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,Â 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 bagâ€”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.