Posted by: ppernick | April 19, 2006

Lessons when flying

Lesson 1: Use only one airline to reach your destination

When I booked our flight to KC, I went through Mobissimo.com to find the lowest price.  The search returned a flight that was practically $100 cheaper than the others.  Leave Seattle on Alaskan Airlines at 11:30am arrive in Denver around 3pm; leave Denver on Frontier Airlines at 6:55 and arrive in KC at 9:30pm.  I didn’t think the times were horrible – especially considering we’d have Simeon with us and this would be plenty of time to feed him and get between gates without rushing – so I grabbed it.

Issue #1Alaska and Frontier knew nothing about each other

After checking in and going through security we discovered that our luggage was only checked through to Denver.  This meant, we would have to leave security, get our luggage, then check in for Frontier and go through security all over again.  Well…at least we had 4 hours, though we should talk to the staff and try to get our luggage retagged.  Then Issue #2 crept in…

Issue #2:  Alaska Airlines flight delayed

The plane on which we were to depart arrived at 11:30 along with an announcement – there are mechanical issues and an update will be given at noon.  Ari used this time to get a couple miles of walking in and worked with Alaska and Frontier to try and get our luggage taken care of and get checked in for our next flight.  Unfortunately, both failed.  At noon, the announcement was – still working on plane and looking for another plane we can use, next update at 12:30.  This time, I worked on the luggage issue and at least this time the staff were able to reach the ground crew.  At 12:30 the next announcement – plane is unfixable, only available plane is in San Diego and we will depart at 4pm.  Well…at least now they should have time to find and retag our luggage. 

Unfortunately, this means our 4 hour layover is now -1 hours…Ari goes off to try and work with Alaska and Frontier to get us to KC.  Yet again we fail…each airline has a flight heading to Denver around 2:30 but nobody is at the Frontier counter and Alaska has a waiting list.  We eventually get our food vouchers from Alaska and get some food.  We’ll just have to hope we catch one of the later Frontier flights out of Denver.  Frontier has 2 flights leaving for KC within an hour of our new arrival time.

Issue #3:  Alaska Airlines flight delayed again

The plane from San Diego is apparently already claimed, so our plane is an additional 45 minutes late.  At this point, we’re half expecting to stay in Denver for a night…though we have since had confirmation our luggage has been retagged.  At least Simeon has a change of clothes, plenty of diapers and a sleeper.

On the bright side of the whole trip, we wound up sitting next to a nanny who was more than happy to babysit during the flight.  We also discovered we had a lot in common and may get together :).  It was nice having a friendly person next to us and she was very helpful in getting off the plane as we were going to have some running to do.

We arrived in Denver around 8:25pm and prayed that the last Frontier flight was at 9pm and not 8:30. With the help of the nanny, who carried Simeon off the plane for us, we got out and raced to Frontier – which meant the length of the Alaska terminal to the tram, 2 stops on the tram, and the length of the Frontier terminal.  10-15 minutes later, we’re panting at the Frontier gate and telling them our story.  Luckily, there is room for each of us to have 3 or more rows to ourselves and we’re bound for KC, arriving at 11:30pm.

Of course, since we barely made the flight guess what didn’t make the flight.  Our luggage arrived around 4 or 5pm the next day.

Lesson 2: When you have a baby, make sure to have a change of clothes in your carry on

Our flight back was luckily on one airline…Continental.  Although this also turned out to be a special flight because it was operated by Northwest; at least both legs were Northwest operated.  Our flight out of KC was delayed, but we still managed to have 30 – 45 minutes before the next flight was to depart and we made it to the gate soon after they had started boarding.  Unfortunately, this meant we were unable to try and get seats next to each other (we each had center seats 10 rows apart), so we were at the mercy of any kind passengers.  Luckily a gentleman with a window seat was kind enough to move back for us.

When the beverage lady came by, I decided to have some orange juice.  Of course, with Simeon on my lap, the orange juice didn’t even last 5 seconds.  As Ari was being handed his water, my knee was drenched and some of our belongings were a bit damp too.

A bit later, I looked to see a nice big stain on Simeon’s pants.  Being in the window seat, I immediately turned to Ari who would be the lucky one to change him.  After Ari disappeared I noticed my shirt…ugh.  I grabbed a baby wipe and started working.  Nothing so pleasant as to smell like crap on a plane.  Ari returned a bit later with a clean boy…although apparently the diaper had slipped and his butt was perfectly clean…it was just the rest of him and all his clothes that were nasty.

Lesson 3: Don’t buy a smarte cart until you have your luggage

Having 3 suitcases, a carseat, 4 carry-ons (2 laptop bags, a pump and a diaper bag) and a Simeon we knew getting to the car would be difficult so we grabbed a cart and waited for our luggage.  And waited…and waited…until there were no more bags.  As we watched the ‘last bag’ suitcase come out we realized it had happened to us on both legs of our trip…no luggage.

Turns out, none of the luggage from KC made it onto the flight.  While Ari was in the room (with about 15 others) dealing with the luggage, I stood outside pushing Simeon in circles.  At one point, I remembered and poked my head in to tell Ari not to forget we need a carseat.  Apparently, there was another Ari in the room and the two Ari’s got to talking.  This other Ari, had overheard my Ari telling his brother the colorful story of our flight to Seattle with Simeon and immediately called his pregnant wife to tell her what they could expect :).

Eventually, we headed to our car and after a couple stops for passover and food, we made it home.  Around 9pm, we got a phone call.  Our luggage would be home either 3-4 hours later, or if we were willing to be his last stop (since the delivery guy apparently lives on Hwy 18) we could leave a signed note on the door and he’d drop off our luggage at some point in the middle of the night.  We went with the latter option and sure enough, when I woke at 4am Monday morning, it was all sitting on the front porch. 

And finally, everybody and everything was safely home.

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Responses

  1. Wow, that’s quite the trip! I’m glad you all made it in one piece!


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