Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another attempt at our honeymoon

As most of you probably know by now, Greg & I tried to fly standby on Delta to get to Ireland last Sunday (one week ago today). Due to the predicted effects of Hurricane Irene, all New York City airports were closed so our only option was to fly from Nashville to Atlanta and then try to get on any available flight to Europe. I say Europe, not Ireland, because Delta only operates one daily flight to Dublin (departing after 9pm) and it was looking quite full in the reservations system. Since we arrived in Atlanta around 11am, there was no reason not to start trying to get on any earlier international flights that might have seats available.

With the help of an extremely nice International Ticketing Agent in the E-concourse, we changed our one-way tickets to Dusseldorf, Germany. When all revenue passengers had boarded the plane, there were only a few seats left so only a couple of standby passengers got on. We then went through the same process at the ticket counter and had the destination changed to Brussels, Belgium. This time we actually got cleared at the last minute and even boarded the plane, but then due to a miscalculation of available seats by the gate agent, had to get back off! Our third attempt was to Manchester, UK, which required crossing the entire airport from the E concourse to the T concourse. This was also a close call, as it appeared we would get the last available seats, but then at the absolute last minute some revenue passengers showed up and claimed them!
Greg drinking a vodka martini in the Delta Sky Club in ATL. Thanks to my mom for the passes as they really made our long day more bearable!
After returning to the E concourse I was going to have the tickets reissued to Dublin, but by that point the flight was clearly overbooked and we had no hope of getting on. Instead of taking our chances and then possibly have to overnight at an airport hotel, and considering that all flights to Europe looked just as full all week long, we decided to cut our losses and catch the last flight back to Nashville. We landed around 11pm.

That was our first attempt(s) at departing for our honeymoon. We got some sleep and reconsidered our options and ultimately decided to use my Continental OnePass miles to purchase two one-way tickets from Nashville to Dublin (via Charlotte) for travel today. Of course we would have preferred to leave sooner, but all flights on all airlines were pretty full thus ticket prices were no less than $700 per person the entire week. I was able to use 30,000 miles per person plus $75 per ticket in fees and another $70 to purchase the balance of miles I needed so we now have confirmed coach seats for a total of 60,000 miles and $230.

I am writing this post from Charlotte International Airport. We landed around 10am and then my aunt & uncle picked us up and took us to brunch at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Charlotte. Yes, we were both quite tempted to drink beer, but knew we had a long day ahead of us so decided to wait. When we returned to the airport around 2pm, we killed the first hour at Carolina Beer Company. But then we found out our beers cost $7.50 so we only had one each!

In less than an hour we will board our flight to Dublin. We are excited to finally be on our way and looking forward to a change of scenery and climate plus just relaxing and drinking good beer!

One final note; in today's Tennessean (newspaper), the winners of the 2011 Vacation Photo Contest were publicly announced. I won 4th place (Judges' Choice) and a trip to Tunica, Mississippi! My winning entry is pictured below and the link to all the winners is embedded in this post's title. What's funny is that the editor who called to "interview" me for the article did not ask me about Greg's last name (nor did I know he would even be mentioned). Thus, he is listed as Greg SMARTT instead of Greg LaRowe!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment