So I'm sitting in the airport in Albany, NY after having a very bad situation turn out in my favor thanks to a very helpful gate agent with United named Denise!
We got to the airport at 4:45 for a 5:45 boarding time to find out that our plane was delayed 1.5 hours and there was no one able to help rebook for awhile. Then they sent us all to another gate, and when we got there and waited in line they told us to go back to the original gate.
I don't think I need to say my husband doesn't handle stress well and was about to stroke out. My efforts to calm him made things worse and I was ready to just go home and give up on the beach.
I called United to see if they could re-book me over the phone so I could at least know what is going on. They said I had already been rebooked and I should just wait - but gave me the info.
Now they wanted me to fly from Albany to Dulles, then from Dulles to Chicago, finally from Chicago to Dallas and arriving a full 6 hours later. I asked the agent on the phone if they could instead book me to Houston and the agent kept ignoring my question and saying I had already been rebooked and to wait for the gate agent to help me. There was no gate agent.
Finally the gate agent comes, and I explain the situation to her. That 2 connections would possibly kill my husband (and he gimped around slowly with his cane to prove the point). She switched us to a continental flight through Newark into Houston and now we will be arriving in Houston at 2:10 - so to the beach by 4pm (instead of 6pm if we had left from Dallas).
So for all the hassle we end up ahead of the game and all thanks to a very understanding woman named Denise who went above and beyond. I would write a letter to the airline praising her but she technically wasn't supposed to change destinations and could get in trouble so I really don't want to call attention to it! :)