This week, Story and I are heading down South, to visit with the family while my globe-trotting sister, Kate, is briefly in the country. We have been able to travel quite a bit since Story’s birth, and it is all due to my aunt, who works at American Airlines and lets us use her “non-rev” passes.
Non-rev stands for non-revenue, and, as the name suggests, it’s a very affordable way to fly. It’s also very flexible; I can get up in the morning and decide I want to fly out to Las Vegas, and I don’t pay any exorbitant last-minute fees. The downside is that I have to be a little flexible too; I fly stand-by, and while my aunt can get a pretty good idea of my chances of catching a particular flight, there’s always a chance I won’t get on.
If there’s one truly unpleasant thing about non-revving, it’s the fact that you have to get up so early in the morning. The early flights tend to be the most open, and showing up for them gets you a higher spot on the standby list than if you just strolled in around noon.
The earliest flight this morning from Seattle to DFW was 6:05. Which, if you want to check bags, means you need to show up by 5:05. If you live 45 minutes from the airport and want to allow, say 15 minutes for incidentals, that means you’re leaving the house at 4:00, and getting up at 3:30. And if you’ve got a teething baby who didn’t really go down, and stay down, until 12:45… you do the math. I was tired.
Well, the 6:05 flight left without us. I went to Starbucks, got a water, a piece of lemon pound cake, and a rather weary-looking fruit salad, and settled in to wait for the 7:30 flight. And the 7:50. And the 8:50.
When the 8:50 left without us, I was sort of relieved. Because at least I knew the effort to non-rev was well and truly blown, and I could just accept it and, more importantly, get out of the airport.
I called Mark, who had had even less sleep than I, and was trying to catch up on it. He drove back out to pick us up. Then I talked to my parents, arranged a paid ticket for tomorrow, and sent my dad to the airport to pick up my luggage, which had already flown out on the 6:05. (It had my laptop in it, so I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of just letting it hang around at the airport until I found a way to get there.) I armed him with a detailed description of the contents, lest he encounter any resistance, and indeed one of the airport officials was loathe to let him leave with the bag—he had described it as purple, and she felt it was more of a burgundy. However, his foreknowledge of the brown polka-dotted onesie in the outer pocket sealed the deal.
So, Story and I are back at home now, for a day like any other. Except it’s a day without my computer, my knitting projects, and most of the baby’s toys.
Thank God I’ve still got my iPad.