Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Space A to Seattle

We made it Space A from Japan to Seattle and back!  I'm not going to lie it was crazy stressful but we we were super lucky and were able to get on both our flights on our first try, which was not the case for most of the people we saw waiting for flights.  

The whole thing started a couple months ago when I started watching the flights online and talking to a friend about it.  It looked like they were always having open seats so we decided to give it a try.  I didn't know anyone who had done it before so we just weren't sure how it all worked.  We really wanted to go to Bob's family reunion in Ohio and went ahead and got commercial tickets from Seattle to Ohio, that's how confident we were.  Well, then June hit and all the flights were filling and many people weren't making the flights.  If you don't know how it works you basically get ranked into a category and then within your category the seats go to whoever signs up first.  That is if there are available seats, which flights often don't have.  And you cannot sign up for the flights until you are on leave.  So even though we planned for this trip ahead of time we couldn't sign up for the Saturday flight until Friday after Bob got off work.  

We decided to try a week and a half early to give us a few tries to make sure we were in Seattle for our flight to Ohio.  Then the day before we left we pretty much gave up on going straight to Seattle because they were all so full and we saw a flight to Alaska that we thought we could make.  We bought cheap tickets form Alaska to Seattle and left at 4am to head to the airport.  It was really disappointing two hours later when we got there and saw that the flight was delayed a couple hours.  The good news was that they added a few more open seats to the Seattle flight that same day.  The bad news was that the Alaska flight left first so we had to decided if we wanted to take the sure thing Alaska flight, and hang out in Anchorage for a random 18 hours then catch our flight to Seattle or just hope for the best and skip the Alaska flight and go for the Seattle flight.  

It was crazy stressful.  We decided to go for the Seattle flight and thankfully we got on!  The bad thing was we didn't end up leaving the airport until about 8pm that night so we were at the airport stressfully waiting around for a super long time.  We were even able to get a refund on our Alaska tickets, it was great.  The kids had fun watching movies the whole day at the airport.

 Ok, now I'm just going to write about the trip home, don't worry I'll make this short shorter.  We left for the airport I think it was at 4pm, flew to St. Lewis for some crazy reason and then had a connection to Seattle.  We arrived there at about 1:30 AM and hung out in the airport until the 5:30 roll call.  This was our third night that we completely missed and it was rough.  We ended up getting the flight and it left around 8am, then we hoped on the 11 hour flight to Japan.  I think it was 23 hours traveling straight.  Not fun.

Once we got back I had a hard time with the Jet Lag.  Like much harder than the first time around.  I'm not sure why.  People ask me if it was worth it and I'd say it was.  We needed 6 or 7 tickets from Japan.  They are about a thousand a piece to Seattle and a couple hundred more each ticket to get to Ohio.  It was just way too much money for us to spend.  At this point I'm not sure if I can ever do it again, at least not like we did.  If we do it again I think it will have to be anytime not during the summer.  That way we will have a pretty good chance of getting seats and it will be way less stressful.  My friend tried the same flight as us and didn't get on.  In fact she tried several times and was stuck in Seattle with her kids for a week and a half.  I also do not want to do three flights in a row, we should have rested a couple days in Seattle with my family on the way back before our Japan flight. 

The whole thing really changed my opinion about the flight from Seattle to Cincinnati.  We have done that quite a few times to visit family and I used to think the five hours was long.  Now it just seems like a super easy flight to make.  Nothing compared to what we have now been through :)

Oh and I almost forgot to tell the very end of the story.  After we finally make it to Japan we were exhausted and wanted nothing more to sleep in our bed (even though it was the middle of the day) our car wouldn't start.  That is right we had it parked at the airport and Bob couldn't get it started.  The kids and I hung out in the airport for another hour, because it was insanely hot outside while Bob got help from strangers trying to jump it.  Eventually someone was able to come who worked at a car place and could jump it for us.  They said it was because we left it out in the heat for so long, I honestly didn't know that could be bad for your battery.

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