Not Good Vision
At first I was excited. I won. That’s right – two free tickets through Vision Airlines. The new hubby and I planned a short weekend getaway to Miami. I went on Vision’s website and saw that they only fly in/out of Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I called the 800# to arrange our flight and was told “the lady” that does this was not working on that day. Excuse me? I call back the next morning and she isn’t in yet. I ask for a supervisor, they say she’s on vacation for the week. As you can tell, I already seem leery about my flight.
Eventually the reservations get made and we’re packed and headed to the airport. As we walk up to the ticket counter, the sign says you must check in 45 minutes before your flight. No problem, we are there an hour early. However, nobody is behind the Vision ticket counter. All the other airlines have workers. I ask one of them for assistance and they go find someone to come and help us.
Finally get checked in, to our gate and start to board. They board from the back of the place so once we (in seats 7a & 7b) board, the entire front overhead compartments are full.We must put our things toward the back.
Off we go – I will give them credit for giving us a full size back of either pretzels or Famous Amos cookies.
Miami – simply amazing. Weather – simply hot. Bonding time – cherished. Time to fly back. We check in and go to our gate for our 2:05 departure. 2:00 comes and there is no plane. Not only is there no plane, there is nobody from Vision airlines at the gate to help anyone. So we just sit there. Plane finally arrives, everyone boards, and we once again put our carryon luggage even further back.
While on the plane, one of the passengers says that they didn’t have her ticket printed so they HAND WROTE her a boarding pass. Can you imagine trying to get through security with a handwritten boarding pass? She said it was not an easy process. The entire trip home I had vision of Southwest Airlines, oh how I miss thee!
It was a free trip so I can’t complain a whole lot. I know they are a start-up commercial company. However, I miss the great customer service and communication that I receive with most of the other airlines. Sometimes you get what you pay for – so just be careful.
Just Trying to Get Home
After a wonderful week of our honeymoon, we were ready to return back home. Checking out of the hotel was simple, and so was checking into our flight. It was suggested we arrive 3 hours early. We were scheduled to leave Punta Cana at 4:45pm. Well 4:25pm arrives and we hadn’t started boarding. Nobody gave us any updates. Five minutes later we see our plane pull up and after deboarding, cleaning it out and loading us up we finally left. We only had a two hour layover in Charlotte so we (and many other people) were nervous about making our connection.
As we back up from the gate, the pilot comes over the intercom and says that there is something on the runway (maybe birds) so they must come out and look into it. Uggggh!
We finally land in Charlotte at 9:00pm (for a 10:20 flight). This seems like plenty of time to catch a flight – however we have to go through customs. But wait! Right when we land, everyone stands up to start getting their things. The pilot now tells us that due to international rules, when another plane is boarding we must be on lockdown on our plane so we must sit back down until that plane finishes boarding. Are you serious?!!
Once we leave the plane we walk into the customs line which has seven rows of people waiting! By now, I’m assuming we will be spending the night in NC. After an HOUR, we get to the front of the line. The guy checking our passport asks us all type of random questions and we became more frustrated. Then we had to get all of our checked in luggage and check it back in. The lady asked which flight we were on and said that we probably wouldn’t make it but could try. And here’s where the challenge begins –
As we went through security, Milton took all of our carryon luggage. I took off my shoes and let them go through. As soon as they came out (without taking time to put them back on) I started sprinting through the airport. And I mean sprinting full speed. We had to go all the way to E11, which wasn’t close. I ran the wrong way on the moving sideway and people at every gate watched me pass by. I soon realized I wasn’t in high school anymore and I became out of breath. I would walk and breathe for one gate and then sprint again.
As I arrived at our gate, the door had already been closed. I ran up to the flight attendant and asked if my fiance (yes I told her fiance) and I could still get on the plane. She looked at me and all that I went through to get there and said that we could get on board if Milton came quick. I get nervous as I wondered if he went the wrong direction but finally see him with all of our things. He said other people pointed him the direction I was running.
We walked on the plane looking like two sweaty people that just finished a marathon – but we made it. As we pulled off, the pilot told us that a panel is lose and someone must come out and look at it. Not again! We finally landed after midnight. Unfortunately, our luggage didn’t make it until the next morning so our dirty undies stayed the night in NC. AND, I learned a very valuable lesson – don’t run without shoes on the moving sidewalk. I could not walk on my feet for a couple of hours because I had red marks looking just like the metal. But all is now good and we are safely home!
Watch the signs
My aunt had a heart transplant while I was in college and since then she hasn’t traveled much. I usually try to go visit her in Fayetteville, NC a couple times of year. That heart is now 12 years old and declining rather quickly. I planned a quick day trip to see her – out on Monday, back on Tuesday.
Monday morning I parked my car at work and my colleague dropped me off at SDF. I had already printed out my boarding pass the day before and headed to the security line. As I reached in my purse for the pass – it was not there. Hmmmm. No problem, I thought, I’ll just go to the ticket counter to print out another.
The US Airways lady at the desk asked where I was going. Tap, tap, tap. “Your Charlotte flight is cancelled. And, so is your flight to Fayetteville.” I ask why. She says fog. She puts me on a Delta flight two hours later. I call my colleague to turn back around and take me to the office for two hours to waste time.
Before leaving again I get the inclination to check the Delta flight online. The 11:30am flight was now delayed until 12:05. Not bad, EXCEPT that only gave me 12 minutes to make my connecting flight in ATL. I called the Delta dude and told him what I discovered. He said, we’ll you might make. I kindly told him that I’m not about to fly to ATL for a flight that I might make, especially in the Atlanta airport! He then graciously offered for me to wait in ATL for three hours for the next flight after that. No gracias, senor.
I realized that it just wasn’t meant for me to fly on Monday. I called US Airways and asked if I could just move my entire itinerary to Tuesday-Wednesday instead. She said sure, made the changes and I felt much better. I complimented her on her great customer service and asked to brag on her to her supervisor.
My trip was great. My relatives were excited to see me. Sometimes we just need to follow our gut and go with our feelings. Just because we want something, doesn’t mean that it’s good for us. Following my feelings with flying was easy to do. However, it’s much more difficult to do when it comes to matters of the heart. We all say we want ‘signs’ to know what paths to follow in life – but when they are there, do we fully acknowledge them?
M.Y. December 2009