Seattle 2008

Seattle Well, we made it to Seattle! We're here to start off our summer vacation. Actually, Cara's just rounding out her summer vacation; she'll have to start school as sson as we return.

Leaving from Ontario we had our first hint of what was to come, when we had to pull back into the gate and take on more fuel. Seems that one of the two air-conditioning packs was having problems, so the crew was going to fly at a lower altitude (the pack also has something to do with cabin pressure)—thus requiring more fuel.

We ended up being about twenty minutes behind schedule, although that wasn't a problem. However, when we got to our brief stop in Oakland, those of us going on to Seattle were asked to deplane and transfer to another aircraft. You guessed it: they forgot to ask our luggage to join us!

When we checked with Southwest in Seattle, we were given two choices: have our luggage taken to our hotel when it arrived on the next flight or wait for it ourselves and receive a $50 travel voucher. We took the latter choice and two hours later we were reunited with our bags.

Our trip to the hotel wasn't any better than the trip by air, though, and we found out why the Gray Line Downtown Airporter is the least expensive option. We left on time, but only because the driver needed to get the bus out of the way of the next coach. We soon pulled over so he could collect the passengers' tickets.

This process took fifteen (fifteen!) minutes, and was made worse when the driver sold tickets to five or six passengers who couldn't bother to purchase tickets beforehand. Gray Line needs to change their procedure by requiring passengers to purchase their tickets in advance and surrender the ticket when boarding.

Getting downtown was uneventful, but we were once again treated to poor service as the driver neglected to call out stops in advance and ask if passengers needed to stop before arriving at a hotel. At one hotel the driver had stopped to take on another passenger and had pulled away when a young woman on board realized that hotel was hers. We had to go around the block to return to the hotel, simply because the driver hadn't let anyone know what hotel we were at.

Most of us were getting off at the Sheraton, and again we had to wait while the driver helped people off the bus. While I appreciate the driver's concern in that regard, there were other men—myself included—who could have helped the older folks off the bus, while he was the only one who could unload the luggage.

At the end of the day: Southwest +1, Gray Line -3.