Going space available has definitely got it's perks (cheap) however even with the best laid plans it can be ....not fun.
Things looked good last Tuesday morning as we had packed all 4 bags (to the brim) and 2 carry ons in the back of the car the night before and were ready to leave the house by 7:00, which means getting up by 5:30. Keeping in mind that Gary is sick, very sick I do all the packing, loading and everything so he doesn't have to do a thing. Sometimes I just have to pat myself on the back for being such a good wife.
I was not able to talk him out of leaving because he just wanted to GO HOME and be sick there. I was concerned that they wouldn't let him on the flight with all his coughing but he was determined. We had gotten an email about the difference between H1N1 and the regular flu/colds out there and because he had gotten the sore throat and this cold had taken a couple of days rather than hours to feel horrible this was probably the same thing he gets every year. But my main concern was that he was dry coughing, a non productive (and very irritating) cough. He had been on the couch for two days before, sleeping there as well so that at night the arm rest could keep his head up comfortably and he wouldn't keep me up, he's a good husband too. He was miserable and I kept fluids in him so I thought for sure this would be better by the time we were to leave. It wasn't.
Our flight left at 10:50 but Annie works right by the airport so we rode with her when she needed to leave. We waited by our counter until 8:00 a.m when Delta station agents get there and being first in line was great....then drop off all 4 bags and we feel "free".
There is a great Beer Garten right there to get breakfast so that was perfect, we both had these fabulous chocolate filled croissants with a huge cup of coffee, fruit and orange juice....we watched others get these huge steins of beer, this is not even 9:00 in the morning and we saw lots not several but lots of beer being drank...Gary says that is not uncommon in Germany for drinking to go on all hours of the day. Well I know they are known for beer in Germany but I had no idea for breakfast, hummmmmmm
Well next is the duty free shop....tons of perfume. Since we had hours to go I took my time and smelled many until I came across my new favorite Nini Ricci in this cute little burgundy bottle with a bow on top....oh I loved that smell and tax free, why not. The gal at the counter said they just got that in and she also had these cute tiny little bags if you purchased it. She said Munich was the only other duty free shop that had that perfume because it was brand new......oh my gosh I am getting something new that hardly any one else has, how can you pass that up! Only $69 euro (ouch over a hundred bucks) but hey one last purchase of something I will remember Paris by since when I was there we never even looked at perfume. Ok now I am happy that we had so much time this morning.
Finally at our gate with an hour before boarding I seat Gary in a completely different gate area so the others don't notice this man coughing uncontrollably and thinking the same thing I would have thought "are they really gonna let him on"? But get this there was another woman Gary's age sitting there by him coughing worse, I know people must have thought they were a very sick couple until Gary got up and moved, he couldn't stand the sound of her cough......
Usually when we go Space A the monitor has our names up there and finally it will say "cleared" and we go get on.....today there were no names, I go ask if this was the right place to be and she said "doesn't look good", what? The night before our "knight in shining amour" Jim who is so good to us by giving us these buddy passes and checking the flight loads for us, said it was "clear sailing all the way home"......what could have changed? This is the first time this has happened on the the Int'l leg of this flight. I've only done this twice before but had never had an ounce of trouble with this portion of the trip. I waited there until the gate people took down all the signs and ropes for boarding. There were about 30 of us just still sitting there waiting for a glimmer of hope when she came on the speaker and said that because of unusually heavy head winds that would require more fuel and extra cargo no Non-revs today. I have to say that with as sick as Gary was I was happy about this. Poor guy was still over in another gate area. We had to go to retrieve our luggage. On Int'l flights they will remove luggage off the plane for Non-Revs so that was another ordeal to go get that and go back to the ticket counter to get re-listed on Thursdays flight as there was no Wednesday flight out. We called Annie at work and by now it was her lunch hour so she came to get us and take us home.