Yesterday was a bad day to oversleep

So I was supposed to mileage run yesterday. I was actually really, really looking forward to my mileage run because for the first time ever it was a same day trip with no redeye involved. My routing was Tampa to Chicago at 6:45AM, then Chicago to San Francisco at 10AM, then San Francisco to Washington at 1PM, then Washington to Tampa at 10PM. All my upgrades were confirmed and three of the four flights were almost sold out, so I figured I had a good shot at a bump.

Also, I pride myself in never having missed a flight out of Tampa, despite them usually leaving between 5:30AM and 9AM. But all that changed yesterday, unfortunately. I set my alarm for 4:30AM, woke up, and somehow fell back asleep. I was awake again at 6AM, 45 minutes before departure.

You know, I never thought I’d feel so hopeless and disoriented. My flight was leaving in 45 minutes, which is exactly how long it takes to get to the airport. I knew I wouldn’t make the flight. So I should have probably gone for the flat tire rule, but after taking a quick look at the flight schedule, I realize that there was no other way to get to SFO before my return flight. Most flights that day were sold out, so I really didn’t want to risk it and spend the day in middle seats in coach. So in a rather pissed off mood I just went back to bed. I figured it wasn’t meant to be. I only paid $45 for the ticket, so there wasn’t a huge loss in not going.

Oh boy was I wrong! Aside from three of the four flights being sold out (meaning at least one of them probably needed volunteers), I continued to get EasyUpdate messages on my phone regarding my San Francisco to Washington flight. It was supposed to leave at 1PM, but progressively got pushed back to 5PM. Eventually indicated that the flight would have a stop in Chicago (I was guessing crew time was becoming an issue), and then eventually the flight was canceled “due to crew.” So not only would I have probably gotten one of those “apology” emails from United which offers some very nice compensation options, but I would have gotten rebooked on a flight that was probably close to sold out.

Drats! Well in my nearly three quarter of a million miles of flying United, that was my first time oversleeping. So I guess that’s not too bad. But you can bet it’s not happening again.

Filed Under: Mileage Runs, United
  1. Time (pun unintended) to employ the two-alarm-clock strategy. The trick is to place one clock next to the bed, and the second one far enough away that you can’t reach it from the bed, forcing you to physically get up.

  2. Sorry to hear. Albeit you never know if your middles prediction would have come true. Sometimes extra sleep wins out (well did this sort of thing myself, albeit without so many missed bumps) a couple of weeks ago.

    @Tom – that only works initially. After you get used to it, getting out of bed, turning it off, and going back in becomes second nature. (Although good initial advice) Personally find it better every few months to change the alarm tone.

    @Eric – e-certs most likely.

  3. I’m not advertising here or anything, but I purchased the Sleep Cycle app for iphone a few weeks ago.

    I won’t go through all the details, but it’s not a “normal” alarm.

    It wakes you when you’re ‘naturally’ awakening.

    I swear by it, and for some strange reason I actually like the alarm tone so look forward to waking up. That’s completely wrong, but it works!!

  4. My first United “oversleep” was at the 775,000 mark! Actually it was a crappy LAX Parking shuttle which made me 5 minutes past the 45 minute easy-checkin rule, making me wait 10 minutes in the 1K line only to see them close the jetbridge…

  5. Awwww, bummer you overslept and missed the bumpfest. As someone who normally gets up around 3:30am every day, my alarm clock tricks include using two separate alarms and putting both of them out of reach of the bed so I have to get up and turn them off. Works for me most of the time, unless I forget to set them the night before.

  6. I use the three diferent tones on my iPhone for my alarm. The first is the initial time I “should” get up (leisurely getting ready to go), the second is the “have to get up” (no goofing off getting ready to go) and the third is the “you must head out the door” alarm (you’d better be putting your shoes on to go out the door). It has worked for me for years.

    I missed a flight once because of oversleeping years ago. I imagine that most people who fly frequently have had it happen once.

  7. It happens to the best of us. (and me too! ;))

    I overslept and missed a HKG-LHR NZ flight in 2008 and had to pay the difference in fare to travel the next day!

  8. Coins, Some readers would say that you’re a rookie. Tsk Tsk.

    Reminds me of a story that took place in TPA. Remember all the IAD snow a few weeks ago? Lots of folks were told they couldn’t re-book their TPA/IAD flight for 2 days. Gate agents gave folks confirmed flights 2 days in to the future. Well, the late afternoon TPA/IAD flight was going (and it did), and it went out with a couple of empty seats. Those 2 day out people should have hung around the airport, because they would have flown.

    I would have shown up at the airport late, and let everthing play out.

  9. I’m with Eric. While it’s a bummer that you missed the flight, the real story here is how you got a 6k mile itinerary for $45. Wow!

  10. How did you get the route for $45? Was it like $245 and using a $200 certificate or something?

    I live in Tampa too, 3.5 minutes from the airport though šŸ™‚

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