack of toddlers with strollers and parents was ushered through security.

Two per family please.

Two per family please.

Hey United, how about fixing the security situation at BOS Terminal C please?

Speaking of which, I am #13 on the upgrade list for the flight down today. That sucks. Back to standard United behavior.

United’s delta-T of non-suck was much smaller than anticipated.

OK then, lets review. Finally got TSApre working (at least once), and then United went and changed the data for my Premiere account in order to “match up with my trusted traveller profile.” Fantastic (not)! All of my already-booked tickets are now toast for TSApre. Like today’s flight to Detroit. And the next few flights I have in the hopper too! It’s shoes off for me, and bathroom stuff in a stupid little baggy. At least there is no line for the “our computer thinks not” TSApre overflow line at IAD.

imgres

And then to add insult to multi-trip injury, I was on the plane on my flight to Detroit when we were informed that the equipment had been changed. Go to Gate 5A they said (we started at 3A on an actual airplane). On arrival, we discovered that the flight was actually cancelled. Double fantastic. (BTW, we happen to know that operations cancelled the low-revenue flight in order to give our plane to a higher-revenue regional flight. Not enough seats to Detroit it seems. But they forgot to factor in that I was on this flight.) HEY OPS, WE ARE NOT JUST BLIPS IN YOUR DAMNABLE COMPUTER.

I called the 100K desk to get things fixed up and was connected with an utterly useless droid. My bud Mike called the regular 800 number. We were in a race. He won. But sadly even after all of the flight switching, the client was unable to adjust their timing.

So United, you owe me one dinner with the CSO of a big account and five hours loitering at Vino Volo at IAD. But really would you please please please stop sucking in 2013? It is way too early in the year for this nonsense already.

United already found out about this on twitter. They responded, but do they care?

Special bonus Vino Volo tip. Great place for a glass of wine. And you can access the United Red Carpet club wireless too.

Of course it got worse! Check this series out.

My original email: Flight number: UA5760
Departs: 12:28 p.m. on February 5 from gate A3c, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Arrives: 2:04 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

Then: Flight UA5760 5FEB from IAD to DTW is cancelled. You are now confirmed on UA5734 5FEB departing 5:00 pm from gate A5e, IAD to DTW. The flight is now estimated to arrive DTW at 6:41 pm.

Then: @United starts following us on twitter.

Bwahahahaha.  United dares to follow @noplasticshowers

Bwahahahaha. United dares to follow @noplasticshowers

Then: United flight UA5734 on February 5 is delayed and awaiting arrival of the crew.
Now departs: 6:00 p.m. on February 5 from gate A5e, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Now arrives: 6:38 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

(By now my dinner meeting has been cancelled.)

Then: United flight UA5734 on February 5 is delayed due to late-arriving aircraft.
Now departs: 8:30 p.m. on February 5 from gate A5e, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Now arrives: 10:08 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

Then: United flight UA5734 on February 5 is delayed due to late-arriving aircraft.
Now departs: 9:00 p.m. on February 5 from gate A5e, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Now arrives: 10:38 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

I walked down to the gate at 8:30. Why? Good question.

Then: United flight UA5734 on February 5 is delayed due to late-arriving aircraft.
Now departs: 9:25 p.m. on February 5 from gate A2f, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Now arrives: 10:38 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

Then: United flight UA5734 on February 5 is delayed due to late-arriving aircraft.
Now departs: 10:45 p.m. on February 5 from gate A2f, Washington, DC (IAD – Dulles)
Now arrives: 11:23 p.m. on February 5 at Detroit, MI (DTW)

Who is in charge? Jeff Smisek of course. Hey Jeff you suck! Who is on the United BOD? They need to fire you.

And I have not flown yet. I do hope I get to Ann Arbor before my two public talks tomorrow! An eight hour and thirty-four minute delay. Imagine if they had to pay my last billable rate for this nonsense! United, you owe me $4250 and two meals so far. Expect to hear from me.

United is so awful I could just scream!

United is so awful I could just scream!

Finally after waiting for over 11 hours for a flight that never took off, I bailed. I am now booked for the first flight tomorrow morning. Absolutely the worst United flight experience in my flying history.

TSA Pre does not suck

December 9, 2012

TSA Precheck logo TM

I put on my shoes at home. Here they are in the red carpet club.

Shoes.

Shoes.