Flying in the US is different

We left the hotel in Miami going to the airport and allowing two hours for check-in, a coffee and boarding. All well, checked-in, coffee, went through security, and while walking toward the gate we saw and airport clock: it showed that it was already two minutes past the flight departure. We ran to the gate just to see that we missed the flight and that to our (European) surprise the flight actually left 15 minutes before schedule. My wristwatch was 1 hour behind.

We asked what should we do and were directed to an airline courtesy phone for a rebooking which we did, just to find out that a rebooking would cost us 900 USD per person. I told Alina that I’d rather rent a car and drive across the south of US than paying that amount.

On our way out, we asked again an airline representative what to do. This time it was a nice girl who taught us not to say that we were late but that we went to the gate and the plane left ahead of the schedule. We tried again to rebook our flight, this time talking to a person at a counter. Miracle…the advice worked and we found a new flight just for 50 USD per person. The flight was through Minneapolis but it didn’t matter to us…until a few hours later.

I had no clue where Minneapolis was and while waiting in line at the gate I saw a display showing that the temperature in Minneapolis was -20C. Ooops! We were dressed in shorts and T-shirts, and our luggage was already on its way with the first plane.


Fortunately, we didn’t have to leave the airport, or board a bus, while changing flights but were the only dressed so light and with a nice Caribbean tan. Looking out on the airport windows Paul could see snow for the first time this year.

We are used in Europe, on anything other than low cost flights, to receive a meal, a free cargo luggage, etc. Here, in the US, you get soft drinks, but that’s it. Even if the flight is 5-6 hours, even if the fares are comparable or higher than flying internationally in Europe, you still pay for your cargo luggage, any food you may want, no blankets or pillows, no fun stuff for kids. To me, they really look and feel like European low costs (at least US Airlines and Delta which we flew this time).

But…we made it well into Los Angeles, got our rental car and off we were to San Diego where we didn’t know that our plans will be hit by another surprise.

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