The Trials and Tribulations of a Travel Addict
I definitely enjoy traveling and sometimes I take it to the extreme. I recently flew on 10 flights over 14 days. I think I had permanent jetlag for atleast a few days. I am going to share some of the craziness that occurred and what I did right, what I did wrong and what I will do in the future now that I’ve experienced every possible travel scenario over the last two weeks.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve encountered, delays, diversions, mechanical issues, holding patterns, refueling stops, etc. It all started in St Louis, actually probably somewhere close to Tennessee, my plane had a mechanical issue while in the air and had to return to St Louis. Unfortunately, it was so late there wasn’t another flight that night and I had to fly home the next day. I got home on Thursday and was planning on leaving for South Africa the next day.
- I had a trip to South Africa planned but due to weather in the Northeast it wasn’t looking very promising the night before. United Airlines put a travel waiver in place which meant I could change my flight to a different date at no additional cost. I could have changed my flight and flew the next day as the weather looked a lot better. I had already checked into my hotel in the Marriott Bonvoy app, since they allow checking in 24 hours before your stay. I may have been on the hook for that night if I changed my flight. In addition, I had several activities booked. I would have needed to rearrange our schedule which might not have been possible. I called United and spoke to a very knowledgeable agent who assured me, “these flights go out, they fly in anything”. So I knew I had to stick to the game plan.
- I decided instead of changing my flight to the next day, I moved my flight to Newark a few hours earlier. I was hoping I would avoid the storms in the Northeast if I flew earlier. Well that didn’t workout as I had planned. My flight from Atlanta was forced to enter into a holding pattern in the Pennsylvania area. We were making circles in the sky for about an hour and burned so much fuel that we had to divert to Harrisburg, PA. We still had enough time I was confident that I would make it to Newark on time, I really was concerned about having enough time to spend in the brand new United Club.
- We made it to Newark about an hour before my flight was scheduled to board and were then delayed by about 45 minutes which gave us time to spend in the brand new 30,000 Square Ft United Club. I was more than willing to stay in Newark for the night if we couldn’t fly. There is one thing I did when booking this trip that could have backfired on me. Since I had a flight credit on United from a previously cancelled flight, I utilized split ticketing. This means that my flight to Newark and my flight to Johannesburg were on separate itineraries. I wasn’t able to check into my Johannesburg flight in the app since they needed to verify my passport. My backup plan was being able to check into my Newark flight while I was in Atlanta. Sure enough, I entered my record locator number and the boarding pass printed out. That ended up being crucial since we spent hours making laps in the air and on the ground in Harrisburg. If I had to check in at Newark, I may not have had enough time to exit the airport to check in and make it back to my gate.
It was crazy at times but I wouldn’t do anything differently. Everything worked out ok, we landed in Johannesburg on time and we able to do all of the activities we had planned. I do have another one of these trips later this year with two flights on the same day with different airlines also to New York. That should be interesting. I’ve learned to expect delay’s, cancelations, etc and to pack taking into account the trip might be a day or two longer. I am already starting to plan atleast one multiple country trip for next year to the Middle East and Africa.