Sunday, February 20, 2011

Buddies Out West - The Buddy Pass was NOT Friendly to This Buddy

This is the first installment of a series called "Buddies Out West" that will walk you through my trip to Los Angeles with my bestest Buddy, Jill, to visit her sister Jess (Buddy Jr).
As soon as Jill (to be referred to henceforth as Buddy) suggested we visit her sister in LA before she moved back to Chicago, I was 100% on board.  Having never been to Cali and LA being the home of my personal
hero, Chelsea Handler, this experience was destined for greatness.  Then Buddy upped the ante; her client Finny, got us VIP tickets to a taping of Chelsea Lately.  Needless to say, I hadn't been this excited for a trip in a long time.
Flights to LA were starting at $600, so Steve suggested I use a friend's buddy pass on Continental.  The first flight was oversold by 8 seats (how do they do that?) and had 20 people on the standby list...this was not good for me.  The panic began to set in when I found out that the last flight that night also had 20 people on standby as did every flight the next day.  Apparently, the NBA all-star game was in LA this weekend and I was completely out of the loop.  The Chelsea taping was at 2:30 the next day so there was only one flight I could get on in the morning to make it in time.  I spent the next 2 hours near tears (OK, I admit I cried a little out of desperation) on the phone with Steve who was looking online for tickets while I raced around the airport trying to find the US Air ticket counter to try to buy a spot on the morning flight.  By the time I finally found it, they were closed...naturally.  That flight was going for a cool $1000 and I was very conflicted with if it was worth it. (My amazing husband said I deserved to go no matter what, so I was seriously considering it.)  I told Steve I would go back to see if by some miracle I could get on that last flight out, and if not, I would come home and we could figure it out.
I sat at the gate not expecting anything, feeling hopeless, desperate, depressed, nauseous, etc. when by some miracle, they announced "Passenger Callaway."  I scooped up my stuff and practically tackled the ticket agent.  About halfway to LA, my nerves started to calm down (which may have been a result of time or my 2 vodka sodas...not sure) and it hit me that I made the flight.  The decision was made in that moment, that if faced with this situation in the future, I will pay the extra money to have an assigned seat on the plane....this "buddy pass" stuff is too stressful for this Buddy.
Let's hope the trip home is easier...

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