My friend Libby recently became a flight attendant and she offered me her companion pass on one of the airlines which means I can fly standby wherever that airline flies. It isn't free but it is A LOT cheaper than it would be normally. I have never flown standby so I decided to take a trip to Connecticut to see my brother and his family. I booked myself on a red eye out of Salt Lake on Thursday August 22nd. The flight plan was Salt Lake to North Carolina to Harrison county airport. I was supposed to arrive at 11 something Friday morning. My brother and his wife were having an afternoon party for Ellie's birthday that I was really hoping to get too. I flew from here to SLC and got there with time to kill so I called my friend Jordan and she came and got me and took me to dinner and then dropped me back off at the airport.
Well the time arrived for the flight to start boarding. I sat there waiting for them to call the standby people. I didn't make it. So now I was faced with if I should call someone to come get me or just hang out at the airport all night. The first flight out in the morning was 7 in the morning. So I really only had five hours before I would need to be back and who do you call at 12:30 am and then ask them if they can bring you back by 5:30. So I just hung out in the airport all night. It is pretty quiet and lonely. I read, updated my blog, watched some TV shows and TRIED to sleep. That part wasn't very successful. I did finally fall asleep around 5:30 am and woke to people surrounding me. A guy saw me yawn and told me to stop that because he had had a hard enough time getting up that early for the flight. I told him I was entitled since I had spent the night there and told him I wished he had slept in because that would have upped my chances of getting on the flight. The lady at the counter called my name. I went up and she said "We might have a seat for you and I just wanted to make sure you were here." I'm very here, in fact I have been here all night. I didn't say that too her because Libby told me I had to be on my best behavior. In fact I even had to dress business casual. So I sat close and waited to see if they did in fact have a seat for me on the flight to Phoenix, what? Wasn't I going the wrong way? Yes but that was the next flight that was supposedly going to get me to Harrison county the quickest. She called my name! I was soooo happy!!! It was so last minute though. She basically told me to run and yelled what seat number.
I got to Phoenix but didn't get on the next flight out of there. I kept having to go to customer service to change my ticket. I kept checking the website that Libby signed me up on and then I would go change it to the next flight out. I think I got denied getting on four or five flights in Phoenix. I was getting hungry and I was tired and I was discouraged. I was wishing I was still in Salt Lake so I could just go home. Finally around two in the afternoon I found a flight to Newark New Jersey that still said there was 22 seats available. I decided that might be the best one and Jeff had told me he would come there and get me. So I went to customer service and asked to change to that one. That lady was so rude to me. She said "What are you? A buddy pass?" I said I was my friends companion and she said, "You're a buddy pass." Well so what if I am. She said, "Yes there are still 22 seats available but there are already 24 people signed up for standby." So I asked if she thought that was my best bet and she told me it was hard to say because it was Friday and crew and their families had higher priority that me. I told her I understood that and said to please switch me to that flight. I walked away and wanted to cry. Libby had told me she thought I had a little higher priority than someone with a buddy pass but at that point I wasn't sure of anything. I went and found something to eat and then sat down at the gate. I hadn't been there five minutes when they called my name to the counter and gave me a ticket with a seat number and boarding zone!!! I wanted to shout for joy and cry at the same time. I was going to Newark!! I wanted to go back to that lady and tell her that I obviously had higher priority than some of those people.
I got to Newark around 11 pm and my brother was there to get me. It was nice he was so willing to do whatever he needed to. I was exhausted when I got to his house but the first thing I did was take a shower because I didn't smell very good at that point. Then I went to bed and I slept great!
The next morning when I saw Adam and Ellie it was all worth it. I love those two!
I had missed Ellie's party which she said something about. I said, "Ellie, I tried so hard to get here in time but the people at the airport kept telling me I couldn't get on the plane." She got a shocked looked on her face and said, "That is so rude!" She immediately forgave me. My time there was pretty low key. I did some hair and pretty much just hung out. One day we were in the car and Ellie was telling me a story. She said, "And my tummy asked if it could hurt and I said NO!" Adam said one day, "Your earring, so pretty." He is such a sweet boy. My last day there on our way home from Stew Leonards (which is a cool grocery store) Ellie said, "tomorrow I want to go to the beach with you." I said, "Oh Ellie I am going home tomorrow." She said, "I don't want you to go home. Maybe you could come back on Saturday."
My trip home was a lot smoother. I made every plane I wanted to be on. I did have a little moment of panic when I was in Phoenix (yes Phoenix again). I knew I was getting on to Salt Lake so I wanted to buy my ticket from Salt Lake to Cedar City. I tried to from my phone and it wasn't working. It wouldn't take any of my credit cards. My flight into Salt Lake was landing at 4:15 pm and the flight to Cedar left at 5:00. I knew I didn't have time to go down to ticketing to buy a ticket and I didn't know if you could buy a ticket at the gate. So I called my Mom and she said she would buy me one when she got home. I didn't actually know the whole flight if I had a ticket or not. As soon as we landed in Salt Lake I turned my phone on and I did have an email from the airline. I checked into the flight while we were taxiing to the gate. I had to walk from A to E. I walked up to the counter and told the guy I didn't have a boarding pass. He printed it off and said we would be boarding in about 5 minutes. I ran to the restroom and bought some water and heard the call to board for Cedar City. It all worked out thank goodness. It was quite an experience overall. I will try the standby thing again though because I need to take advantage of cheap flights. I just won't fly on a Friday again.