Monday, April 30, 2012

Flying All Around the World (April 23-24)

This year, we totally lucked out on plane tickets to Ghana. In the past few years, they have typically cost $1,500–1,700. However, due to some crazy fire sale Delta was having, BYU was able to book my flight for an incredible $1,200 (which I didn’t have to pay, since I’m the TA… ). If only the price from last year’s trip could have been switched with this year!

This crazy cheap airfare only had one catch—all our flights had to somehow go through JFK in New York. This made for some crazy itinerary wrangling. Salt Lake City to Minneapolis to New York to Atlanta to Accra (and the same in reverse in a few weeks). It’s like a grand tour of the northern border and east coast. Woot.

Our flight from SLC left at the ungodly hour of 6:00 AM, and as a sign of the ungodliness of the hour, we (Aaron, the trip director; Sam, an MBA/engineering student; and me) stood in a completely empty airport from 3:30 until the first Delta employees started to trickle in at 4:45ish. So much for that whole “be at the airport 3 hours before your international flight” thing.

When we got to Minneapolis we rushed to our next gate for our one-hour layover, which turned into a 1.5 hour layover, which turned into 2 hours, which turned into an unknown amount of time. The plane was at the gate, but the crew never showed up. How does that even happen?

Because of our tight layover schedule at JFK and Atlanta, Delta decided to reroute us on a new flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta, completely skipping the extraneous JFK connection (and 4 hours of flying time!). We headed off to another gate to wait for a few more hours, fully assured that our luggage was rerouted with us.

Upon arrival in Atlanta, we discovered that the missing Minneapolis crew decided to show up and take our luggage to New York. It was never rerouted, and because the plane left so late, it wouldn’t make it to Atlanta to get on the trans-Atlantic flight with us. As big of a pain as it is to lose your luggage, it’s kind of nice to be pre warned that your luggage is lost. It wasn’t a surprise to not find it in Accra—we knew that we had to go make a lost luggage claim as soon as we landed (and they actually had started the paperwork and had rerouted our luggage on a KLM flight through Amsterdam, oddly enough).

The flight across the Atlantic rocked. Mostly because Delta had this in every seat:

Yep. A USB plug for iPads/Phones/Pods. Not that I used it much—the plane’s selection of movies was incredible (I finally got to watch Inception and The Dark Knight). Still, go Delta.

The flight was incredibly long and uneventful. Like this post. (Totally recycling the joke I used for last year’s Ghana flight blog post) :)

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