NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Do you know how it feels to have spent hundreds of dollars to stand in line for half a day not knowing whether or not all of that time spent with aching feet and a weary head will actually result in getting on a plane?
With only Altoids for lunch, a bathroom faucet the sole source of water, and a lumpy suitcase as a pillow, the hours move slowly as the pain and indignation increase exponentially. This is what I, and thousands of other would-be passengers, were forced to endure for more than seven hours Sunday at the United Airlines (UAL - Get Report) terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
Weather problems at two of United's major hubs -- Chicago and Newark -- reportedly sent operations into a tailspin. Thousands of passengers were then required to "rebook" their flights as a result of missed connections, a near impossible task given such heavy volume.
And while United no doubt faced a humdinger of a challenge, communication with customers was scant, and that's the real problem. Just tell us what's happening, United. Communicate.
But informing passengers was apparently not one of United's highest priorities on Sunday. Of the 10 booths available at the 'Additional Services' desk, just two were staffed, resulting in a line of 200 people that stretched through the terminal to the road.
While I'd spent the preceding days strengthening my capacity for patience by visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios -- this was clearly a more demanding exercise.