Last weekend I was on my way to Phoenix to attend my cousin’s wedding. I was flying standby as I always do, which I have previously written about here . This is a story about how I didn’t follow my own advice and realized just how good it really is. I made the mistake of thinking that the direct flight from New Orleans looked wide open (having plenty of extra seats open for standby passengers). I assumed (what’s that quote about assuming and jackasses?) that I would for sure get on and I didn’t prepare for the possibility that I would get stuck in the airport. As my luck would have it there was a cancellation earlier in the day, and all the people from that flight took up all the seats on the flight I was trying to catch. So…I missed that flight, and I had to get creative with how to get to Phoenix via an alternative route. Long story short I ended up in LAX (Los Angeles) having to spend the night. I had foolishly worn shorts, left my toiletries bag in my large suitcase (which I had checked), did not bring a sweater or jacket, and had no extra clothes with which to use as a pillow…pretty much all the things that can make sleeping in the airport less uncomfortable than it has to be. Also, LAX is not a good airport to crash in. All the chairs have armrests separating them, so there are no three seats together in a row (the best spot for catchin’ z’s in an airport). I bought a travel fleece for $16.00 at the store and ended up having a very restless night switching back and forth from the armchairs to the carpeted floor in an attempt to sleep at least a few hours. In reference to my earlier post about sleeping in airports, I must add a few things…if you’re traveling standby never assume you’re going to get to your destination that day and always prepare for a night in the airport just in case. If you check your bags bring a backpack or bag with:
- Light sweater
- Change of clothes
- Small toiletries bag
- Wear pants
- Entertainment (deck of cards, laptop, mp3, book)
Although a very sleepless night, it helped my see that my own advice wasn’t useless after all. So if you’re ever traveling and there’s the slightest chance that you could get stuck in an airport, ye be forewarned.