Sorry, we’re not flying to your destination after all


One of the things I love about my trips is the time I get to spend in the airport. Yes, I know that makes me crazy, but I love it. So many people coming and going, each with their own story and plans. And I get to hear or participate in tiny snippets of those stories. Fun for everyone.

Sitting at the gate the other day I overheard a story from the family next to me that was wonderfully entertaining. An airline employee was sending her parents up to their vacation home in rural Wisconsin using her non-rev privileges. They would be flying on Great Lakes Aviation, a small operator of even smaller planes to less populated areas. The parents had come in to the airport in the morning with hopes of getting on the early flight. Alas, it was sold out so they had to wait around for the afternoon flight.

The agent had called down to the baggage room to make sure that her parents’ bags would be on the plane and had confirmed that there would be space on the flight. Only two revenue passengers so no problems with that. At least that’s what they thought.

A few minutes later the gate agent for Great Lakes came over and they all started chatting about life and such, including the vacation house the parents were on their way to visit. Suddenly the gate agent stopped dead in the middle of a thought and apologized to the family; they would not be flying to their destination after all.

It turns out that the plane normally flies a triangle route, stopping at two cities before coming back to the hub. In this case, however, there were no revenue passengers for the second stop so they weren’t making that flight. And, of course, that’s where the non-rev parents were flying. So it was back home and off to try again another day.

Just another day in the life of folks on the go.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .
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