New York: Going Home

This is my last posting on the series on New York. I actually had only five full days in the city but did managed to squeeze in quite a lot within that short span of time. And to think of it, this had resulted in 27 individual blog entries. Frankly, I had as much time blogging about it and sharing my vacation with you as I did on the vacation.


My route back to Vancouver was not without drama. Since I was traveling on staff pass, I had very little choice when it comes to the routing. I had to fly from Newark to Houston to Vancouver. That will take me the entire day traveling alone.

I knew it would be a challenge getting on a standby flight. So, without taking any chances, I attempted to get on a 2PM flight from Newark to Houston. I figured that if I could not get on this flight, there are two other hourly flights.

Guess what … the flight was full and it appears that there are more people trying to get on standby than I could imagine. There were 45 names on the standby list … and me being on what they call a SA5 (space available priority 5), that means that, well, my name is #43 on the list. Moreover, they only have 20 seats available for this flight … that sounds like real trouble to me.

I waited for the flight the next hour, and it was not much better … there were over 30 names on the standby list and as a SA5, I am always at the bottom. My last option was the 4PM flight. If I could not get on the flight, I would miss the connecting flight to Vancouver. I went to customer service for help and as much as they tried all possibilities, it appears that my only real option is to try to get on the 4PM flight and land in Houston with only SEVEN minutes to get to the connecting flight gate!

Well, I guess, I might as well take the chance since the worst thing that could happen is that I either stay one more day in New York or one more day on Houston.


I finally got on to a half empty fight from Newark to Houston … it’s weird to think that just two flights earlier, the flights were absolutely full.

While on the flight, I took the time to do some research for “Plan B” … a day trip in Houston in case I missed the connecting flight.


The inflight meals is good … much better than most other American domestic flights I had ever been to. They had hot burgers … real meal and not just packets of peanuts.


I could not believe my ears when the captain announced the landing in Houston … we were (GOSH!) 30 minutes ahead of schedule. That had never happened to me before — flights are more likely late than early and once in a blue moon, I’ll be something like 5-10 minutes early … but never 30 minutes. Apparently there was (divine?) tail wind during the flight.


The plane took off on schedule and I made it back to Vancouver on schedule as originally planned.


OK … there it is … my solo vacation to New York. I hope you enjoyed reading of my adventure. This is certainly one of my most memorable vacations ever.

BTW, if you want to read the entire New York series, it is all in this link: New York 2007.

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  1. Windy

    Very lucky indeed Ben. I remember at one point, I tried to catch a flight from Jo’burg to Cape Town with South African Airways. I started from around 12 noon and could only get on board around the 6 or 7pm in the end. I couldn’t believe that I had to wait for 5 or 6 flights before I could get on!

    Anyway, just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. M.

    I enjoyed every post of your NYC trip! It was memories once again.. a year ago I was still there. Thanks so much for the writings and the pictures. (bagus lah)

  3. Pete

    Seems like you had a real enjoyable vacation in NY. I hope the city was hospitable and left some nice memories. Now, could you ask the Canucks to go easy on my Islanders tomorrow?

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