Sunday, February 2, 2014
Mall of America and Crazy Flying Experiences
Have you ever been stuck in an airport and all you can think about is, am I ever going to get out of here?
This was Nate and my experience when we were flying home from Idaho after New Year's. We left the Spokane, WA airport at 7:00 AM and we were scheduled to arrive in DC at 7:30 PM. It was going to be a long day and we knew it. We also knew that there was a lot of flight delays and overbooked planes this time of year and we might have a chance to redeem ourselves.....
Back track a bit. When we flew into Utah for Christmas to visit Nate's family we were really kicking ourselves. Our flight was overbooked and the Delta airlines employee was desperately looking for 2 passengers to get booted to a later flight. They were offering us both $400 and food vouchers to use in the airport. Nate and I went back and forth, back and forth, debating whether we should do it. We were supposed to fly out the night before, on Friday, but our flight was cancelled. (That's what they told us. Later we came to find out that it was actually a big mistake and it never was actually cancelled. Another story....) They were nice enough to find room for us on the morning flight the next day. So we were in limbo knowing what to do.....take $800, camp out in the airport for another 8 hours and leave that night seeing our family less time, or not taking the risk, finally getting there and having more time with family over the holidays that we only get to see on special occasions since we now live on the other side of the US. It was a hard decision. We were on the edge of our seats debating, debating.....and we decided at the last second to not take the money. Later when we arrived in Utah, we were full of regret because $800 is a lot of money and that would have paid for us to go home and see our family another time. We were kicking ourselves and felt sick over missing out on a lost opportunity....
So, like I was saying, we were going to redeem ourselves on the way home. We told ourselves that if the opportunity arose again that we would take the money, no questions asked. So this is what we did. A long day turned into an even longer day but we got some added funds out of it. We were going to be stuck in the Minnesota airport for a very very very long time. So we made the best of it and decided to go to the mall!!! Now not just any mall.....but a famous mall.
The Mall of America is the biggest mall in the US. It has been on my bucket list to go there for forever so I was thrilled that we were taking the trip. It is only a few miles from the airport. So, we paid for a locker, put our stuff in, bought bus tickets, and went off to the mall! (It was -17 degrees, but with wind chill -41, in Minnesota, so the bus trip to and from the airport was FREEZING!)
I definitely want to go back someday and see the other two floors as well as just spend more time there. We had a blast! It was a great way to spend the day, rather than being stuck in an airport. :)
(Later that night, our flight was supposed to leave at 7:30 PM. Well, the pilots didn't show up so it was pushed back two more hours. Then the 9:30 flight was overbooked and they had to kick some people off the plane after they were already seated. Lots of drama there....After we were finally all drama free and ready to go, they get on the intercom and announce that the plane was broken and that we needed to exit and board a new plane. About 1.5 hours later, the new plane was finally warmed up enough and deiced so that we could safely ride on it. We didn't end up leaving the airport until 11 PM, getting us in at 3 AM.....well let me clarify, I didn't get in until 3 AM. Nate ended up volunteering one last time for $400 more dollars to stay in Minnesota over night and not leave until the next day. He left abruptly right after we boarded and went back into the airport. I left without him because I had to teach the next morning....so I thought. I got home at 3:30 AM and slept from 4-5:30, getting up for school and ready to leave by 6:30. I was planning on teaching on an hour and a half sleep the next day! I can't tell you how thrilled I was when they called a snow day that day and the next. Monday and Tuesday. It was a huge blessing from above! My only regret was not staying with Nate in Minnesota and earning myself an extra $400 in flight money. Oh well! If only I would have known. But Nate walked out with $600 in flight money and I walked out with $200. Better than nothing! Oh, the crazy things that we do for free money!)