America, Culture, Family, Funny, Summer, Travel

Fly By Night

Last weekend, I went to NYC. It wasn’t planned. Here’s the story. 

When my brother says be ready to go, you best heed his warning. Remember how I just wrote about his crazy ideas? He must’ve wanted to prove me right because he got another one. He decided he needed to get out of town for the weekend, so he found a flight and booked us both one way tickets to NYC. 

I’ve come to expect this type of behavior from him. So, it didn’t surprise me when he told me to pack a bag. I just asked what weather to pack for. 

I hate packing. My carry-on stays packed anymore. It was actually right in the spot where I set it when I got home from Laos. So, I don’t ever have to think about what is in it, I can literally just grab it and go. 

Which is what happened.

He scheduled an evening flight for us so that we could work all day. First thing in the morning, I got a text saying that the flight had been delayed a little bit. No problem, it gives us more time to get things settled before leaving. Later in the day, another delay. Great, I still have time to get the things done that I need to do. Direct flight, everything is going well. 

2:45 pm: text- Flight to New York: cancelled 

2:47 pm: phone call to the airline- “no other flights available til tomorrow, let’s see how we can re-arrange things..” Cue annoying hold music. 

I am at my desk, still in work clothes with my hair in a ballcap. Because I had plenty of time. So, I was going to get ready to go later. Because I had plenty of time. 

2:48 pm: Jake (on hold with the airline) tells me to go grab my bags and throw them in the car immediately. There’s a flight leaving for Chicago at 4:30 pm that can connect us to New York. 

2:56 pm: I’ve thrown on different clothes, grabbed my bag, no idea what I’ve got and what I don’t. My hair still looks a mess. I’ve got a coffee and keys in my hand, and we’re headed to the airport to see if we can make the flight. 

Should I mention at this point that we live an hour from the airport and we currently aren’t even booked on the flight that is leaving at 4:30? We’ll have to park, run in, and beg a desk person to let us on the flight because online booking is no longer open. 

When you need to get somewhere fairly quickly, putting me behind the wheel is a good bet. I’m cautious, but efficient. 

4:00: we arrive at the airport and make a run for it. No line at the desk, so Jake starts pleading our case. We have 20 minutes til boarding. That’s 20 minutes to get booked, boarding passes printed, through security, to our gate, and boarded on a plane. 20 minutes. 

4:03: the desk guy is on hold. He can’t do anything. Impatience is setting in.

4:08: the minutes are ticking by. Still on hold.

4:09: he’s on the phone. From this side of the call, we can tell the flight is full. Stand by is an option… They’re doing stand by. 

4:11: he’s trying to print boarding passes. Invalid city. Invalid airport code. Invalid city again. Make something valid! He’s going in circles and I’m going crazy. 

4:14: Jake pulls up boarding passes from his mobile app. We make a run for it. I’m halfway up the escalator when the desk guy comes running with Jake’s ID that he left at the desk. 

4:16: security, shoes off, liquids out, shoes on, liquids in, grab and run fast. 

4:21: boarding gate. Group 1 is through. Group 2 is starting. Our names are on the standby board. Not cleared. We’re here and we still don’t have seats on the flight. 

4:26: everyone is boarded, we’re at yet another desk, hoping someone can make something happen for us. There’s one seat available. Just one. Hopes dashed. 

4:27: desk lady is mad, who approved us for this flight? She closed the standby list before we were put on it, how did we get on here? What’s she supposed to do with us now?

4:28: Jennifer isn’t here. She had seat on this flight and she might not be on it. Come down to the door of the plane. We’ll check and see if Jennifer is on. If she’s not, one of you can have her empty seat and one can have the other empty seat. (Silently begin praying that Jennifer was late to her flight. Sorry, Jenny!) 

4:29: Jennifer, are you on here? Oops, Jen apparently slipped by. She’s here. Hopes dashed again. There’s only one seat, you’re at the door of the plane, you’re gonna have to decide what to do. 

4:30: wait, there’s a pilot on board as a passenger. And there’s one extra seat in the cockpit. He can sit up there. You can have his seat. Go ahead and get on. You’ll know what seats are yours. They’re the only empty ones. Literally. 

NYC, here we come, ready or not! 

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