One of the great things about my husband being a flight attendant is getting to fly stand-by. We get to go to Paris for a day or where ever in the world we want. All the glory you can. imagine. Typically, the first question we get from people is “How much do you pay for flights? “Can you fly wherever?” Let me clear this up each airline is different on how they compensate their employees for travel, whether it be free or reduced rates for the flights. We typically only fly on the airline my husband works for. We do not pay for domestic flights and we pay taxes on international flights.
Typically, we seem to get around pretty good and don’t run into too many issues. I have been stuck several times once in Denver (if you want to read that post it is here and part two is here). I have also been stuck in Zurich the worst trip ever. Then the good trip was when I didn’t make it to Munich and had to go to Lisbon instead, yes that was a good miss. I will watch the flights like a hawk day after day, planning our journey. You would be surprised how much a flight can change in a day or in an hour even. There have been times when we have left the house headed to the airport and the flight has been fine and then we have gotten to the airport and the flight was oversold. It can really be stressful, especially when the weather starts to go bad. This is exactly what happened to my husband on Monday. My husband was working this weekend and has been up since about 6:30am Frankfurt time (six hours ahead of us). He landed in Philadelphia at around 1pm (7pm Frankfurt time). The flight to home was supposed to leave at 3:30pm. It was delayed until 4:30pm and then 5:30pm. He finally left Philadelphia around 8:00pm. After running between three different flights trying to find one to get on. He finally got a seat on a flight home to Jacksonville and then it was delayed. Then after the delay they found out the wrong bags were on the flight so they had to take off the other bags and put the Jacksonville bags on. Then finally they were on the way. Alright maybe not on the way to Jacksonville. About an hour into the flight the pilot announced that they were headed to Indianapolis due to a de-icing issue. He sent me a text and asked if it was true because everyone thought the pilot was joking. I checked flight aware and saw the plane turning. It was definitely being diverted to Indianapolis. That’s not even in the right direction and it was an hour either way to Jacksonville or Indianapolis. Ok so that was another delay. They landed in Indianapolis around 10:00pm and departed Indianapolis around 10:30pm. They ended up changing planes and of course the luggage had to go also, so this took time. Finally, headed home (for sure). He did finally land in Jax around 1:00am (ok so now it was 7:00am Frankfurt time 24 hours up) and still had to wait for the shuttle to take him to his car and then drive and hour home. Thankfully, he was home around 2:00am.
It really is a great privilege that we have flying stand-by but sometimes it is quite stressful. Though I would not trade it for anything. We have seen more of the world then I ever would have expected that we would.