Planning a trip when you fly standby!
As an airline employee, I have the privilege of being able to fly for free or at a significant discount. This sort of travel, as luxurious and free-spirited as it sounds, is not without its share of potential stress if allowed to be a part of the packing list. Flexibility is key as is being able and willing to change plans as needed.
I have an annual trip I take to the UK during the first part of October. This year I decided it would be nice to break the journey into smaller segments. Really I was just considering visiting my friends in Toronto and then heading on to the UK. As I looked at the routing I discovered that Reykjavík, Iceland was an interim point between Canada and the UK. The bright idea occurred to me to spend a few days in Iceland on the way to the UK.
The planning of a trip like this entails checking loads/availability on flights and working out the timing to coordinate with less busy air travel times. I work at the Oakland airport. The closest airport for an international destination is San Francisco but the flights to Toronto were full so I decided to fly with my airline to LAX and then proceed on to Toronto from there.
I arrived in Toronto between 8 and 9 pm and met up with my friend who had also just flown in and we headed on back to his and his wife’s house in Toronto for a pleasant evening of conversation.
The addition of Iceland to my itinerary was so last minute that I really hadn’t had the time to properly plan. I’d done some research and had an Airbnb lined up for the nights I would be in the country. I had no idea about transportation from the airport to the Airbnb. I finally sorted out my transportation (which you need to reserve in advance) just before boarding my flight out of Toronto and onwards to Iceland.
Flying standby means preparing for not making your flight and having a very minimal amount of luggage! I fit everything including a winter coat into 2 small carryon legal bags.
I had a very enjoyable time with my friends Sunday evening and all of Monday. My next flight was at 11 pm Monday night so I was able to spend the whole day with great company. We did a tour of Toronto by car followed by lunch and then a few picture-taking moments of the beautiful fall colours starting to show.