My bst non-rev stories...
My longest trip ever: 36 hours from start to finish
Returning home from a spring break trip in high school, I flew Hartford, CT (BDL) to Chicago, only to find out that, not only were the flights to SAN full, but the non-rev lists were closed! After talking to an agent, my best chances were assessed as being going to DFW, then heading to SAN from there. After arrival to DFW, I found that I was unable to get to the connecting gate in time, and all other SAN flights were full for the night. So too, by the way, were all flights to Southern California full (LAX, LGB, SNA, PSP, BUR, etc.) I spent the night in Dallas and, after determining that it was my only viable option, I flew DFW-DCA-JFK (only 150 miles from where my trip started a day and a half earlier)-SAN!
My first stab at flying an ID-90:
Heading to Hawaii last summer to visit a friend and do some Cessna-flying, I was worried by the high loads on AA flights and bought ID-90s on two airlines with more flights, Hawaiian and United. After getting to LAX on American Eagle, I inquired about AAs flight to HNL and was told that a full load had already checked in. In light of this, I headed over to the flight that I considered my best prospect, a United 747 that was the first flight of the day. When I checked in, the ticket agent said to me, "This shouldn't be a problem... there are 75 seats open. Oh, wait a second, there are 125 people on the standby list, and you're the only one that's not with UA." Hearing this, I headed over to Hawaiian to try their first flight. i knew I wasn't going to get that one when the captain came off of the plane to let his son know that the flight was full, so I went back to United. I finally got on a United flight that departed late morning or early afternoon (quite possibly my last flight on the DC-10... I love that plane!)
The real adventure came on the trip home... I checked loads, and determined that my best chance was to fly HNL-ORD-SAN, so that's how I listed. Just in case, I checked in early enough to take the afternoon flights to LAX or SFO, but they both went full. I hung around and tried the ORD flight, but to no avail. Shortly thereafter, American's two flights to Dallas left oversold. I found out that American's Maui-LAX flight had seats on it, but didn't have time to catch a Hawaiian flight to Kahalui in time to connect, so I checked on the Hawaiian flight to LAX. After it left the gate without me, I went to United and was bumped off of their LAX flight, and again off of their next LAX flight. After that LAX flight, an announcement was made that the last LAX flight of the night was full, so all stand-bys were rolled onto the SFO flight, a 747-400 with plenty of seats. Despite the fact that I was ticketed HNL-LAX, United agents gracefully allowed me to use the pass to San Francisco, with the stern warning that "If you take this flight, we're not responsible for getting you to LAX... you're on your own in San Francisco." I got on this flight, and it was totally full. It was also my first (and hopefully my last!) flight on a 747. After arrival in San Francisco the next morning, I tried desperately to get out... but AA was packed. I tried everything they had... DFW, ORD, JFK, BOS, MIA... everything, but they were all full. Out of desparation, I started callin airlines and spent more money on a single flight than I ever had before in all my life... $125 to fly Southwest from San Francisco to San Diego. As much as I loved Hawaii, I was glad to be home!