My 4th of July Air Travel Experience

I must admit, I was looking forward to our trip this past weekend with some fear and trepidation.  You see this wasn’t just a family vacation over a long weekend. We were traveling to my son’s wedding.  A wedding planned in consideration of a wedding party comprised almost exclusively of active duty military members.  The date and destination were chosen long before in consideration of leave schedules and proximity to an airport to ensure the greatest success rate in getting everyone there.  Then Air Travel Chaos erupted and nothing seemed so certain.  Reports of stranded travelers inundated news reports and social media, making this mother of the groom a bit nervous.

I am happy to report that Air Travel Chaos did NOT impact my son’s special day.  A couple of the guests were delayed, but family members and wedding party were 100% in attendance at their expected times with all luggage and wedding attire in tow.  (Delayed guests did make it in time for the ceremony.)  I do not know what airlines other travelers used, but our immediate family (all 9 of us) boarded our Southwest flight in the wee hours on Friday, July 1.  We had good seating assignments given our diligence to check in at exactly 24 hours in advance.  Our flight was smooth and we made our connection and arrived on time without any hiccups at all.  Over the weekend, I read a news article that reported that SW was one of the best airlines with very few cancellations over the weekend.  This article gave me hope about our return flight, but in reality, getting to the wedding was my biggest concern.  Hiccups coming back would not be as dire in my opinion and I was not worried.

As fate would have it though, coming back was just as smooth.  Our 24 hour check in time for our seating positions was just 20 minutes before the wedding began.  Being thrifty, none of us wanted to pay for Early Bird Check In and we all checked in at the 24 hour mark.  I was surprised that even with checking at exactly 24 hours prior, our boarding positions were in the low Bs, but even so we had no issues getting seats and overhead bin space for our carry-ons.  We again had a day of smooth travels with no trouble.

Our SW flight attendants were all very helpful and professional.  Coming home, especially so.  My daughter had never been on a SW flight where their trademark humor was on full display.  She was especially tickled when we arrived at our final destination and he announced, “We’re here! Get out!”  SW has only recently returned to our home airport and has not been an airline we have used as often in recent years.  After this experience, I will most definitely be considering them as a good option for future travel plans.

Clowning around during our layover at Houston Hobby Airport.

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