So by now, you all know that my mom works for Delta Airlines and I usually fly standby. Remember last Christmas when I was whining about some past travel nightmares? Well it was all a lie. Every single last detail. I redact, recant, and re-remove everything I ever said about any of this nonsense being my worst travel experience ever. This weekend was hands-down my favorite worst time traveling on standby ever. I know my mom has worked for them for 25 years, but I have to say: Delta Airlines can kiss my shockingly white ass.
FRIDAY6:30AM: Set out for JFK Airport with every intention of getting on overbooked 8:30 flight to San Diego.
8:30: I don't get on the flight, but my luggage does.
9:00: Mom says to try 9:30 flight to Salt Lake City and make connection there.
9:30: Flight to Salt Lake City is overbooked--the Mormons don't want me, either.
9:35: Set out for La Guardia Airport with every intention of getting on overbooked flight(s) to Atlanta.
10:50: 10:55 Flight to Atlanta is oversold by 20, I am number 33 on the standby list.
10:55: I am now number 34 on the standby list.
10:56: I give up and walk to the next gate for the 11:55 flight.
11:50: Flight is oversold by 19, I am number 37 on the standby list.
11:55: Flight leaves with all standby passengers still standing by. I walk to the next gate for the 12:55 flight.
12:15PM: Wait with 200 people in a hot, overcrowded terminal with God knows how many other passengers trying to get on the 12:55 flight to Atlanta.
12:30: Mom suggests I keep waiting to get on a flight to Atlanta. I ask mom how the flights out of Atlanta to San Diego look. Mom says "not good." I ask what my chances are of even getting to Atlanta today. Mom says "not good." I ask mom how the 7:30 flight to San Diego out of JFK looks tonight. Mom says, "Overbooked by 20 with 19 standby's."
12:35: I make the executive decision that it's time to quit this bitch and go home.
1:00: Awesome Cousin picks me up at airport and we spend the day shopping and eating Chinese food.
8:30pm: Receive frantic phone call from mom that the 7:30 flight to San Diego out of JFK has been delayed to 10pm because of thunderstorms, that there are 14 seats open, and that if I rush, I can make it.
9:00: Arrive at airport and attempt to check in, only to have the kiosk tell me to see an agent. Line to see agent is 100-deep. I use Delta lingo to get agent to help me and cut line. I get dirty looks from other passengers. I don't give a damn.
9:30: Get to gate. Flight is delayed until 10:15. Look for outlet to charge my dying phone; find none.
10:15: Flight is now delayed until 11:00.
11:00: Flight is now delayed until 11:15.
11:15: Departure gate is changed to an entirely different terminal and delayed until midnight.
FUCK. MY. LIFE.
11:45: A/C is on full blast at new gate, tired children are crying, creepy air marshal is giving me the side-eye because I keep opening my suitcase to put more clothes on. I am hungry, aggravated, frustrated, and exhausted beyond words. Look for outlet to charge my dying phone; all are taken.
12 midnight: Flight is canceled.
12:01AM: I lose my shit and start to cry.
12:02-12:15: I desperately call my mother to come pick me up, but she doesn't hear the phone.
12:30: I take a $35 cab ride home.
1:00: I walk into my house and scare my mother half to death. I tell her that I'll go to work with her tomorrow at 6am and try again to get on that day's Atlanta flight(s). She says not to bother, as 3 Atlanta flights were canceled that night due to weather and all those bitches would be on the AM flights. I secretly thank God that I get to sleep for more than 5 hours and go to bed.
SATURDAY6:22AM: I receive a frantic call from my mother that they've added a second morning flight to San Diego that has 45 empty seats, and that if I rush, I can make the 8:30am flight.
6:24: I cautiously call my awesome cousin and beg her to drive me to JFK. Because she's so awesome, she not only agrees, but gets us there in less than 20 minutes.
7:30: Arrive at JFK and warn Awesome Cousin that even though there are 45 empty seats on the extra 8:30 flight, not to leave the airport.
7:40: Attempt to check in and have the stupid kiosk tell me to see an agent AGAIN.
7:45: Call mom in a panic.
7:50: Mom tells me extra 8:30am flight to San Diego is canceled.
7:51: REALLY lose my shit and start to sob.
7:55: Mom tries in vain to calm me down and tells me to get to LaGuardia in time to try and get on 11am flight.
8:00-9:00: Awesome Cousin and I get breakfast and watch Michael Jackson videos on MTV.
9:30: Arrive at LaGuardia and have kiosk tell me to see an agent.
9:31: I smack the kiosk.
9:35: I call mom and she gets an agent to check me in manually and bring me my boarding pass. More dirty looks from other passengers. Still don't give a damn.
10:30: After waiting in the security line for an hour, I get to gate and see that I am number 42 on the standby list. Mom tells me to come upstairs to the control tower where she works and wait with her.
10:45-2pm: Watch flight after flight take off (literally) without the same 20-30 standby passengers still waiting to get on a flight, any flight.
2:05: Mom suggests I find another airline and buy a ticket.
2:10: Non-stop flight from JFK to San Diego on Jet Blue at 6:35 this evening is booked, hassle-free.
2:30-4:00: Go home, shower, relax, go back to airport.
4:30: Arrive at JFK, check in at the kiosk hassle-free, wait 10 hassle-free minutes in a short security line, and proceed to Jet Blue terminal, otherwise known as Heaven on Earth.
5:00: I purchase a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread and caramel popcorn, walk 20 feet to gate, and sit at internet depot where I am currently enjoying free Wi-Fi and a plethora of outlets for my electronics.
Number of failed flights: 12
Number of hours attempting to travel: 36
Number of suitcases that left without me: 2
Number of times I will ever consider flying standby if I can afford a real ticket: ZERO.