Stranded in Baltimore – possibly for a long time

Let me start by saying that if I’d driven to Columbus this morning, I would be there by now.

I’m just saying.

I got up at 2 AM to make sure that I could leave y 3 and get to the Buffalo Airport by 4:30 and be the first one at the gate to make sure I was on the standby list to get to Columbus for the BlogPaws conference.

Fifteen minutes after I left the house, I realized I’d left my cell phone so I had to turn around and go back to get it. So I was a little frazzled right off the bat. Then I got to Buffalo only to find out the ticket counter doesn’t even open until 5.

The plans for this conference were kind of haphazard to being with. I had no money to actually go, but I won conference registration, and was able to use a buddy pass to fly  – oh, let’s call it Happy Air – because my brother in law is a pilot.

Planning the trip, there looked like  more than enough seats to get me there without a problem. But Thursday my sister called to tell me that the seats had filled and space was tight.

I know zilch about flying standby. I know a seat isn’t guaranteed, but I didn’t know what chance there was to actually make the trip. So I relied on my sister, who said she’d go ahead with it, if it were her.

I forgot my sister is an adventurer. 

Checking in at the Buffalo gate, the attendant told me that I wasn’ t going to make the first flight out at 6:50 AM but she’d get me on the next one at 8:55. I asked if I’d have a problem getting to Columbus once I got to Baltimore and said she didn’t think there’d be a problem.

So I had some breakfast, took a nap, and got on the 8:50 am flight.

Checking at the gate in Baltimore, though, the gate attendent was stunned to hear that I’d been encouraged to give this a shot – considering that all of the flights from Balitmore to Columbus today were overbooked.


So I had a couple of options. Wait it out all day and see if a seat opened up. Pay for a ticket to Nashville and then to Columbus; I’d be guaranteed to get in Columbus at 10 PM but if a seat opened on the Balt – Columbus leg I couldn’t use the buddy pass. I could also get back on the plane and go back to Buffalo, get in my car and start driving.

Worst case scenerio: I wait it out all day, don’t get a flight, sleep in the terminal, and take the 6 AM flight on Sat. I miss the Friday portion of the conference but get most of Sat.

What to do, what to do.

I admit I got a little frazzled (read: I cried), and called my sister, who said that what it’s like to fly standby. Which I knew. She also added that when she really has to be somewhere she doesn’t fly standby. Wish I’d known that yesterday.

In the end, after talking to my sister and my husband, eating lunch, and taking a Xanax, I decided to just wait it out. The whole point going was because I didn’t have to spend money that I couldn’t afford to spend. If the worst case is that I spend a whole day in the airport in Baltimore, get in tomorrow, get the bulk of the conference, and still don’t  have to spend money I don’t have, then I guess I chalk it all up to adventure.

Plus, my sister said that you never know what’s going to happen. A connecting flight gets delayed, someone doesn’t show up at the gate, whatever. So I’m praying a seat opens up on either this or the next flight.

Of course, I’m kicking myself for not driving. Last weekend I told my husband that I had planned to get my car fixed this week and drive, and bring Bandit. He had a friend who was going to do it more cheaply, and by the time we got the quote it was too late. I should have just gotten the car fixed like I’d planned.

But you can’t cry over could of, should of. I’m in Baltimore, I paid $8 to have 24 hours of internet so I can blog and watch Netflix. I’ll survive. If Tom Hanks can live in the terminal for a month, I can do it for a day.

My luggage, I assume, is on its way to Columbus without me. Because when I get there in the morning I damn well better have a change of clothes and a toothbrush waiting for me.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.


2 responses to “Stranded in Baltimore – possibly for a long time

  1. Molly Mednikow

    One day you’ll laugh over this. Thanks for writing down your thoughts. Hope to meet you. Ask me for a free gift. You deserve it!

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