October 21: Travel Tips for a Hectic Trip

What do you do when your layover flight is delayed to the point where you miss your destination flight?

Well, we'll tell you what we did to pass the 28 hours away...

For this particular flight, our schedule looked a little something like this:

Huntsville > Atlanta > New York > Israel

The flight from ATL to NY was delayed by about four hours. We arrived in New York about twenty minutes after the flight took off from NY to Tel Aviv, Israel. There was a pretty hefty handful of travelers en route to Tel Aviv on our ATL flight. 

When we all found the Delta counter (around 9 pm), the majority of passengers ahead of us had been told that they would just have to reschedule their flight. Delta representatives said that the delay was due to weather (couldn't be true - no rain, no snow, barely any wind); therefore, they denied the customers everything except their sincerest apologies. 

By the time we arrived to the counter, a quarter 'til midnight had struck. JD couldn't get in touch with anyone from his company (obviously because of the late night hours) so we were at a loss about what we should do. Delta said they could re-route us - send us to Amsterdam, Paris and then to Tel Aviv, among other routes - but there would be a very large fee. Since we pay out-of-pocket for my ticket and we always want to save the company money, we decided it would be best to wait it out for the next flight out to Tel Aviv. The Delta reps graciously gave us vouchers for a free hotel stay, taxi ride, and meals to cover our stay near the JFK airport. 

Travel Tip: When dilemmas strike, be persistent and be fluid. Your airline reps should take amazing care of you, especially Delta. They strive to have outstanding loyalty to their customers... more on that further down the post. 

We took a taxi to the local DoubleTree by Hilton (yes, we got two deliciously hot cookies upon arrival) and fell asleep after JD finished his email correspondence.

The next morning, we ate at the hotel buffet and had to check out around noon. We were pretty far out from the city so we decided to just head back to the airport. This means that we must find things to entertain us for the next eight hours, only to lead up to our 10+ hour flight to Tel Aviv. Luckily, the JFK airport is a pretty hip place. So hip, in fact, that they have stationary iPads for people to play on while eating.

That's right. We played Tic Tac Toe for at least an hour. And since we like to pretend like we're super secretive spies... we called ourselves Agent J and Sidekick W.

We also ate at Chili's, spent way too long in a cool electronics store, bought tons of candy for our long trip, and finally picked up a nice black coffee and Chai Tea Latte (5 pumps with whip) from Starbucks. Of course, our iPhones kept us pretty good company too.

Alas, it is possible to spend eight hours in the JFK airport without getting bored out of your mind. It makes it a lot easier when you have an awesome travel companion though.

It's finally time board the plane. The terminal is overflowing with passengers. We quickly realize that they overbooked the flight when the Delta reps announced, "If you have a seat on the plane and are willing to give it up, you will receive $400,000 in Delta credit and a guaranteed seat on the next flight out tomorrow."

"She said $4,000 - right?!?" We could hear the crowd murmuring in shock.

"That's right... $400,000 in Delta credit. You can use this for any Delta flight or partner including car rentals and hotel stays," the Delta rep repeated.

"No, she said $400,000!!! That is unheard of!!"

Most of the passengers were there with tour groups, so very few people were anxious about giving up their seat. JD and I had even met a family of four (who rode with us in the taxi to the DoubleTree) and they had been re-routed for the past four days. They had finally gotten a seat - there was no way they were going to give up a seat for one more day.

If JD and I were going to Israel for pleasure, we most certainly would've given up our seats for that type of reward any day. [Did I mention that we pay for my tickets out-of-pocket?] Since our flight had already been delayed by a day, we decided it would be best to stick with our seats as the trip was -above all else - a business trip.

Somehow or another, JD and I were able to get seats in the Economy Comfort section on the flight. It was terribly hard for us to get those seats in exchange for our seats in the very back of plane beside the bathrooms [kidding]. We were excited about our escape from the back!

Travel Tip: When you purchase anything after the security check in an airport, always keep the receipt at hand. You will never know when you will be required to go through a second security check. JD and I had to toss two full massive water bottles away because I couldn't find the receipt as we were crammed in the second security check line prior to getting onto the plane.

The flight to Tel Aviv was fairly uneventful, minus the kid who kept falling asleep on me. The plane didn't have the personal entertainment TV on the back of each seat. Instead, there was a big, bright screen in the front of each cabin which played four different movies. We sat in the first row of the cabin. I decided to purchase a sleep eye mask when we arrived back home.

Travel Tip: Always bring an eye mask. You never know when the person in front of you will keep the window open throughout the entire flight or if the plane will only have the bright screen playing throughout the flight right in front of your seat. 

I'm loving this eye mask by Naomilingerie. You can find it in her Etsy shop for $20.

Dear Friends: What would you do if you were stuck at the airport for eight hours or more?

Please keep in mind that we went on this trip in October. We are not allowed to post real-time traveling events due to JD's job. We are currently setting up camp in Huntsville for a few months finally. Sorry for the confusion!