Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wedding and the trucking blues.

I got back from my brother's wedding in NJ. It was great, a beautiful day and lots of fun. I was a bridesmaid and really enjoyed being part of everything. I can't believe my little brother is married. Wow, we're getting old!
Greg was able to get non-rev there, but I had gotten a round-trip ticket a couple months ago so I flew up and back with my parents. I'm not really big into flying standby. I know a lot of pilot's wives swear by it and use the privilege all the time, but I sometimes think it's more trouble than it's worth. The last time I tried it was about a year ago (maybe more than..?). I flew up to EWR and then planned on non-revving back. We checked the loads (checked to see how many open seats/stand-bys there were) days in advance and leading right up to the day we wanted to come back. They looked ok right up til we checked when we were about to head to the airport. Everything on Continental was booked solid with multiple standbys for like a week. I ended up buying a ticket on US Air to get home which was about $200 one-way. Therefore, I always say that if you can find a fairly cheap ticket, you're better off just buying a ticket and having a positive space. I just don't really have time to mess around with flying standby and not getting on flights. I have a full time job and can't be leaving it up to chance whether I'm going to get home or not. I think it's a great privilege for retired people or people more flexible than me. My in-laws use it a lot. I just feel like when I'm flying somewhere, it's usually for something important, like a wedding or baby shower and it's not something I want to wait til the last minute and see if I can make it there or not. Also, lately I think the airlines have done their research and figured out how many flights they need to and from most places and streamlined to make sure they aren't flying half filled planes around as much, because they can't make money off empty planes. Therefore, most planes aren't flying around with tons of empty seats. Although, our flights did have a bunch of seats open, but I think right now we are in that September end of summer lull, and that's why. I'm still glad we booked tickets. Peace of mind.
In any case, Greg got there and back fine on standby, so it worked out good. He also was able to take a train directly down to where the wedding was in NJ, which was also great. I didn't have to duck out and drive an hour away to pick him up, so I was happy because I worried I'd be cutting it close to making it to the rehearsal or something I needed to be at.
Trucking has gone from awful to worse lately. Greg fought with his dispatcher a lot last week about getting off for the wedding. In training they told everyone if they needed to be off for something to let them know and they would work around it and it shouldn't be a big deal. Greg purposely let his dispatcher know over a month ago that he had a family wedding coming up and consistently reminded him of this each week leading up to it. Come the week of the wedding he got really ridiculous with Greg about letting him go home and go to the wedding. Finally after a lot of hassle he let him go. This was after trying to make it seem like it was Greg's fault for not "planning" better for it. It's like "hello???? A MONTH'S NOTICE!!!" Whatever, jerk.
Greg flew back a day early to be back for work and they were already bugging him with an assignment. He got back on the road and hit a deer the first day. Then he had a bad tire that the company didn't want to fix and Greg finally said he wouldn't do anything else til they fixed it because he could tell it wasn't safe. He hates this job... I don't blame him.
On a lighter note, I heard about this funny blog written by a guy that is using that unlimited flight pass on JetBlue. http://www.wired.com/autopia/tag/terminal-man/
Pretty funny reading.


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