They say that it’s bad luck to start a journey on a Friday. I can tell you that expanding that warning to Friday the 13th is even more true. Now, I’ve never been a superstitious person, but my most recent trip to California to visit Jeremy was a testament to keeping at least a couple of these old sayings in mind.
Most people who travel often will tell you that the best days to fly are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Airline tickets are almost always cheaper on those days because they are the least traveled. You’ll get your tickets a little cheaper (20 bucks isn’t much, but it’s still a meal in the airport) and the plane might not be as crowded. Now, on the other hand, the airlines discount tickets on those days, but it just means that more people will be snapping up those fares at the last minute or flying standby and hoping for an empty seat. For my California trips I usually fly out from Mobile on a Thursday morning and fly back on a Tuesday afternoon. That gives the boys and I a nice long weekend to catch up and see family.
This time, I had a MOPS meeting on Thursday morning. It was our last meeting for the season and I really didn’t want to miss it. I bought my tickets a couple of months ahead of time, got a good deal, and figured that leaving on a Friday would be okay. I should have known…
I was supposed to leave at 6:15 am Friday morning, getting to my preferred airport in California by 11 am. Awesome, right? We would get to our layover in Houston in time for breakfast, then Jesse would take his morning nap on the long flight from Houston to CA, and we’d get there in time for lunch with whomever was going to pick us up from the airport.
Normally I’m doing the last of the laundry the evening before I’m to leave and finish packing around midnight. This time, I was done packing on Thursday before lunch, with the exception of last minute things like my toothbrush and curling iron. Again, I should have known…
Around 10 pm I was checking my email one last time before heading to bed. Lo and behold, a cancellation notice! My 6:15 am flight was cancelled and they did not rebook me on the next available flight. The email didn’t even have a phone number to call. I had to go searching the website for a phone number, then my husband waited on hold for 50 minutes (yes, almost an hour on hold) while I looked up the available flight times to figure out my options. We were finally rudely greeted by someone calling themselves customer service, and after explaining our situation a couple of times I was rebooked on a flight at noon. I thought, “Okay, I guess that’ll work. At least we’ll still be getting to Houston in time for a late nap for the baby. It’ll be fine.” I should have known…
My plane from Mobile was 30 minutes late in taking off. I usually wait to nurse Jesse until we are leaving the ground because it helps keep his ears from having trouble with the changing cabin pressure. Jesse was begging so I fed him as soon as we got on the plane. He knocked out and slept the whole first flight. Awesome, but I knew that meant trouble for the long flight. Since we took off late, that shrank my time to get from one terminal to the next (across the airport, of course). There was no time to get lunch. I had to run with my carry-on bag and diaper bag trailing behind me and pushing an umbrella stroller with Jesse in it. We made it, but just barely. Since he had just taken a nice long morning nap there was absolutely no way he’d sleep on the next flight.
I was right, he was awake and wanting to play! We boarded the plane on time but then sat on the runway for almost an hour. The air conditioner was hardly working, on a completely packed airplane, in the middle of the day, in Texas, in the early summer. Are you kidding me? Everyone was hot and all the kids on the plane were crying. Even better. We finally took off, the air started working moderately well, and Jesse fell asleep 10 minutes before we landed in California – at the wrong airport. We landed in Santa Ana, not Ontario. I knew this when we were rebooked the night before, but many people were not aware so a ton of folks were upset and trying to call their people who were waiting for them in Ontario.
We maneuvered our way through the angry throng to get our checked bag and carseat. I waited and waited and waited, got the bag, no carseat. They sent it through the oversized baggage chute where they put things like animal crates and sports equipment. Other carseats came though the regular checked bags carousel, just not ours. So aggravating.
An hour late, we picked up Jeremy. He was in a good mood and so happy to see us. 🙂 We went to McDonald’s for dinner before getting on the freeway to Grandma’s house. Jesse had diarrhea, the restroom didn’t have a changing table, so a perfectly good outfit was ruined as I had to change a nasty nasty diaper in a restaurant booth. Yuck.
What a great way to start a trip, huh?! I’ll finish up this mis-adventure tomorrow.