13 January 2013

Priceless - Sundays in My City

I missed my flight back last week. I was flying out of an airport none of us are used to and, well, we got lost. The GPS I got for my parents a couple years ago suddenly just quit turning on (anyone know anything about that?).  The printed directions were a little confusing.  I called the airline when I was pretty sure we weren't going to make it in time and they said that since it was the return leg of a trip purchased at the dirt-cheap internet fare there were no changes allowed. I'd have to buy a new ticket. My mind started racing at the thought of how many thousands a last-minute, one-way ticket to Europe was going to cost me.

We finally made it to the airport at 1730 for an 1810 flight. I ran into the terminal and all I was capable of saying was, "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...610 to Amsterdam!"  I was met with a resounding, "NO!"  I didn't really expect to make the flight but I had held out a tiny bit of hope for some sort of delay.  There wasn't one.  So I asked the gate agent what I could do. He looked up my ticket and again told me that no changes were allowed. I told him I already knew this and asked him what I'd have to do to get home. When he told me I could fly to JFK and then to Amsterdam and then to Dusseldorf but that it would cost me $250 I couldn't give him my credit card fast enough.  

When he finally handed me the tickets he said, "So, you need to go to JFK."  I said, "I thought I was flying from here to JFK."  I had heard him wrong. We couldn't get to Newark WITH directions. How the heck were we going to get to JFK WITHOUT directions and then how were my poor parents going to get all the way home?  Turns out, as luck would have it, there's a shuttle bus between the Newark airport and JFK.  I got to JFK with plenty of time and although my flight out of JFK was 6 hours later than the original flight out of Newark I arrived in Dusseldorf only 3 hours later than originally scheduled. It was a rather exhausting trip even though I slept the entirety of both flights (seriously, I never even heard the "here's how to put on your seat belt" speech. I was already out cold.) and the train ride back from the airport.  I've done a lot of sleeping since getting back as well.

Still, the trip was definitely a Mastercard commercial.  The look of surprise on Mom's face, surprising my parents again later that week when my sister arrived, the joy they felt at having all 3 kids home and getting to spend time with my four most favorite people (and a couple 4-legged friends)...


Daddy and the Boy





For other priceless stories, check out the links over at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami


  1. Wow that seems like a bargain price for such a long trip, glad you made it home OK and well done for sleeping. I find sleeping on the plane nearly impossible


  2. Wow that was certainly an adventure. We nearly missed a flight home from New York to Toronto but thanks to some wonderful sky cap people and 40 bucks we just made it. I don't like to fly!

  3. It was good that you could work out the change in flight plans, and how wonderful for your parents to have you and your siblings home together.

  4. That's a great price even if it meant running around a bit to make your flight. I know what it means to sleep soundly on a plane. I once very nearly missed a scheduled airline stop for Honduras and flew on to Costa Rica but I woke up at the very last minute. I missed the landing and all the announcements in deep slumber. Glad that all ended well.

  5. $250 seems outrageously cheap- though I can imagine it was stressful!
    So great that you and all your siblings were home at the same time, it really is one of the best feeli GE when home feels like home!

  6. Wow - how stressful! So glad you made it and it wasn't super expensive! it's one of my biggest fears is missing flights.

  7. While obviously a tough (and expensive) trip home, it sounds like it was indeed priceless that you were able to surprise your family!

    Happy Sunday!

  8. Oh man! Just thinking about missing a flight stresses me out. I've had to run and beg before and it sucks. I'm glad you were able to visit with your family and make it home, safe and sound.

  9. Oh, I'm glad you made it home and that it was for a reasonable amount. Love the pics.