I'm a bit jaded about my stand-by flight benefits. I've had some definite downs along the way, with a few positives mixed in (like getting to my destination around the time I planned). But this past weekend was a big step for me. I ventured from Phoenix to NE Ohio on a Friday and back on a Sunday, which most in the commercial airline industry would say are the busiest times to fly. So hubby said, "just try it - your bad luck isn't the norm and you need to give it a shot," so I did.
Now, let me preface this story by saying that there are zero direct flights to and from the Cleveland area, meaning I needed good luck twice to get there, and twice to get home. I felt like I was tempting the stand-by Gods into a bad outcome, but maybe I'd sneak out and back without them noticing.
I was totally prepared to spend a lot of time at the Phx airport. I had my work computer, log in info to list for different flights when I didn't get on one, great places to eat (seriously, PHX has the best restaurants!)...I was ready! So flight #1...didn't get on. I am pretty sure the gate agent called someone lower on the stand-by list than me (because I was anxiously watching the list as she called names), but alas, the door closed and I was standing there sad. No worries, my next option is a short walk away, so off I go!
Next flight I also didn't get on...but I was the NEXT PERSON! Ugh - so close! Thankfully, while this was happening, hubby (in between his own flights) found a direct to ATL and from ATL I had a few options to get home. So I headed to my third gate of the day and thankfully got on! Middle seat in the very last row...but I was headed home!
By the time I landed in ATL, I was worried I wouldn't make my connection option and furiously started up my iPhone when we landed to find out where my next gate was, where I was landing and mapping my route. However, hubby again came to my rescue! There was a flight to the smaller airport that was only 10 minutes away from my parents house...and I might make it. I RAN (well the terminal train did a lot of the work, but it felt like I was running) and made it. The nicest gate agent EVER! He was friendly and gave me an exit row seat!!! Once on the plane, the flight attendant asked, somewhat embarrassed, "Ma'am, are you...old enough for the exit row? You...you have to be an adult," to which I burst out "OH my gosh....I just turned 30!!!! You made my whole day!"
After a short flight to my hometown, my brother-in-law waiting to pick me up because my trip was a surprise to my sister, nieces and parents, I decided my bad stand-by karma had been lifted!! Now, this could all change before my next trip in September...but I'm going to be optimistic and hope to fly away with happiness and little bit of good luck...and sweet flight attendants who think I'm 10+ years younger than I am!
Oh, and I made it back to Phoenix on Sunday!