Sunday, July 25, 2010

Standby Flying-Pros and Cons

You ever flown Standby? You've heard the various ups and downs, I'm sure but I thought I'd add ours.

My hubby, Mr. Man, is an aviation mechanic and we fly for FREE, but on Standby Mode. It's better when we travel with him, but just slightly. Often enough, we have no problem getting to and fro, but there are days, especially during peak travel season...

Downside: : -(

From SALT LAKE, Ut TO PHOENIX, AZ we left super early. No problem, got our boarding passes and made it on the plane.

PHOENIX, AZ TO DALLAS, TX- No such luck. Everything was full-up the whole day! Nothing we can do but grab a hotel nearby. Money we didn't account for. No luggage meant no clothes!

PHOENIX TO EL PASO, TX (the next day)- No problem, got on the first flight out to El Paso. Arrived at 11:30AM

EL PASO TO DALLAS- Flights full until 7:25PM. Had to face possible split-up cause hubby had to work that night. More money spent. Hubby late for work.

Upside: :-D

After getting a room in the nearby Double Tree hotel, I was impressed with their courtyard and see-through elevators that can take in the great views, per floor!
This is the other great view outside of the hotel. We'd definitely like to come back!
Nearby, inside the Chinese Cultural Center within walking distance, we found a great restaurant.
Inside was a huge fish pond surrounded by a turtle enclosure. Beautiful!
We thoroughly enjoyed their selection of Dim Sum and Lunch Menu.
Though we didn't have any luggage, that didn't stop us from enjoying the hotel pool, so we hopped on the light rail and went to the nearby mall for some swimsuits! When we arrived, we walked to the mall that was a few blocks over. Then of course, we walked back to the light rail station.
Here's some of the great buildings we passed by in downtown Phoenix. Great architectural style!
Here we are walking from the mall...
We took this photo-op, while waiting for the return light rail, since it was a rare event.
We found this great fountain/waterfall feature in the middle of Arizona Center. They didn't have much store selection, but the atmosphere was just amazing!Arizona summers are hot, so before any swimsuit hunting, we stopped at Cold Stone for cups of ice cream. I had a Blueberry ice cream with roasted almonds topping! Delish!We met our friend Michelle at the hotel after we got back and she swam with us. Then off to dinner! Her and L-Infinity both had sandwiches, while the others had their own picks. I was good- fish, rice and veggies!We were full but very tired. Can't you tell? Here we are using the hotel computer to list us for the next day's flights.I took advantage of another great spot in the hotel, their main courtyard, for another photo-op with Mr. Man. Michelle snapped a great one! I love how we both had a great smile on despite our fatigue.
We took in the awesome night views the hotel offered. Like this one of their other courtyard.
This was at 8PM, isn't that a wonderful contrast? I just had to take a picture! Mr. Man made sure that it came out right, so he took the shot!
We decided to take a peek at the top floor and see the sights. We saw the airport and planes taking off. Before we came back down, I couldn't pass up a photo-op with my kiddos. L-Infinity was too tired to go up to the top veranda with us. J-Pony and I-Dude, I think, were just happy to lean on someone. They were soooo tired! Didn't bother me, I'll take what I can get!
And I made sure that Mr. Man and I took another great picture together!

The next day, in El Paso airport, we managed to find some comfy seating to pass the time.
The airport definitely played up the southwestern culture of the area.From the window of our comfy spot, we proved that the state of Texas is not entirely FLAT! El Paso shows off some beautiful mountain ranges.
Here we are finally boarding our plane to Dallas! Woohoo! It was a long day...We were so glad, tired and relieved when we finally were reunited with all of our luggage back in Dallas Love Field. It meant we were only a few minutes away from home!

What did we learn? With Standby flying, it is better when you are prepared for "come what may" situations. We made the best out of our situation, and came out having a great set of memories to relive.


Hansonpatch said...

O.K. priorities first-the picture with you and Mr. Man that Michelle took might be my all time favorite. Ryan was commenting and I agree that you two never looked so happy when you were in the AZ desert as you both have in Texas. It shows on you both! I am going to hit that restaurant so thanks, and I had no idea that there was a Chinese section in Phoenix!! How cool is that?! Glad you all had such a wonderful time and got home safely.

Chandy said...

Oh my word, you have no idea! We were so exhausted!

Chandy said...

From Charlotte in FB:

"Gorgeous pics!! And it looks like you guys know how to make the best of a bad situation :) That will take you far in like lol Tell Mr. Man I said hello!"