The Flight That Didn’t Happen

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I have to get our story out there so that we can get past the stress of our recent vacation and on to good memories. Obviously, this review is unsolicited and not meant to be malicious, but I have to let others know about our experience so this doesn’t happen to them!

Last Sunday, we were scheduled for a flight from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach on Direct Air. It was supposed to be ‘Lil Man’s first flight, a trip south to visit with Mr. Burgher’s parents. We had everything packed miraculously into three suitcases, the pump bag, diaper bag, carseat, and stroller. We missed out on traffic, a perfect Sunday drive. We arrived early and found a parking spot close to the shuttle stop. Everything in the stars was aligned up until the moment when we stepped up to the counter incredibly long line leading up to the counter.

We arranged our luggage around us and took a look up at the departure screens. Our flight was blinking delayed, so I figured it was just some computer glitch keeping us from being able to check our bag. After about 5 minutes, we overheard someone walking back the line saying our flight was cancelled. Everyone was waiting in line just to be told that they weren’t going to be getting out anytime soon.

First we heard that they were not offering anything in exchange for the missed flight, but by the time we got to the counter, they were offering first come, first served tickets to 60 passengers the next night, provided the plane could get out–no other provisions. How in the world could we risk not getting three seats on that flight and sitting around another 30 hours to see what would happen?

Since SC is a little over 10 hours away, I asked Mr. Burgher if he thought driving was an option and he agreed it was far better than waiting until the next day to chance it and lose yet another day on our short trip. Thank goodness the airline was kind enough to refund our money (including our lap infant / checked bag fees which the rep I paid with the day before said were absolutely non-refundable, regardless of the situation), but they also said it could take 14 business days (it took 2).

For the first 3 hours, we drove on sheer anger/adrenaline and tried not to listen to ‘Lil Girl’s constant “but I wanna go on the airplane”. ‘Lil Girl was in a pullup for the ride (we figured strap her in and go as far as we could), but it stayed dry–so proud! We arrived at Mr. Burgher’s parents’ just after 2 AM, making it a 10 hour drive with minimal stops. Finally, we were able to enjoy our trip!

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Apparently, the day before several people were even less lucky than we–both flights were cancelled! Check out the local news story here!

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