Stand back and… stand by?

March 21, 2024

DL 194 to Barcelona 

  The original plan to fly to Atlanta and then connect to Barcelona shriveled on the vine, so we made a quick Plan B to fly to Minneapolis and connect with a wide open (seating-wise) flight to Paris. That would get us over the pond, and from there we could refigure our way to Spain. This is the kind of nimble rebooking fingers you need when you fly by the seat of your pants as Stand By passengers do.

  It seemed to have worked. We scored seats in the last row for the 8:00 a.m. flight from Orange County to Minneapolis. We settled in and fastened seat belts into 29B and C. Listening to the captain’s greetings on the intercom, we didn’t hear the flight attendant at first, when he approached us to say we’d have to deplane due to Orange County-mandated weight limits. Seems our two seats exceeded that weight limit. We were escorted off by the flight attendants, with all 28 rows watching us, no doubt wondering what kind of “Karen” incident we had perped, or whether our names had popped up on a no-fly list due to federal warrants for skipping bail.

  Back at the Madigan family St. Patrick’s Day party we were now available to attend, Carol told everyone the flight had been overbooked, rather than say the two of us put the plane over the weight limit for getting off the ground. Don’t understand why she felt the need to misrepresent the facts like that.

Being booted from the plane allowed us to attend Madigan’s Pub

  It all worked out for the better, as it turned out. We were able to board the red-eye to Atlanta at 9:20 p.m. that same night. (I guess the St. Paddy’s day menu promotes rapid weight loss?) That put us in Atlanta at 4:15 a.m. local time for the connecting flight to Barcelona at 5:40 p.m. that evening. 

  Carol somehow noodled “day-rate hotels” out of that imaginative New Yorker mind of hers, and Google’d it. We were able to book a room at an airport hotel between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. that day. Carol then flashed those famous baby blues of hers at the desk, and the staff checked us in early at 6:30 instead of 9:00  as the rules had stipulated. We were able to sleep off the red-eye, shower and arrive rested and fresh for the overnight to Barcelona. 

Arenas de Barcelona: a mall repurposed from a bull ring

  Over coffee at Barcelona’s airport, while we negotiated yet another early check-in to our Barcelona apartment, we marveled at our good fortune of not sitting in a Paris airport trying to figure our way to Spain by planes, trains and automobiles. “ We’re back to going to Hell again,” Carol said and smiled. It’s a phrase we’ve coined to acknowledge the seemingly relentless charmed life the two of us appear to be living.

Why we believe we are going to hell

  Later that night, over dinners of beef tenderloin for me and paella for Carol, and overlooking the city from a rooftop restaurant (Arenas de Barcelona), we smilingly toasted our continued descent into eternal damnation.

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