the "perk" of non-reving

Flying down to South Carolina was a breeze, but coming home was not.

What is the first rule of non-reving? Always try to take the first flight.  This will give you as many options during the day as possible.  We learned this lesson years ago while trying to get home from PHX.  We arrived at the airport with plenty of time for our 11:55am flight.  We were all sitting patiently waiting for our name to be called.  We knew the loads were tight, but we thought there was a chance.  At 11:45am the stairs were pulled away from the plane...the plane was full.  Drat!

In our days as just a couple, we would have parked ourselves at some restaurant at the airport and killed time by watching tv or something.  Now that we have kids, we HAD to get out of the airport for everyones sanity.  We talked with the lady at the info desk and the Firetruck Museum down the road seemed like a great option!  So, we went out to the taxi stand, and to drive the 2 miles it would cost $27 one way.  No way! 

So, we rented a car for the afternoon.  The next flight was 4:35pm so we had a good couple hours to kill.

Not 3 minutes into the car ride, here is what happened:

to keep the kids napping (always a good thing) Steve parked the car at a mall.  He was looking at our flight options...and I went shopping

We drove down Airport Road, or something like that, to kill time and saw some neat fly-bys.  One was a cargo plane and the other was a fighter jet. Then we headed off to the Firetruck Museum.

We got back to the airport for the 4:35p flight, only to find it delayed 2 hours due to the crew. 

Drat! So, waiting we did...

We got on the flight just fine...but missed our connection back home by about 10 minutes...DRAT! 10 minutes?!  As we were walking around the airport trying to figure out our luggage and calling hotels Steve was replaying everything in his mind: "if we didn't sit at the gate in Charleston for that extra 10 minutes" "if we didn't have to park in terminal A"...and on and on.  I guess that is one disadvantage of being a pilot - since you know the game you know were delays happen.  Me? I was just in stupid oblivion.

We had to overnight at a nearly hotel.  At least Ben got a kick out of the air train. And the car seat on wheels is AWESOME!!!!  Seriously, the best money spent!  CC was comfortable and we were able to move fast when needed.

We got into the hotel around 10:30pm.  Ben and Steve slept in a bed and I shared a bed with CC. Our wake-up call came too soon!

Poor Ben was just so tired:

We headed off to the airport for our 6:25am flight, and we made it with no problems

I kept telling my worried family that was checking in on us that this hasn't been our first non-rev issue, and it surely won't be our last. You just have to keep an open mind, a level head, and make the most of it.

So, when people say "oh, what a great perk it is to fly for free anywhere" they should read this blog.  Yes, it is great to fly for free, but it isn't always easy.