These are not halcyon days for nonrev fliers. Domestic flights continue to be randomly canceled, which makes it a challenge to get anywhere in the U.S. beyond your home airport. My home airport happens to be considered the gateway to Europe, but even that’s a mess–it’s easy to get to the European destinations to which Mr. Pretty’s airline flies… but almost impossible to get home. Europeans (and everyone else) are still revenge flying, making up for lost time from COVID-19 lockdowns–or perhaps they’re getting travel in while they can since it looks like COVID is on an upswing in Europe.
What that has meant for Mr. Pretty and I–who always try to get somewhere for our October wedding anniversary–is the need to not just make a Plan B… but all the way to a Plan G. A month before our trip, Rome looked great–but then flight availability to get home tanked. Plan B was fly to Zurich, then take a train to Colmar, France. Then Zurich availability tanked. Plan C was fly into Venice, then take a train into Slovenia; you can guess what happened. Plan D was fly to Dublin and train up to Belfast. With Europe options off the table, we turned to Canada–Plan E was Quebec City, Plan F was Montreal, and Plan G was Halifax.
As it turned out, Plan G was the one that offered us the most assurance that we wouldn’t get stuck far from home. For me, it barely matters. I work from home, so I can work anywhere. A few extra days stuck in, say, Rome, wouldn’t have been a problem. But for Mr. Pretty it’s a different story. So he frets about flight loads… and I make a dozen possible vacation plans.
Even still, with our Halifax flights chosen, come the day to take off, things looked iffy–and not because of flight loads for a nice change of pace. No, this time the flight was delayed by hours. Plane repositioning is a funny thing–with our plane to Halifax needing to arrive from Charlotte, any mechanical delays can start off a chain reaction of events. Crews timing out, permanent grounding of a plane without a spare plane available for replacement, etc.
I’ll tell you–even though we did indeed make it to Halifax, I had a Plan H cooked up. Hey, you never know, right? Plan H involved a road trip. And as we all know, road trips are safe from being fraught, either. Take, for instance, our ill-advised Salem, Massachusetts road trip in October 2019 that ended early thanks to a Nor’easter that flooded out our campsite and left me soaked and shivering, vowing it would be the last time I ever went camping.
Plan H can wait.
A Basel-Hopping I Will Go | Pretty As An AirportDec 8, 2022
[…] this was not like in October, when there were very few options for destinations. I hopped a plane to Zurich, Switzerland on a Thursday night, nearly half the seats unsold, and […]