32 hours... in an airport2/23/2016
Ok, so technically the title of this post is a little misleading. If we want to get specific it was 32 hours in 3 different airports but who's counting, right? Most of you know by know that Kerri and I had a long weekend in Dublin planned out last week but it definitely didn't go as planned. And honestly, the story is almost to funny (at this point, not so much on Wednesday or Thursday) not to share so why not explain what happened and how we made the most of it... kinda.
It actually all started with my parents who up and decided they wanted to go to Dublin. They originally asked us to go back in January but Kerri didn't have a lot of time off at the time and it was pretty last minute so we decided to schedule it for February instead. My mom works for an airline and my dad used to so we get to fly at a deeply discounted rate on something called non-rev (non-revenue) or also known as stand by. The deeply discounted rate sounds amazing (and is!) until you get stuck somewhere. See, flying non-rev means you aren't guaranteed a seat together or even on the airplane at all so you try to book traveling non-rev around times you know there are plenty of open seats available on the flight, which is exactly what we did... or so we thought! When we originally listed ourselves on the stand by list 2 weeks prior to our trip there were plenty of first class and coach seats available so we thought we were golden to make it to Dublin but boy were we wrong.
I started out the day waking up at 4 am to make it to the airport by 6:15 am after going to bed WAY later than I should have the night before due to looking at last minute flight information with my mom. Surprisingly we made it on our first flight, sitting together and in an exit row next to a flight attendant and we were on our way to NYC to wait out the 11 hour layover. Our flight attendant was super awesome and she hooked us up with some mini bottles for cocktails for free to help our layover be not so sucky.
After landing at JFK we had about 5 hours to kill before my parent's flight landed so we worked, walked around and checked out some of the stores and restaurants before deciding to grab some lunch at PizzaVino. Lucky for us, terminal 4 at JFK airport has a lot to do and see so we really weren't too bored waiting for my parents to get in so we could head up to the Sky Lounge.
The Sky Lounge is the perfect place to spend the day if you have a long layover. In the warmer summer months they have an amazing outdoor patio, free wine, beer and food and (in my opinion) the best part... showers! Oh yeah, and free wifi and plenty of places to sit and unwind while charging your electronics.
Not to mention it's a great spot for people watching and celeb sighting! We saw Anthony Anderson and Keanu Reeves all in a matter of minutes just hanging out in the Sky Lounge.
After spending about 5 hours in the Sky Lounge we headed down to our gate to prepare for boarding but oh what a mess it was when we got down there. There were people every where, the stand by list had grown exponentially and it was definitely not looking good for us making it on board. Little did we know that the Dublin Film Festival happened to be the weekend we were heading over there so flights booked up unexpectedly at the last minute bumping us from getting a seat on the flight. Lucky for us... or so we thought... we had a back up plan! Don't make it to Dublin? No problem! The flight to my favorite city in the world, London, left a little over an hour after our flight so that left us with enough time to rebook ourselves and get over to the gate. When we got to the gate for London it was just as much chaos as the flight to Dublin. After seeing the stand by list and some of the same people waiting at the London gate who were at the Dublin gate I knew there was no chance we would be making it to the UK.
I'm not going to lie, at this point I threw a mini hissy fit then sucked it up and headed back to the Sky Lounge for another drink and figuring out our next steps. I suggested staying in NYC for the weekend or looking into another US destination just to get out of town and make the best of it but due to extreme exhaustion and maybe a wee bit too much wine everyone just wanted to head home. The Sky Lounge eventually kicked us out and we proceeded to a gate around 2 am to catch a quick 1 hour catnap before jumping in a cab and heading from JFK to LaGuardia. Just to recap, at this point we've been up almost 24 hours straight and tensions are definitely running a bit high.
This trip marks the first time in my life I can say 1. I didn't have to wait a single minute for a cab out of JFK airport and 2. I was among one of the first 10 people in line for check point security at LaGuardia.
In effort to cut this short I won't get into any more details about our experience at LGA other than of course with the way our trip was going we didn't make the first flight back to Orlando so we had to move to a different gate (again), I had to go talk to a gate agent about getting my ticket rolled over because for some reason they were showing that I had actually made it to London (newsflash people, I'm standing in front of you, I obviously am not in London!), and the icing on the cake? We happened to be on a flight home with the one person Kerri and I absolutely positively did not want to be stuck on an airplane (or anything else) with. So basically the travel gods were 100% against us making this trip and I'm actually thankful we were able to make it back to Orlando about 32 hours after we started our journey. It was definitely not the adventure either of us had planned on our wanted but looking back on it now I just have to laugh at massive bad luck on this trip! Once back in Orlando we definitely made the best of our weekend and the weather was gorgeous so I really can't complain. While I think I'm going to hold off flying non-rev for awhile one bad experience isn't going to turn me off of it forever.
Sorry this was so long! I honestly could have written so much more about our experience (32 hours is a LONG time, especially when you're awake for pretty much all of it) and I had planned on making this funnier but I got exhausted just writing it...maybe I'm still not quite at the laugh about it phase but I know now that next time I should specify what kind of adventure I want!