Saturday morning I woke the kids up bright and early at 4:00am. We had a 6:00am plane to catch out of SLC. We were pushing it on time when we arrived at the parking lot at 4:55am, and I figured we were still fine on time, but we weren’t accustomed to traveling with four children and seven bags. By the time we made it to the shuttle stop it was 5:10 and we waited a good 20 minutes before the shuttle arrived. When we rolled up to the American desk, we got the disgusted head shake… and I knew instantly what it meant… I’d seen it before, but never directed at me. We were 30 minutes from departure and there was no way we were making the flight. Did the guy who runs a travel blog just miss his flight? Absolutely.
Ashamed, I dialed the American Airlines AAdvantage desk. I begged and pleaded for forgiveness and finally sweet-talked my way onto a flight that would take us to Miami that night and we’d leave for Medellin the next day at 5:40 pm. Not only that, but as it turned out, booking a lap child on that flight was $24 cheaper, but there was a $20 re-booking fee, which left me with $4 credit… $570 total now.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of our sorrows… while our kids monopolized the playground at the SLC airport, I tried to get some work done. When our the time came to board our 12:45 flight, they notified us that it had been cancelled due to weather in Dallas. I had to go back to the baggage claim and re-check our bags for the 2:30 flight. That, too, was delayed, and at 4:30 – almost 12 hours in the SLC airport, we finally got on a plane.
By the time we got to Dallas, our flight to Miami was cancelled, but when I got on the phone with the American Help Desk for the third time of the day, they told me there were 5 open seats on a flight departing from C2 in 10 minutes. Glancing up at the gate we’d just arrived at, C32, I took a deep breath, we loaded up the stroller started the 1/2 mile dash. We arrived just in time to squeeze on the plane and rolled into Miami at 1:45am. By some miracle our bags happened to make the plane as well, so by the time we had our bags and the rental mini-van, it was 2:30am. We stumbled into the Hampton Inn at a rate that I’d never pay at any other time of day, and threw ourselves onto the bed. Almost 24 hours of solid travel for our young family took its toll.
We took advantage of the day in Miami to take the kids to the beach. We buried each other in the sand, built sandcastles, found seashells, and played in the ocean… a nice little bonus for our family adventure. Having learned our lesson, we arrived at the airport with plenty of time before our flight, only to have it delayed for am hour and a half anyways.
We arrived at the Medellin airport and, after a winding one hour drive, made our way to our temporary home.