The One With The Standby Flights

It seemed that we didn’t have much luck when it came to our Orlando flights, right from the start we were destined for non-stop delayed flights. Obviously we can now look back on it and laugh but at the time when you’re sta in Newark airport for several hours on hard chairs, with 3 tired children trying to sleep in the most awkward of positions, it wasn’t a time for laughter, at the time it felt like we were never going to reach our final destination.

Our holiday started the way any holiday should, bags and children being loaded on to a minibus ready to head to the airport, all on time may I add, what didn’t give any thought to was how our plane might not be on time. We headed to Shannon airport (the best airport in the world in our eyes) and joined the United queue and that’ when we were told our flight would be a few hours delayed. Stood there in my Disney clobber, I was deflated at the fact we would be arriving later than planned, everyone knows that excited feeling about just wanting to arrive at your chosen destination like now. It meant we were also going to miss our connecting flight Newark – Orlando so they booked us on a new one, and we were given breakfast vouchers, so we headed upstairs to the restaurant and tucked into a yummy full Irish breakfast and enjoyed the sensory room until it was time to head through the US Immigration point and on to our flight.

Of course, when we finally arrived in Newark so had a storm which meant many flights were either delayed or cancelled. Watching that board as your flight keeps being put back by another hour was not enjoyable, I was waiting for it to say that it was cancelled and we would have to then spend the night in the airport, which we practically did by the time we finally left for Orlando. Even when we got on the plane, we were sat there for a while as there were issues with the plane.

the one with the standby flights

Our bad luck with delayed flights continued with our return journey, just as we were checking out our hotel, I received an email from Air Canada to say that our flight to Toronto was delayed and it meant that we would miss our connecting flight to Dublin. We weren’t going to leave the hotel until we knew what was happening with our flights, so after calling them and finally getting through, I was able to talk through our options. The first was trying to get us on an earlier flight out to Toronto, but there wasn’t any so after being put on hold for a while she came back and said that they had booked us on to a flight going direct to Dublin that evening with Aer Lingus from Orlando. We weren’t complaining; we finally knew we were going to get on an actual plane that night to head home and we also didn’t have the hassle of the connecting flight.

So we headed off to the airport and the Aer Lingus desk to check-in, it was when I was handing the passports over to the guy at the counter that he leant over to me and started whispering, I heard him say 500 and he must of realised I couldn’t quite hear as he spoke a bit louder and asked how would we like to be put on the standby list because the plane was overbooked, we would be paid €500 each and they would sort out a hotel for us as well as food vouchers until they could get us on the next flight.

And you know what? Seeing as it was the weekend, and we had nowhere else to be, we happily accepted.

We did have to go through the process of checking in our bags through and heading to departures as normal incase there were seats for us. It was when they called my name over the tannoy, that it was the moment of truth and as she told me to head back to the desk where a manager was waiting for us, I chucked the family a thumbs up. We were not sad that we had to spend a couple more days on holiday, especially when we were not having to pay any extra but instead get paid €2500 for it. Safe to say I had spent that money before the cheques had even hit the bank, those days were spent checking out The Florida Mall where we spent the afternoon at The Crayola Experience and then me and Charlotte had a day of shopping at the Orlando Premium Outlets, we actually had to pay a new case which we didn’t have to pay extra to check-in as with our change of flights so had our check-in allowance (we had to pay $60 for each case each way with our original flights.)

the one with the standby flights

So there was our eventful journey to and from Orlando. With all our past travels, we’ve never experienced any delays, so it was probably due to us that we got to experience it, but with every flight that was just typical. In future, we are going to avoid connecting flights where possible, and hopefully, avoid playing the game of will we/won’t we get on the plane?