Skip to main content


We fly Standby.

Remember Standby? It was popular during the layaway - eight track - mimeograph era. Yep .... we fly standby today ... side by side with the poor college students, airline employees and homeless people. We're in the airline employee (retired) line. We're called the "non-revs". That basically means we are freeloaders who hang out at airports looking for hand outs.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: The non-rev checks the computer for possible "space available" flights. This may take up to four hours (if you are my wife). The first challenge is actually getting on the Delta website. I think the ticket agents must have the same challenge based on the lines at the airport and the amount of time it takes them just to type information.

Step 2: Once the information is found, the data is translated into English for the spouse's benefit. For example 101(179) means that 101 seats out of a total of 179 have been booked ... so there is space available for 78 more passengers. Often you see something like this -10(179). That means that the airline has oversold that flight by 10 seats ... hoping that 10 people don't show up. Isn't that special? Can you imagine another company doing that ... for example taking your money for a new television set and selling yours twice hoping you won't really pick it up?

Step 3: Listing your name(s) on the standby list. This just requires you to place your names on the computer so that when you get to the airport you will be in the standby queue. Our flights are usually at 6 in the morning or at midnight. Those are the only flights that usually have space available.

Step 4: Arriving at your gate. This is the most interesting step of all. When you arrive at the gate you check the monitor for your name. It's actually your initials ... like ... mine would be MOM for Momberg. If there was a Momaluke on standby as well I guess I would have to ask the agent ... but that hasn't happened to me yet.

Step 5: Getting pissed off. Once you check the monitor and find that the flight that you just checked the night before on the computer ... which had 78 seats available ... is now oversold by 10 and there are 45 standbys ahead of you in the queue ... you calmly approach the gate agent with the logical question: "What happened?" The gate agent calmly ignores your question and instead says "Step away from the counter and check the monitor for updates. If we can't get you on this flight, we will automatically put you on the next available flight."  Now you are officially pissed. The next flight might be a week from Tuesday.

Step 6: Finding a seat. Pleasantly surpised ... you actually get a seat on the same flight that was overbooked. Does this mean the monitor was wrong? Or perhaps the computer had an error? Or the bitch at the gate didn't know what the hell she was talking about (you just pray she gets the same treatment when she travels as a non-rev ... by the way). Either way ... you get on. It's a middle seat right next to the toilet ... but you made it ... to Las Vegas ...

and it's only a 4 hours and 50 minute flight !!!! 


Popular posts from this blog

SAMMY: The Novel (An Overview)

I finished writing Sammy:The Novel. 

So ... I called my good buddy and excellent writer, Dave Scheiber, to help me write an overview to pique the interest of publishers. The stuff that Dave wrote made me want to read my own book! We combined our efforts and here's what we came up with:

SAMMY (An Overview)

Sammy Levine, 86-year-old resident of Star of David nursing home, was not happy with his daily existence and dreamed of taking one last trip with his wife Esther (presently residing in an urn on the third shelf in his room). Sammy was careful about not exposing his plan to anyone, especially his son, Barry, who dutifully visited regularly and tried to make sure that he lived out his remaining days comfortably.

Through a carefully choreographed plan, Sammy managed to access personal information on three recently deceased residents from the nursing home’s computers. Then he applied for and obtained three new credit cards. Armed now with available cash and credit, he loaded up Esth…

Close Call

I was just putting the finishing touches on my new novel, Sammy, which will be available to order in November (shameless self promotion!) ... when I started thinking about some of the characters in my past life. One character I've actually written about in the past just popped into my head. It's a repeat story but I hope you enjoy it ... again.

When I was a Freshman at LSU, our dorm was set up like a suite with two adjoining double rooms and a common kitchen and living room. "Suite" really makes it sound much fancier than it was. Actually, living room makes it sound much fancier than it was. The walls were cinder block and the living room was about 100 square feet. I don't think four of us could even stand up in there at one time.

One of the four guys in our suite was the place kicker for the LSU Tigers. His name was Phil and he was from Bogalusa, Louisiana. He had the bed next to mine. Phil was about 6'8" and weighed well over 300 pounds. He was a big …

Princess Grace's Diary

We surprised our little princess, Grace on Friday with a last minute visit to Savannah. She and her BFF Stella had a joint princess birthday party.

It was of course no surprise to Deb and me that the trip had a few surprises for us, too.

It started out with a light show at the airport (we chose to fly rather than drive the 12 hours back and forth for one day). Lightning strikes were coming fast ... so the tarmac was closed until it settled down. We had to get to Atlanta in time to catch what had become the LAST flight of the night to Savannah at 11:20 PM.

We made it ... barely ... and fell asleep at 2 AM.

Up at 8 and out the door via Uber to The Landings (a mere 45 minute drive) and just in time to see this adorable duo.

Big brother Cole was  one of the "hosts".

Pony rides were there for the guests.

Matching Princess cakes (of course).

Lots of fun.

At about 2, Deb and I headed back to the airport with Nikki driving and made it in PLENTY of time to find out that there were n…