Friday, October 21, 2011

Brady Flies on an Airplane - Take 2


This past week, Brady and I spent in Pittsburgh visiting my parents. This was Brady's second trip flying on an airplane. The first time was when he was 13 months old and I had Andy with me. Even though both ways were at bedtime, he didn't sleep at all! He just wanted to crawl between Andy and me. I was thinking that a flight to Germany was going to be my worst nightmare.

When gas prices started to climb, we realized that if it was just me and Brady going home, it was cheaper to fly because we only needed one ticket. We made the decision to fly back in July and I was very nervous about handling Brady by myself. We flew out of the local airport in Greenville. The flight up was an absolute nightmare, and it had nothing to do with Brady. When I got to the gate, I noticed that the flight was delayed for an hour (we had a connection to make in Atlanta before heading to Pittsburgh). This meant I would only have 45 minutes to make my connection (which normally wouldn't be a problem). We finally get on the plane and once they've closed the doors, the pilot gets on the intercom to tell us that there are thunderstorms in Atlanta and they've grounded everything there. That meant we were sitting on the airplane until they cleared planes to take off and land in Atlanta. Immediately, everyone started to think about whether or not they could make their connections. I decided to play it out, since I've been on late planes before and changed my flight before we left the ground and it turned out that I could have made my connection after all. Brady was a little squirmy while we waited on the ground (about 45 min), but the second we were cleared to take off, he settled down. The moment the plane left the ground, he passed out in my arms (what a relief)!

We landed in Atlanta at 4:30pm and our flight to Pittsburgh was scheduled to leave at 4:45pm. I had texted Andy to find out which gate we were at and found out that we were two terminals away (Atlanta is huge), but the flight had been delayed until 5pm. This gave me hope and I started to run to get to the next gate (which included two elevator rides and a tram ride). I made it to the gate at 4:47pm and was the last person on. They closed the doors right behind me. Because we were the last ones on and I had to be assigned a seat at the gate, we were in the second to last row. Brady was very good on that flight (about one and a half hours) and watched movies on my iPad. We landed in Pittsburgh around 6:45pm and my mom was waiting for us in baggage claim since she and my dad had just flown in from their latest cruise through the Panama Canal. She had been keeping an eye on the carousel and hadn't seen our bags and a lot of the people on our flight had come and gone with their bags. I went to the help desk and asked if all the bags from the Atlanta flight had come in and when they said yes, I knew we were in trouble. Brady's car seat had been under the plane and thankfully, they had a car seat we could borrow until our bags arrived. Unfortunately, the car seat was much different than our own and although I got it secured in the car, the straps wouldn't loosen enough to get Brady into it and he had to ride the short distance to my parents house, buckled in like the rest of us.

The bags were due to arrive on a flight coming in at 8:48pm. My parents live 5 miles from the airport, so I stayed up waiting for the bags to show up. Around 12:30am, my bags hadn't arrived and I checked the online status. It had been claimed by the airline at 10:30pm, so I called the airport to find out what was going on. They told me that they had been placed on a truck at 11:30pm. By 1:30am, I was exhausted and couldn't stay up any longer. It was going to rain during the night, so I covered their car seat in several plastic bags to keep it dry and placed it on the front porch as instructed. I set my alarm for 3:30am because that's when it was going to start to rain, and I was trying to avoid my bags getting wet. When I woke up at 3:30am, my bags were out in the rain. No one every rang the doorbell and they had taken two phone numbers at the help desk to call when they arrived and there was not one call to either phone. Brady's car seat was soaked through and my suitcase was so wet that half the clothes inside were wet. I called later in the week to voice a complaint, only to be told that Delta doesn't have a complaints department. How convenient is that?!?! It's similar to a small child putting their fingers in their ears and saying, "I can't hear you!"

The return flight was much less eventful (thank goodness). My mom helped me get all the bags and Brady in his stroller to the check-in desk and I headed down to security. They had no concessions at Pittsburgh International for people with kids at security and the line was long! I asked the security lady and she said I could get in the first class line. Thank goodness she did, because even that took over 20 minutes and I got to the gate just in time for boarding. We landed in Atlanta early, which gave us an hour to make our connection, but the position of our arrival and departure gates made it a close call. We made it to that gate right before boarding as well and since again we had to be assigned our seat at the gate, we were in the very last row. Brady fell asleep when we started taxiing an didn't wake up again until we landed. Thankfully, our bags made it to Greenville just fine when we landed.

I am much less nervous about our flight to Germany now. Brady will be older and have his own seat both ways. I am nervous about the fact that Andy will be with us, because we only seem to have problems when he's there. Brady knows how to work Andy and knows that he can't pull any nonsense on me;)

We had a really great time in Pittsburgh. We went to the Pitt game, the Pittsburgh Zoo, lunch at Fuel and Fuddle in Oakland, and a nice family lunch at Ichiban with my parents and brother Alex and his girlfriend, Lauren. I also got to get some pampering with my mom. One afternoon, we left Brady with my dad and got pedicures. We also got our hair done on our last day there. It's crazy to think that in less than 5 weeks, we'll be home again for Thanksgiving. We will have Andy with us, so we will be driving, but I am very excited that my brother, Chris, will be coming home from California. We haven't seen him since Christmas!




All of our flights were full, so Brady never had the opportunity to get his own seat. He was checking out the view while we waited for the person sitting next to us to get on the plane.


A mid-flight photo taken with my iPad on the flight from Pittsburgh back to Atlanta. Brady wasn't very cooperative.

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