It’s Good to Be Back In Bismarck
I'm not sure I've ever experienced a 36-hour time-frame like the one I did while trying to make it back to Bismarck, ND after the holiday weekend.
If you know anything about me, you know I absolutely love what I do. I can't get enough work and it's the most important thing to me during any given week. I was away to see my family for the holiday weekend, and it was as amazing as I could have hoped for. But I knew, I had to get back to Bismarck. We'll start this story as it transpired in increments of time.
Sunday, November 27, 10 a.m.:
I'm in the process of getting ready to attend church service with my brother, who was nice enough to let me stay with him for the entire Thanksgiving break. The fact I wasn't kicked out at some point is beyond me. I am scheduled to leave from St. Louis, MO on a 7:45 p.m. flight that will connect through Minneapolis to Bismarck. That flight is scheduled to leave shortly after 10 p.m.
My brother and I have finished up with church and visit a local establishment to watch the NFL games. Being from St. Louis, we're Rams fan (yes, even as they left for L.A., don't judge). It turns out the establishment had a deal on their wings that for every time the Rams give up a touchdown, they take $1 off the price. The Rams gave up seven touchdowns to the Saints. Hello, $0.25 wings.
I receive an alert on my phone that my flight to Minneapolis, where I'd reach my connecting Bismarck flight, has been delayed a full hour. I have no chance of making my connecting flight. I proceed to frantically search for other flights and notify my boss of the situation. It turns out, the soonest I can arrive in Bismarck is 4:55 p.m. on Monday. I also have to leave early enough in the morning, before my brother goes to work, so he can take me to the airport.
I finally am connected to a live airline representative in hopes of remedying the situation. The representative didn't comprehend the situation for the first 10 minutes of the call, and the airline app will not allow me to check-in to the flight I want.
My brother insists we go shop for a new bed for me (I've slept on a couch since I've been in Bismarck). I found one I liked that can be delivered from the local Bismarck franchise of the bed store. While at the store, I'm contacted by another airline agent to continue working my dilemma. I finally get booked for a two connecting flights that will get me to Bismarck at 4:55 p.m. Monday afternoon. My morning flight will go through New York City (LaGuardia) to Minneapolis, then to Bismarck. My first flight leaves at 6:03 a.m., Monday.
I'm still awake because of an amazing game between the Chiefs and Broncos. Chiefs win 30-27 in overtime. It really has nothing to do with this story, except for the reason why I'm staying up so late with an early flight in the morning.
Monday, November 28, 3 a.m.:
I wake up to get ready to leave for this flight and make sure everything is packed and ready to go.
My brother and I are out the door and on our way to the airport, which is a minimum 30-minute drive away from his house.
I'm at the airport, past security, and trying to order a Moche Latte from the airport Starbucks. Caffeine is much needed, and even as tired as I am. It's almost impossible for me to sleep on planes.
Flight leaves for New York City.
9:13 a.m. (ET):
I've arrived in New York City for the first time ever for all of about 90 minutes until I need to board my next flight. Luckily, airport bars are open this early.
10:45 a.m. (ET):
My flight is boarding and I get flagged as I try to scan my boarding pass. Apparently somewhere along the way, someone had also booked me for a flight that goes to Milwaukee. Why would I want to go to Milwaukee? Their mistake. They do some quick searching and find me an empty seat on the plane in what might be the shortest time anyone has waited to fly standby in the history of air travel. I board my flight and am the last passenger to take my seat.
11:24 a.m. (ET):
I open up my airline app to check the status of my next flight. The connecting flight to Bismarck has been canceled. F#@%!!!!!
11:25 a.m. (ET):
Flight leaves for Minneapolis.
1:11 p.m. (CST - I'll be on CST for the remainder of this story):
Flight lands in Minneapolis. I immediately walk to the gate where my canceled flight is supposed to leave from. I'm pretty sure that when I walk through airports, I hold the speed record for fastest anyone's ever walked through an airport. I look intense, not just in this situation, that's at any airport. The airline agent says that with the weather (obvious problem), they can't get me a seat until a flight leaving for Bismarck at approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. She insists I go the "Get Help" desk. If you need to go to this desk, you're usually pretty screwed.
The "Get Help" desk is extremely helpful and finds me a standby position on a flight out to Bismarck tonight at 8:18 p.m. The agent also gives me a number to call so that I can attempt to get a guaranteed spot on that flight, which can happen at any time depending on passengers not showing up for their flight. I immediately call the number.
The airline was able to get me a guaranteed spot on the plane leaving for Bismarck tonight. I feel as if I just won the Super Bowl.
With nothing else to do during my downtime, I walk to the airport bar and I'm in celebratory mode.
I realize my phone's dying and I need to be sure I know where my gate is so I go find an outlet at that gate and chill there while I listen to Apple Music.
My phone has reasonable juice to make it the rest of the night and with nothing else to do, I head back to the bar. I have just become the bartenders' favorite customer with my return move.
I arrive back at the gate for my final flight. It's still on time.
Boarded flight back to Bismarck.
Flight leaves for Bismarck.
Flight lands in Bismarck
I'm back at my place in Bismarck, thus ending 36 hours of absolute craziness and unlike anything I've ever experienced before.