Leaving NYC is harder than I thought it would be

I get that it is supposed to be hard to leave a hometown. Especially after living there for 19ish years. Still, I’m not sure I was prepared for the sequence of challenges getting out this weekend.

When your favorite bartender doesn't want you to leave
When your favorite bartender doesn’t want you to leave

Street fairs are simply part of life in New York City. They are a pain in the ass, with the occasional decent food vendor mixed in. The traffic troubles are always a mess. And we had one scheduled for our main avenue on Saturday, maxing it extra challenging to get a car to the airport. Were that the only trouble I’m sure the day would’ve been relatively easy. But we also woke up to heavy fog, and that’s bad news for planes.

JFK was socked in, leading to diversions and delays early that would cascade through the day. Early in the morning JetBlue emailed me with a 45 minute delay on the departure. Not great, but I could live with that. While rescheduling dinner due to the delay worse news came in: the flight was cancelled.

My Mosaic status came in handy at this point. Jumping to the front of the line on the phone queue is always good news. It took 10 minutes or so but the agent was able to rebook us on a flight to Orlando around the same original Jacksonville departure time. I took a $50 hit on the rental car rebooking but we would still be having dinner in Florida. Of course, immediately after we confirmed on that new flight it also took a delay. Oopsie.

The Newark departure to Orlando was close to on time so I reached out via Twitter and asked for a re-rebooking of the flight. No problems at all with switching to Plan C. Maybe we would escape after all.

The aforementioned street fair delivered the expected traffic challenges. I wasn’t really ready for the Lyft driver to decide not to pick us up, however. Fortunately we were very early. But that was annoying as he just drove on by.

He drove right past us and turned the wrong direction. Jerk.
He drove right past us and turned the wrong direction. Jerk.

Boarding was the usual chaos of a “miracle flight” with 20ish passengers needing extra time or assistance. I was particularly impressed by the non-rev pilot and his wife using that opportunity to board, having just cleared standby moments prior. At least they didn’t slow the process like the one guy with a bag that never should’ve made it on board.

It was oversized, even by the generous carry-on limits. So much so that I said something about that under my breath when I saw it in the gate area. And it was falling apart. For that reason I can understand not wanting to check it. But I still wasn’t ready for the performance he put on in the aisle a few minutes later. He was struggling to wrangle it and another passenger offered to help. I’m pretty sure that guy wasn’t expecting to have to tape the bag together.

The offending passenger pulled out a roll of duct tape and, while blocking the aisle from other passengers boarding, taped the bag together. On the one had I found it all sorts of amusing. But decidedly less so given the delay it was causing. Especially when all I really wanted was to be leaving town.

The trip was, in reality, almost entirely uneventful. Our bags were first off at Orlando and the drive to our ultimate destination near St. Augustine was traffic-free. Sure, we flew from the wrong airport at both ends, but I figure that’s just part of the charm of travel. And knowing that airlines can be flexible when things aren’t quite as ideal as they should be.

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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, and LinkedIn.


  1. Are you moving to a state with no state income tax as preparation for a liquidity event arising from your online businesses?

    1. Yes, but not for that reason. No one is stupid enough to believe that this site generates the revenues of a CC-focused operation where there is a reason to buy it out.

        1. I haven’t posted much about it here; only slightly more on my Twitter feed. As the dust settles and the new cycle begins I’ll share more details. For now, however, a couple months on the beach in Florida is mighty nice.

  2. The guy with bag amused me no end. What was he thinking he was lucky they didn’t make him check that bag. I also doubt if the bag would made intact.
    Good luck with the move

  3. One of the many reasons I follow you is your integrity. You would never tell your audience a certain buy miles promo is a bad deal and still manage to put 15+ pimping links in the same post — oh hi OCaaT!

    As of next week I too will be a resident of FloriDuh, a bit SE of you. I owe you a beer or five one of these days!

  4. You just need to start pumping the CC signups like the other bloggers. Then you’ll be rolling in it. 😉

    1. I’d be rolling in something, I suppose.

      I write the stuff I find interesting. I’ve never been shy about that. I’m glad some other folks also enjoy reading it from time to time.

  5. Some of your Twitter posts are ridiculous. You post for the sake of posting (no value).

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