Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Flying to the West Coast

You long-time readers know how much I love to fly...I always share the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to my flying experiences. Actually, I take that back...I always share the good, better and best, because I have always had great flying experiences.

Ahem, had being the key word.

Last week I flew from Maine to Oregon...not my first time on the West Coast, but my first time in Oregon or any Northwestern states.

We got all of our stuff in one suitcase...that is two women for 12 days...but it was overweight. :( So we went to two suitcases, which ended up being a good thing.

There were 6 of us flying Grandmother and I, plus a close friend of mine with her 3 small boys. She and I both were holding a baby on our lap for the flights.

We got checked in and through security with absolutely no problems. Did you know that kids under 12 don't  have to take off their shoes for security?? Such a blessing!

But things started getting interesting at this point.

Watching our plane out the window...just waiting to get on!

You know I try to fly Jet Blue if at all possible, but this time it wasn't...we were flying United Airlines. Can I just start out by saying that everyone I talk to has a United horror story? And now I do. How thrilling.

Our flight got bumped by half and hour, which didn't seem too bad - we had a 2 hour+ layover in Newark, so we felt we had plenty of time. It was 45 minutes late, however, when we started boarding. The two older boys started to panic - they had only been on a plane once when they were too small to remember - so the loud noises and unfamiliar surrounding had them scared. They were troopers through the whole thing, however...didn't even seem to mind all the waiting around.

So we finally all get on the plane, get the boys settled down...and we hear a voice, "I wish I had good news for you." Yup, I've been waiting to hear that line. I knew things were going too smoothly!

Due to a maintenance discrepancy with the de-icer on one wing, they had to call the maintenance man...who, of course, was home trying to enjoy his holiday weekend. So instead of making us all sit on the plane for an hour and a half(!!!) they had us all get off again. Great, just peachy!

The maintenance problem actually didn't take as long as they thought to clear up, so before we knew it we were boarding again...only now our flight was 2 hours late!

This 20-month boy was my lap buddy for the day. He did great! He slept for the entire first 1 hour flight, but then didn't sleep at all on the 6 hour flight...go figure! He still was such a good little boy!

We were optimistic that we would still be able to catch our connecting flight in Newark, because they had told us there was some weather delays in NJ anyway. But just in case, we had a plan in place as soon as the plane hit the ground.

I was able to find out (after asking the stewardess twice) what gate we would be taxied into when we landed. Thankfully it was in the same section of the airport...but still miles away! We planned for my grandmother to take a couple of our carry-on bags and run ahead to the departure gate to let them know we were coming as fast as we could, while we hauled the boys as fast as we could. That was our plan...but we were sincerely hoping that our next flight would be delayed.

It wasn't. Of course. We had about 10 minutes to catch our flight.

So picture friend T and I, each carrying a baby and a diaper bag, and her holding the hand of her 3-year-old. We were rushing as fast as his little legs could possibly go...and even though he was scared, we had to make him go on the moving sidewalks and escalators as we ran past 23 gates, a food court, and a shopping plaza. As we were finally nearing our gate, we heard them give a three minute warning - eek! We ran up to the gate, barely able to talk we were breathing so heavy. The lady scanning tickets was very rude...demanding to see our tickets and shouting at us to "step aside!" when we couldn't produce them in a split second. Um lady...our hands are a little full!

But we made it...rude lady and all. :) Thankfully the stewardesses on the flight were extremely cooperative and nice. I am sure no one gets excited to see 3 boys under the age of 3 on a flight...especially 3 boys that have just been dragged through the airport! They stopped to talk to the boys and gave us a chance to catch our breath...they also gave us milk for the baby since we hadn't had time to stop and purchase any. I'm thankful for them!

I'll admit my faith was weak. Even though the Lord had clearly helped us catch our flight, I kept thinking, "There is no way our luggage is going to make it!" From the time our first flight landed to the time our second flight was taking off could not have been more than 30 minutes....what are the chances that they got our luggage on this plane with us in that short amount of time?? I seriously did not expect to ever see my luggage again...but again the Lord had that all in order. All of our luggage did make it, despite my lack of faith!

So we made it to Oregon. Early. With all our luggage.

So far I absolutely love this is beautiful. I'm having a blast visiting family I haven't seen in 8 years. And I'm thankful that our return flight isn't with United!!!!

Oh Jet Blue, you are missed!


  1. I have ALWAYS wanted to visit the West Coast Nicole! Hopefully I'll get there someday... :)

    1. You should! It is SO BEAUTIFUL out here!

  2. Flying United isn't all bad......they usually leave you with a really good story to tell! :)

    1. Yeah, but I could live without THAT kind of story!!! =)


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