It's been a busy and educational few days out West. I'm back now, and happy to be here.
I was supposed to return late last night, but United stranded me in Denver AGAIN. That's twice in a row that mechanical difficulties have grounded me, wasted my time, made me miss a critical day of work, and imposed extra obligations on those kindly taking care of Kaya. I have flown United perhaps a dozen times in my life. A 1-in-6 rate of overnight stranding is not a good statistic. Even Northwest Airlines, Queen of Treating People Badly, has never messed up so profoundly.
If the airplane is full and the airline must bump you to another flight, they have the decency to offer you a voucher for free travel in the future. If they forcibly cancel your flight due to mechanical problems (see also: rank incompetence), you get a free overnight toiletries bag. This seems wrong to me. I'd be less pissed about being grounded if there were a free flight to Taos in it.