I can recall only two instances where I have missed a flight. Both of them involved having too much fun the night before. The first was when I was supposed to go from PHX-LAS at 7AM but partied too much at Myst Scottsdale the night before. As I scrambled to get to the airport, I made the hasty choice to drive to Vegas instead. An hour later, the adrenaline rush was gone, and I was on a one lane highway regretting the decision. The second time I missed my flight was last year after the Freddie Awards. Why did I think I would wake up at 6AM after a night in Vegas to make my flight back to NYC? Luckily, SWA let me take a later flight at no extra cost. That could’ve ended a lot worse. I could’ve missed my Emirates flight from JFK–DXB-PVG which left the day after.
And that brings me to today. I was supposed to fly from middle of nowhere Montana to JFK to attend the Freddies tomorrow. The flight was at 6:25AM. I stayed up until 3:45AM trying to find a reasonable hotel room in the city. Frustrated at the prices, I decided to take a quick snooze and deal with it via Gogo inflight. I knew there was zero chance that I would wake up if I set an alarm, but I also knew that a certain someone who had gone to bed earlier was tasked with the responsibility of waking us up.
Jolted out of my dream, I awoke to the screams of Home Alone.
It was 5:30AM and there was no way we were going to make it to the airport which was 40 minutes away. Still, we thought we could outrun Father Time or maybe there would be a flight delay that would save the day.
As we arrived at the airport, I saw the plane taxiing down the runway. Freddie had struck again.
But that’s not where the story ends. It gets better. The Delta agent at the counter said I could fly tomorrow on stand-by for no additional charge. I would arrive in the afternoon in time to rush over to the awards and change into my costume in the hotel bathroom. She also suggested that I call Delta and see if they could put me on a flight from another airport. Since this is Montana, the nearest other airport was 100 miles away.
I called Delta and was very friendly with the agent. I’d even say I was folksy. She laughed at my situation and put me on hold while she spoke to a supervisor. She came back and provided three options:
- Remain on stand-by.
- Pay a $300 change fee and fly from the airport that was 100 miles away with an arrival at midnight.
- Don’t pay the change fee but use 17,000 additional miles (the original ticket was 11,500/pax) to book the flight that gets in at midnight.
Even better, she gave me the option of calling back and deciding.
What would you do? What do you think I did?