Thursday, 30 June 2011

Lucky 7 it IS!!!

Well, as I watched the screen via my home computer, I saw that Adele was assigned a seat: 4C.  30 seconds later.....GONE!  WTH?  She had a seat, then didn't?  Then I watched the availability of seats go from 1 in Business and 1 in Coach, then 0 in Business and 2 in Coach!!  Then there was only 1 in Coach and there was STILL one person ahead of her on the list!!!  I kept hitting my "refresh" key hoping, praying for someone to NOT show and their seat being released.  Adele spoke to the Agent and he tells her, "there may be a seat for you in Business, waiting."  Oh boy, here we go.  She waits 3 days to get on a flight ONLY to get a seat in FIRST CLASS!!  Well, SHE DID!!!!  Her seat is 3C!  Lucky Duck.  That is all I can say.  She is living it up in First!!  Well, actually, she may be dozing now. LOL  Ahhh, the stress I go thru during her travels!  I fret every. single. time.  I don't know why.  She is TOTALLY CAPABLE of handling on her own.  Guess I'm just jealous that I do not have the time to travel right now.  One day.

Okay, now we'll wait and see HOW she will get from Malaga to England.  This should be interesting!!!  ;-)

Lucky Number 7?

I was just sitting here thinking... I have no idea how many flights I've now tried to get on. There was Manchester then London on Tuesday, London, then Manchester, then London yesterday. Amsterdam today. Now Malaga (Spain). That makes this my 7th Attempt in 3 days. Lets hope that this one does the trick.

The list for this one is much more promising. There are no other standby passengers, only 5 "inconvenienced passengers" (those who've had flights delayed/cancelled or otherwise had the plans disrupted) which would put me at #6 on the list, and there are 10 seats still available. That's totally the best odds I've had. Just because the list looks good now doesn't mean it will look good in 2 hours, when I'm boarding.

Fingers are now crossed for Malaga at 7.20.

You should have heard the rebooking agent I spoke to to get he flight changed from Amsterdam to Malaga. She asked where I was heading, and I said I was currently ticketed to Amsterdam, but would like to change it to Malaga. Silence. "Ummm... In Spain?" Yes. I know. One of these things is not like the other... but, it makes no never mind to me, seeing as how my final destination is neither Amsterdam NOR Malaga. *shrug*

Oooh Borading's Started!

Let's hope my name gets called. Fingers crossed! They've just started boarding the 1st class passengers. I'll be waiting til the very last second. The 10 minutes that they tell you you have to be there before? Yeah, that's my window. I've more than once been issued my seat assignment from the gate-walk with the door shut behind me. Tuesday (when I nearly made it to Manchester) I was actually ON the plane when they pulled me off. Yeah, that was fun.

Legalised Extortion

I knew that Extortion was one of the things that New York was famous for... but honestly, this is SHAMELESS! Do you see the price? $3.26. This is the change I got back from a $5! WTH? I don't even like Pepsi! But, it was the only thing available from the To Go kiosk by the gate.

To Go is the only vendor in range of the blessed and all important electric outlet for my iPad. I mean the thing has plenty of battery, but if I'm hanging out for 4+ hours before (or between) flights, plus the 7+ hours of the flight, I've got to have a power source!

Maybe I can get someone to look into the Extortion Racket going on.....

3 Days of Rerouting

In case you're wondering, this is what 3 days worth of rerouting looks like:

Ol' Blighty - The Perfect Sobriquet!

Blight: To destroy, ruin or frustrate.
Synonyms: Curse, Plague, Scourge, Bane

Ok, granted, that's a secondary definition, however, since I'm not dealing with plants, it's the applicable one. Anyway, Blight seems to be an exceptionally good word from which to derive the sobriquete for London, Blighty. It seems to be the bane of my existence! I cannot get there for love, nor money. Well, that's not necisarially true. If I tried money, I could probably get there. But that's the point, isn't it? When one is flying standby it's because one hasn't got (or doesn't want to spend) the money! Anyway, there just seems to be no way to get there from here.

Kind of hilarious, really. I flew to JFK no problems. I've now been here 3 days, 2 nights. And in fact, LONDON isn't my original destination. In actuality I want to get to Manchester so I can take a train to Dronfield, where my best friend and her family live. Hilarious that I've been jumping between Manchester and Heathrow airports for 2 days. Last night I had this brilliant idea.... I'm going to have to take the train anyway, so... what's restricting me to flying into England? Why couldn't I fly into Aberdeen, Scotland? Or Paris, France? Or Malaga, Spain? Or...... AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS! I love lightbulb moments.

Anyway, I went to the service desk and spoke to the attendant there, Millie, who was just an absolute doll. Totally helpful and sweet. We ended up trading email addresses because she wants to do some travelling and needs some tips on what to see and where to go and how to book things once she hits Europe. So funny.

Ok, back to the point.

Millie booked me into Amsterdam for this afternoon, arriving in the wee small hours of the morning, tomorrow. Excellent. The standby list for that flight is much more hopeful than the 44 people trying to get on an already stuffed flight to Heathrow last night!

I knew last night I'd have to speak to the ticketing agent to get my seat request card for Amsterdam because, when you switch airports, there's a charge of some sort. Distance or taxes is bound to work against you.... And I was right, there was a price difference. But.... Murphy must have had the day off because it wasn't a charge to my card, it was a refund! And it was no measly $3.10, either. Oh no. It was a brilliant $399!

Well colour me shocked.

That means that I can totally fly from Amsterdam to England, take a train and STILL end up ahead! Yeah, that's just a stupid amount of tax on the UK airports. Hello my new home base! Not only that, the Amsterdam Airport, Schipol, is a brilliant airport. There's loads to do (even a couple of MUSEUMS!) and some fabulous benches for sleeping, you can even get a shower. So, I'd much rather book a cheap flight to Amsterdam, fly into there and kip on the benches if needs be for the night 'til I can get out. And, considering the track record for flights to London, I'm much more likely to actually get on a flight to/from Amsterdam than one to/from London.

There are 2 flights this afternoon (actually, maybe 3. I know for sure of 2 -- 4.15 and 6.00. But I want to say there's a later one as well.) Here's hoping I get on one!

Thank You for Flying Adele Airlines

Good morning (or afternoon... I think it's afternoon now) everyone! Welcome to my new blog. We realise that when you are selecting your blogging activities that you have a wide choice, so we appreciate you choosing to fly with us.

Welcome to High Class Hitchhiking. What is High Class Hitchiking, you ask? Well, it's flying standby. Why is that High Class? Because it still costs more than walking (of course, you can get places that walking can't) and sometimes you get lucky and end up in First Class!

I don't always fly standby, but whenever I have the time I do. Actually, I do this for two reasons:
1 - Save money. It is cheaper to fly standby.
2 - Kind of fun. I actually do enjoy the... not drama exactly. More, the anticipation of the unknown. You never know where you'll end up, nor how you'll get there. I love that. Besides, I meet the nicest people.

The idea for this blog struck me last night as I was camped out in JFK airport in New York City. I thought about starting it up then, but I was kind of tired after 2 days of wondering if I was going to get on a plane to England, so I decided to wait til I had a little more brain power before starting off.

Just at the moment the layout of the blog is pretty basic, and kind of boring. That's mostly because I'm working on my iPad, so don't have my image editing software to crate an awesome background. When (if!) I get home, I'll prettify the blog. Til then, enjoy the simplicity of minimalism.