Friday, April 10, 2009

Made it to Miami!

The flights to Miami were all overbooked yesterday. I sat at home looking at each flight. There was a long standby list for each one. The first standbys to get on are paying passengers. MANY passengers for all destinations book a late flight "just in case", but choose to go on an earlier flight standby. This screws non-revenue passengers (us). We see a flight that should have seats open, we get on the list, then the paying passengers show up to go standby. Booo.

I was on call reserve until midnight. Realistically I couldn't be called after 5PM as all remaining flights were overnight flights and I was off the next day (today). I booked us on a 505PM flight that was overbooked. There were VERY high winds in DFW yesterday that caused the airport to use just 2 runways instead of the normal 6. Delays started racking up. In addiiton to delays, planes that were inbound to DFW had to land elsewhere due to delays getting into DFW. This is a good thing.

The 505PM flight was delayed until 7PM. The next flight, 6:55 was delayed until 7:45PM. This was not good for us. They likely delayed the flights to give connecting passengers time to make the flight. We were pretty far down the standby list, around number 28 and 29. Both flights were overbooked.

The 505PM flight left at 7:05PM. They had room for me in the cockpit, that's it. I passed. I booked us on a flight to Nashville arriving at 11PM to then fly on a 6AM flight to Miami.

We walked down to the next direct Miami flight. Again overbooked. But I had hope that passengers would misconnect (not nice I now...but it's all about us!). Kelli and I stood away from the counter. Kelli noticed the number of passengers boarding was much less than the last flight. Both flights were on 757's. I saw a gate agent I had seen before. She is good. Really good. I checked the internal standby list on my phone. Seats were opening up! She was clearing seats from passengers who would miss the flight anyway. Nice.

There were A LOT of employee standbys. There were even some buddy pass standbys (I get mine to hand out in November) hoping to get on. It was looking REALLY good suddenly.

The gate agents began calling names. Lots of no shows. People had given up (there were two people above us, one with a kid) likely due to the full flights. Traveling with a kid is very hard as you can't always get seats together when flying standby.

She called our names. I was still in uniform as I assumed we would be sitting coach. Assuming is bad. The agent asked First or Coach. I said First if you have two seats. She did. Sweet. We quickly walked down the jet bridge. Our seats weren't together, but another passenger swapped with me. Every standby got on! There were over 25 mis-connecting passengers. I love gate agents that work the standby list in all possible ways.

The flight was fine. I really wished I wasn't in uniform as I could have used a drink. Oh well.

We arrived after the hotel shuttle stopped operating. We had to take a taxi. The hotel is a normal La Quinta.

Gotta run. Time to catch the shuttle to the boat. More from the boat today...maybe.

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