Lucas and I got home late last night from Pittsburgh. It should’ve been a quick one hour flight.
We were scheduled to fly at 5:50 PM from PIT, getting us into New York’s LaGuardia at 7:14 PM. When we arrived at the gate, it seemed busy but nothing unusual. After standing around for a few minutes, I noticed that the screen said now boarding for a 2:45 flight which was switched to 5:30!
This got me curious. If the flight before ours was delayed, then our flight most likely would be too.
I waited on a short line and got Lucas and I switched to the earlier flight. Less than 5 minutes later, the screen showed Flight Cancelled! (First thoughts- WTF!!!)
Before I could get to my turn on the line, I called in to the AA Gold line and was told we were already switched back to our original flight. I also had an e-mail from AA and Kim texted me that American had called home. (Not sure why they didn’t call my cell phone.)
An AA rep printed out our new boarding passes and also told us it didn’t look good. Odds were pretty high that this flight would be cancelled. (It still hadn’t taken off from NY and was on the runway for 2 hours. In another 30 minutes it would have to return to the gate.)
The delays were due to weather which was interesting since Kim had mentioned it was nice out at home…
Cancelled flights due to weather would mean if Lucas and I got stuck in Pittsburgh, paying for a hotel would be my responsibility. The rep gave me a card, just in case- with a phone number to book a room nearby at a reduced rate.
I sure hoped it didn’t come to this.
Around 7:00 PM, the board showed Flight Cancelled for our original flight. Crap! What to do, what to do??
I had already been told that there were no other flights heading to NYC by a rep earlier. Again, I called the AA Gold hotline. After a long hold, I explained the situation.
A glimmer of hope…
The rep said there was a flight leaving at 8:00 PM and to head over to Gate 37 immediately. We were just a few gates away so this was no problem.
The rep told me that Lucas and I had seats on the flight and I even received an e-mail about the change from American.
Take a look at the image above and you’ll notice that the flight times are really off plus Lucas and I were not assigned seats..
When we got to the gate, there was no AA rep around but there were a few reps one gate over. We headed to that gate and asked to have our boarding passes printed.
I showed my confirmation from the AA app and was told by the rep that this was a diversion flight and they weren’t ticketing new passengers.
I chimed in that the Gold phone rep told me that Lucas and I were ticketed and good to go. I also asked how we got an e-mail from AA.com if this wasn’t the case! The rep then took a closer look and said we’d need to wait and see. The flight was supposed to board around 8:00 PM, so we wouldn’t be waiting long. Lucas was getting restless. He wanted to go to a play area or to eat but we had to stay put.
The flight started to board and the line was huge! Sure enough, when everyone was gone, the same rep told Lucas and I to come over. He looked at our old boarding passes, searched his computer and told us we could go aboard!
I asked for a boarding pass and he said just go on and take any open seat at the back of the plane. Definitely strange but I just wanted to go home!
Lucas and I walked to the back and took seats in row 30, the last one on the plane. We did have the middle seat open at least and unlike our plane to Pittsburgh, this one had entertainment systems.
The cancelled flights seemed to have gotten us an upgrade to a full-size plane. (On the way we flew on an Embraer 140/145 which had a 1:2 seat layout. This flight was on a Boeing 737 which had 3:3 seats.)
I still didn’t know what a diversion flight was but I found out after the plane landed.
As we waited to disembark Lucas struck up a conversation with the two flight attendants at the back of the plane. One of them mentioned not seeing us on the earlier flight. Earlier flight???
It turns out that our flight was really a Las Vegas- JFK flight which was diverted to Pittsburgh for fuel. It wasn’t even supposed to come to the gate but it did and then got stuck for over 3 hours.
I mentioned how we got on the flight and found it odd that we didn’t have boarding passes or a seat assignment. Both FAs were surprised that we somehow got onto the plane. I was told that these kind of flights shouldn’t even show up in the system since it isn’t a real flight. There really was no Pittsburgh- NYC flight at this time.
I showed them my confirmation e-mails from AA and they were still surprised…
I guess the Vegas-NYC flight’s bad luck allowed for Lucas and I to make it home regardless of two other cancelled flights!
Major props go out to the AA Gold phone rep who ticketed me and Lucas! It is much appreciated.