So on April 30th, I decided to fly standby to Madrid, Spain, utilizing my friend Ming’s status as an employee of American Airlines. My itinerary consisted of connections at Dallas and at Miami. I got on the flight to Dallas easily. However, despite several flights that day from Dallas to Miami, I was either the 30th or 40th person on the standby list.
Thus, I couch surfed at Ming’s place that night in Dallas, never expecting to couch surf in the U.S.! We found out that the inaugural flight from Dallas to Madrid would occur the next day and crossed our fingers that I would get on. Also, my checked-in bags miraculously arrived in Madrid without me. (Isn’t this a security issue?)
The next day, May 1st, we checked the AA system and it appeared that I would just make it onto the Madrid flight. However, two earlier AA flights to Europe, to Frankfurt and Paris, had plenty of seats and I considered flying to either city and taking an overnight train to Madrid. I decided to gamble on the Madrid flight and breathed a sigh of relief when 40 minutes before my flight, I got a seat!