Travel Woes - Bermuda Edition
So let me just recap this Bermuda trip for you guys. I gave you some real time reports of what was going on but I have to make sure you get the full story. It's pretty ridiculous.....it was like I wasn't meant to be great this weekend. Keep in mind, all this happened between Thursday night and Monday morning, just like 4 full days.
- I left the house on Thursday morning, with the intention of going straight to the airport after work. On the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal, I look up into the heavens and realize that I've left my passport in the drawer beside my bed (like an amateur). I literally never do stuff like this. My friends didn't even believe me when I told them. My first thought was, I'm going to miss all these flights if I have to go back for it. I may as well just hang it up. Then I started texting my little brother to tell him what an idiot I was. Then my sweet, big-hearted, give you the shirt off his back little brother took swift action, defied all sorts of traffic laws to get me my passport in enough time for me to make my flight. Love that kid. Bout to text him now and tell him just for the heck of it. LOL his response, "........" hahahahaha.
- Friday morning, I wake up after about 1.42 total hours of sleep, to a text from American Airlines saying my flight to Bermuda was canceled. Who texts to tell you a flight was canceled? That's like a break up text. Have the balls to call me, sheesh. The only reason I purchased said flight was so I could arrive earlier and make the best of the day on such a short trip. Sidenote: American tried to rebook me on a flight that arrived at 9:00pm instead of 11:00am. Nope. So I canceled the booking altogether. American refunded my money but failed to reimburse me for the other monies I spent in trying get to Bermuda anyway. They've lost a customer because of it.
- I had to pay the taxes and what not for the standby flight to Bermuda, a little over $100.
- I had to get my life over to Newark to catch this other flight. $89 with Lyft *insert eye roll here*
- Get to Bermuda, have a great time, decide to make it an annual thing. You'll see why from the pics. The blues are bluer there somehow.
- It's Sunday and it's time for me to leave. Everything's all chill in Bermuda, the airport is tiny and I'm not checking a bag so I get to the airport like 55 mins before the departure time. I arrive and find that they've shut down the check-in and tell me I have to re-book for Monday. Nope. I'm flying standby and I don't have a bag so pleeeeeeease, please. I need to get back to Houston before Monday, I gotta get back to work! The gate agent was nice enough to un-restrict the flight, open the whole check-in counter back up, and give me a boarding pass so I could go through customs/security etc. I felt so bad but at the same time was like, you need any help with those keys?
- Plane lands in Newark at 5:15. There's a flight at 5:50 so I hustle over to the gate to try to get on that one. No luck.
- The next flight is at 10:05. I go get myself something to eat and chill out until then. When it's time to board, I'm waiting, a few revenue passengers don't show up on time so they line me and two other standby passengers, ready to get on the flight. With 15 seconds left before the boarding closes, two people run up and I'm out.
- But wait, there's more. The flight is delayed leaving because of some maintenance issue. They're deciding whether or not to take everyone off this plane and switch to a new one. So I wait. If they switch planes, it might be to a bigger one and then I can get home. This takes an hour, they fix the issue and the plane leaves....without me.
- The next flight is at 5:30.....AM. It's already 11:30pm and the prospect of leaving the airport, getting a room, laying across the bed for like 2 hours only to get up, have to get back to the airport, go through security, etc. doesn't sound awesome to me. So me and another standby hopeful take up residence at gate C107. I pull some rows of chairs together so her and I can get as comfortable as is possible in an airport. I also start taking stuff out of my suitcase to wrap up in because it's freezing cold in the airport. Then I watch Netflix until about 2:00 in the morning. There was still a ton of traffic and noise in the airport and sleep wasn't really an option. At some point, another airline employee notices us looking homeless, takes mercy on us and offers us blankets and a hotel room (it's not creepy at all...they can do that). But by then it's already 2:30 and logistically, it doesn't make sense to leave. So we decline his offer, thank him for his generousity and wrap ourselves in the airline blankets. I pull the blanket over my head to shield myself from the airport lights and try to sleep a bit. I wish I had taken pics of our set up. We were seated beside a charging station with two rows of chairs pulled together facing each other. We put all our belongings in the space between the rows of chairs to keep everything safe.
- A little after 4am my new friend, who's name I still don't know, wakes me and says we should move to the gate for the 5:30am flight.
- Our names are kinda far down on the list, but several of the standby passengers before us haven't shown. In the midst of the chaos, the gate agent calls my name. I am ushered onto the flight with haste and my bag is checked at the bottom of the jet bridge. However, in the standby game, you can't exhale until your butt is in a seat and the door to the aircraft is closed. I board the plane and approach the seat I was assigned....occupied. I alert the flight attendant who tries to find another seat for me....nothing. At this point, the aircraft door is closed and the jet bridge has pulled away from the plane. The flight is delayed because the gate agent has to come back down, extend the jet bridge and open the door to let me off. There was some miscommunication, the agents missed something and you get the point...
- In the midst of all this, another friend, who works the graveyard shift for the airline, has taken it upon himself to help me find other ways to get home, thankfully. He advises me that the route through Dallas is my best bet and the flight leaves at 6:05. It's a little after 5:30 and the gate is on the other side of the terminal. I try to convince my nameless new friend that this is a better option, but she wants to stick with the nonstops so we part ways. I'm grateful to the kind woman. We looked out for each other in the airport that night.
- I rush over to the other gate, checking the standby list on the way. They've given me a seat, Praise God. I walk onto the aircraft and take my middle seat between a petite man and busybodied man that kept bumping me. Whatever, I didn't have much punch left in me. I fell asleep before take off and next thing I knew, we were in Dallas. Praise God again.
- The flight to from Dallas to Houston had 123 seats open.......................................................amen.
- I finally made it home but remember, they made me check my bag on the 5:30 flight. I had to visit the baggage office at IAH to retrieve my belongings.
- I made it home by noon and was back in my office by 1:00pm. Yes, I went to work, after all this. I have to make sure my butt's in this seat....I need money for travel, lol.
All this over a 2.5 day trip to Bermuda!
I have to admit.....I wouldn't have changed it. Getting to spend time with one of my dearest friends and a new friend, in paradise, made all this worth it.
And, I'd do it again. Nothing beats flying for free, even if I do have experiences like these. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I am all the more because of it. I am tired though....like really tired.
I'm telling this story....well, because its entertaining, but also so that people know the real about traveling. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. The travel experience can wear you out. But once you get to where you're going....you forget about all the issues you may have had getting there, you recoup and you make the best of the time. This was a super quick trip for me, riddled with issues....but it was the perfect getaway.
I'll write a post about what to do there and who to contact if you decide to travel there.