A Hard Way to Get Extra Peanuts
edited: Sunday, July 08, 2001
By Sharon Hartdegen
Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2001
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Air Travel Story
Have read an awful lot of funny and not-so-funny stories about air travel lately. Some have made me laugh; and some remind me of my trip to New Orleans June, 1998 where I’d hoped to spend a week with my mother-in-law in St. Rose. We have been planning this for years, and since I recently retired, this was the summer we would take a few days relaxing on the coast.
However, fate had other plans. Being from New Orleans, but living in Dallas for the last 27 years, I miss certain things. After flying in Saturday afternoon, visiting, eating gumbo and bread pudding (favorites of mine), exchanging pictures of family, smelling Magnolia blossoms (something I miss terribly), we went to bed with plans to visit family in Baton Rouge before heading for Biloxi.
During that first night I realized that the scratchy throat I had been experiencing all day was developing into something much more. My ears and throat were filling with fluid, and I felt congested and terrible.
What to do? I lay awake all night wondering why this was happening; and what was I going to do? I had just arrived. Whether this was a summer cold or the beginning of the flu, I couldn’t expose the family and their friends (quite a few who are in their 80's and 90's). Finally the answer came to me - get out as fast as you can. My only concern was how to tell my mother-in-law. We’d been planning this for so long.
Well, early Sunday morning after explaining and apologizing profusely, I called the Airlines to get a flight back to Dallas ASAP. However, there were no seats available on any flight. Why? No holiday, just a Sunday. They told me I could fly Stand-by (which I’d never done before) - but it would cost me $48 more and I’d have to change planes in Houston. I was in no condition to argue. I paid the $48 more to wait through 3 flights, changing gates each time as they checked their standby list, finally got to Houston, where I did the same, and arrived in Dallas around 2 p.m.
Now I’m not complaining. I got home which is what I wanted to do. But doesn’t it actually benefit the airlines to fill the seats of the passengers who don’t show up, without having to pay more to do so? Just wonder why it is necessary to pay more to do it the hard way (Stand-by)?
It was the most expensive overnight trip I’ve ever made. But I keep reminding myself that the trip did have its advantages, having to go through Houston, instead of straight to Dallas did give me the opportunity to get two bags of peanuts!