{October 28, 2012}   Flight to Nowhere

My son H and I had a wonderful time at the family wedding, especially when the cake toppled over!  We got on the flight to attend the wedding ok. All we needed was for the return flight to pan out.  We headed to the airport and waited for them to call our names.  The flight was tight.  We needed one person to no show to get on. Hello? Is there a traffic jam available?  After a while,  our names were called.  Hooray!  Piece of cake!  Everything worked out.  We headed to security to wait our turn.  Ten minutes later, we were paged over the intercom to go back to the check in counter. Crap! That can’t be good! We headed back and the passenger agent said : I am sorry but an employee with more seniority than you arrived and I had to give them your seats. Oh man! How am I going to get out of here?  Fortunately,  because of my last stand-by experience, I had prepared myself with zed fares on other airlines.  I needed to find flights with open seats on both flight legs to get home.  I had five available options.

After visiting three different airline counters, I was running out of options. All the flights out of here were full or oversold.  I felt desperate and discouraged. I went to my last chance airline and tried to check into the flight on their kiosk. No matter what info I put in,  it did not work. I asked a passenger agent to help me as the time was ticking. The flight was to leave in 45 minutes. She suggested I try putting my name in the computer.  As I was about to explain to her that I already tried that, she was gone. I guess it was break time.  What am I going to do?  I felt like I was letting my son down. 

I went to see the business class agent and asked him to help me while I tried to fight back tears.  I needed a moment.  He was very kind.  He said it was going to be close, but he thinks we might get on the flight.  Hooray! That was the best news I heard all day. And it was only 1 pm. 

We headed to the gate and nervously awaited to hear our names.  Finally,  after what seemed like an eternity,  we did.  It was sweet music to my ears.  Like winning the airplane lottery. And, we were even sitting together!  The agent handed me my boarding card and broke my heart in one full swoop.  She said that the flight was full and we were going to have to check my carry on bags. I told her that if she checked my bags, I’d miss my connecting flight to my home town. She didn’t care.  She said I had no choice.  I either check my bags or I don’t get on.  Back to heart palpitations. When I got to the aircraft door, I explained the situation   to the flight attendant and he was much more sympathetic. Some pillows were moved in the overhead bin and a bag was pushed to the side and our two suitcases fit. Okay! We were back in business!  Having kind and caring employees makes a world of difference.  In the end,  my son and I arrived home four hours later than planned.  It’s all part of the adventure…


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