Crossing the globe on an award ticket in coach.

My sweet girl is traveling to Florence on a 33 day educational adventure through her travel abroad office at her university.  For this program students pay tuition, room and board and travel separately. Booking flights was up to the student. We had some miles that had accumulated from travel and credit card points and we wanted to help her defray some of the flight cost by using an award ticket. She needed to fly from Chicago to Florence, Italy. 

We looked at flights and tried to figure out the best route while meeting the expected arrival times set by the hosts. The only way to make it work would be doing several flights. The itinerary was Chicago – Cincinnati – New York JFK – Zurich – Florence.  Staying true to my motherly ways – I worried, checked flightview regularly through the day watching over each travel leg of the itinerary as it was completed.  

The first 2 flights went by quickly and easily – all is going great.  Her layover at JFK was 3 hours – where she had her “last cup”  of Dunkin Donuts coffee – posting on Snap Chat and sending us a text to announce this fact.  She boarded her plane to Zurich, took her economy seat and watched a circus of other travelers follow her boarding to economy.  

The texts started just after her – “we are boarding!” Message.   It read – I’m going to be late .  My message back – Why?   She explained that there were about 50 people in a group that were making the flight late.  They would not sit down in their assigned seats, could not get their luggage stowed and the flight attendent even looked at my daughter and said she had been flying for 10 years and never seen it this bad.  

Next message – What if I miss my flight in Zurich – Next message – Can I call you?  Of course the answer is yes .  The crazy tour group had delayed the flight long enough that some of the crew had timed out – so there was a need for them to wait for new crew.  This was going to cause the plane to arrive at 9:30 in Zurich – vs the original planned 7:55am.  I had Hubby (the international travel pro) talk to her.  We had booked the Zurich to Florence flight with 5 hours time between them. She was scheduled to leave at 12:15 – so she should make the connection with no problem.  He explained in the voice he saves for moments just like these.  He said she was talking it through in a calm way, was not rattled by all of this.  He told her to text when she landed in Zurich, but don’t worry about communicating once she was off the plane – just get to your plane to Florence.   Just as they were saying goodbye the pilot announced they were leaving the gate.  We did the math – and knew she would be just fine.  But of course I did check flightview about an hour later – just to see where her plane was in its journey.  

During the night I woke up twice – checked my phone and when I did not see a text I visited flightview again and saw that her plane had landed on time in Zurich.  At the time I checked I knew she was collecting her bag, going through customs and finding her gate for Florence.  It was 3;30am. 

Arriving in Florence
Flying to Florence from Zurich
Swiss Air Breakfast

I fell back to sleep and woke at 7:30 – a notification came through before I even got down to the kitchen to make coffee.  She was there and sharing her ICloud photos folder.  I was relieved, excited and happy.  Let the adventures begin!

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