Easter Egg Hunt with the kids
However, the way back was a little more trying. After carefully examining the travel trends, we noticed that there were two larger airplanes traveling back from SLC to Phoenix Sunday evening, but with considerable vacancies, ensuring good fortune for us "Standby" passengers. We showed up the standard 2 hours prior to departure and quickly learned that in 24 hours, the plane had filled up and even over booked it's available seats. The Standby list was horrendous too, as we were last on the list at #20. That's nineteen other people hoping to hop onto the (already too full) plane that had priority over us. That's alright! The next plane had even more vacancies so we'll just catch that one! Wrong. It had also over booked within the last day and led to a hopeless night for us. Luckily, John remembered a friend of his lived in Salt Lake City, not far from the airport. To our good fortune, "Bring'em" was still there (he's on his way out to Korea- leaving in a week or two) and even came and picked us up. We cuddled up, watched a movie and pulled up a nice piece of carpet and went to bed. The next morn, we showed up at the all too familiar airport around 9am. Three missed planes later, along with the stress of missing a work day (I won't even go into all the cool plans John had for that work day that he was missing), we changed our tactic.
We began checking the availability of flights to Tucson. After-all, it wouldn't be too bad to fly there and rent a car to drive 90 minutes to the Phoenix airport to retrieve our car and drive home. Hope surfaced in a seemingly unpromising day. We grabbed our bags and ran across the airport, downstairs and to the counter for assistance. Upstairs, as the last plane flew off, the clerk made the Tucson suggestion when she saw that they had 3 vacant seats with nobody waiting on standby! But apparently in the time it took us to run down there, the plane filled up and again we peered out as our ride when home without us. Finally- we went onto Orbitz and bought one way tickets into Phoenix. Bummer!!! Our cheap trip turned out not being as budget friendly as hoped- isn't that the way it always goes?! Moral of the story: I'm not even going to say don't travel standby. It was an awesome opportunity and I'm sure that we'd take it again... Just know that there's a possibility that it won't work out as planned. I think next time we will leave a little more room for "slop" (like 3 days at least) which would take some of the stress out of the forced flexibility. Well- it feels GREAT to be home!