Some reroutes are great. And some are awful. And some bring unexpected experiences. About a year ago, I was in briefing for a pretty great trip that I got on my line. It had an 18-hour layover in SFO, and I'd never been there before. I was looking forward to spending plenty of time exploring whatever San Fran had to offer. My husband had the weekend off and was coming with me - one of our early layover adventures together. One other crewmember (let's call her S) lived out there and was looking forward to going home on our layover. As we were boarding the sole flight that we had that day, I got a notification on my phone. The dreaded notification one never wants to receive when they're about to start a great trip:
I nearly melted into the galley floor when I looked at my revised schedule. After flying to SFO, my 18 hour layover was cut down to a measly 9 hours and then I'd have to work the red-eye to JFK. S also got the same reroute - we were the two most junior out of our crew of four. I told her during boarding and she nearly broke down in the aisle. My bad.
My husband had already boarded the plane at this point. I explained the whole situation to him. "Do you still want to go?" I asked him. "Well, I'm already on the plane, so I might as well." And just like that, the door was shut and we were on our way to SFO. I was dreading my 9 hour layover, especially because it was during the day - three hours behind base time. And I had to work a red-eye. And I loathe red-eyes. If I'm going to stay up all night, I want to be working a transoceanic flight. My husband and I got to the hotel and I crashed while he watched the Super Bowl. Since my husband had the time off, he decided to come on the redeye with me to JFK. And of course, he got first class. And of course, he was tapped out during the flight. And there I was, having to work when I'd rather be sleeping. S and I made it through our terrible reroute experience and were now set to deadhead from JFK to FLL to finish out our layover there and meet up with the rest of the crew. My husband and I parted ways in JFK as my flight departed before his.
I was so thankful for that deadhead because it gave me a chance to eat and sleep. We were on a mostly empty plane for the 2.5 hour flight. And we ended up having 18 hours in FLL, which isn't too bad considering what happened the day before.
The first thing S and I wanted to do after we got settled into our hotel rooms was head to the beach. After buying some much-needed beach clothing, we caught the local shuttle to the beach. We ended up meeting an older couple (Gill & Brenda) on this shuttle and started chatting about being flight attendants. We got to the beach, wished them well, and found a cozy spot on the sand.
After about an hour or so of us hanging out on the beach, Gill walked up to us and said that he and Brenda actually ended up being fairly close to our spot on the beach. "I don't mean to scare you or be too forward, but Brenda and I would like to know if you'd join us for dinner on our boat tonight."
S and I looked at each other in disbelief. But we both felt comfortable with saying yes, so we were off to a nearby marina where their boat was docked. Gill and Brenda cooked us a fantastic dinner - we spent the evening sharing travel stories against the background of a warm Floridian evening. There's nothing like enjoying the sunset in a marina with good company. At one point, Gill asked us, "What made you ladies decide to join us?" We explained that you have a gut feeling about people - and we didn't feel threatened or in danger. After a few hours, they took us back to the entrance to the marina, where we had an Uber take us to our hotel.
It was a wonderful ending to a trip that started out with a rough reroute.
To Gill & Brenda, wherever you are, thanks for the hospitality, great food, and even better company,