The trip back to Texas was not what I expected. The night before I got an email message from United that my flight was delayed four hours from the 7:15 am departure, but we had to be there on time in case it left on time. I took the 5:45 am shuttle to the airport, and was able to walk directly up to one of the self-serve kiosks; only a couple of folks were at the counter before me.
The flight was still delayed, and the attendant said some customers would have been automatically rebooked. By the time the kiosk showed my original flights (I had an hour layover in Denver I wouldn’t make), the attendant made an announcement for everyone to get in another line to get manually rebooked. There were now a dozen folks in front of me that had arrived after I did.
The United flights I was taking were small commuter jets, and had been completely full on the way out. I figured at best, I would get on standby for a full flight from Denver home to Texas. Plus I would go through all of the repeated delay extensions that happen on every delayed flight.
My sister lives in Denver and I decided to get a rental car home instead and stop in Denver overnight to visit her. It was an excellent decision.
Turns out the flight out of Bozeman was actually delayed for 7 hours, not 4. This was due to not having flight crew. Probably as a result of the arson fires at the FAA in Chicago the day before. Great timing. :(
In the future, I plan to avoid flying for personal travel unless it is totally unavoidable.