Standby Adventures: Fiji to Thunder Bay

Flying standby half way around the world is a really strange experience. Right now, I could potentially be travelling for the next 46 hours or I could be left here in Fiji with no place to stay. And I won’t know until an hour before I leave or don’t leave. I can’t even explain this feeling. I normally prep for long haul flights but I cant even begin to think about getting on the plane because I’d be way too disappointed if I didn’t. Lets backtrack a little..

I was supposed to spend my last night here in Fiji on South Sea Island. Out in the Yasawa islands there’s no service or wifi and the only place that has it is the boat that goes between the islands. So today, when I boarded the boat heading to south sea island, I check the flight loads and saw that the flight I was to leave on two nights from now was now completely full. I didn’t have much of a choice but to not stop at south sea, and head straight to the airport to give myself an extra buffer day to try and figure out how to get home. So, I took the ferry all the way to Nadi, got on a bus, and went straight to the airport. It was such a weird feeling one minute being on these gorgeous islands away from civilization, twenty minutes to my next tropical destination to mentally preparing for a long haul flight and going home to winter in a few hours.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so optimistic that I was actually going to get on a flight and go home because once I got to the airport I was told that the flight to LAX was oversold for the next 2 nights. OH HECK.

So I was told to wait until an hour before the flight to find out if people didn’t show up. I won’t know an hour before if I’ll be flying an 11 hour flight or going to a hostel (which I have not booked and do not have wifi LOL great).

Aaaand three hours laters, and I did not get a seat on the flight. Without wifi and no reservation for a place to stay, I went to arrivals hoping that someone would be picking up backpackers heading to a hostel. I ended up finding a hostel van and convinced them to let me hop on back to the hostel I stayed at the start of my trip to book a reservation for that night.

I woke up bright and early, many thanks to the loud snorers in my room 🙂 and headed straight to the airport. I decided to try Korean airlines to get to Vancouver through Seoul. Unfortunately, the same thing happened with this flight as with the fiji airways one. It was oversold and I needed to wait until an hour before to see if people didn’t show up. And there was also another 7 people on standby so fml. I waited anxiously trying to distract myself as the minutes ticked closer. I honestly think it helps to go up a few times and hang around by the desk so that the agents (although maybe a little annoyed of you) know exactly who you are and what you need. I ended up getting the last seat on the plane.. only to have a passenger show up extremely last minute and be told that because he showed up that I wouldn’t have a seat anymore. I argued slightly and said that I was second last on the priority list so whoever was behind me should actually be the one to not have a seat, not me. I’m not sure if there was miscommunication or if there ended up being another seat but I stood at the desk for a few more minutes while they figured things out and I ended up getting a seat 40 minutes before the flight took off. HALLELUJAH. I thanked everyone a million times and then ran away so they couldn’t take it back. It was such a sad feeling being told I had a seat and getting all excited and then them just taking it away, I was getting on this fricken plane this time. So off to Korea I went!!!

I made it to Korea after a 10 hour flight. The flight was very enjoyable though. The service, entertainment and food was phenomenal, and I watched at least 4 different movies. When I landed in Korea I only had a 1 hour connection to get my flight to Vancouver. I had to clear security, then find this mysterious “transit desk” to get my boarding pass to Vancouver and then get to my gate. I luckily made it, and got another aisle seat with no one sitting in the middle – score! It was a weird feeling (again) boarding this plane in Korea because it felt like I was almost home.. Except like.. I was in Korea.. so obviously still a very long way to go. I can’t even wrap my head around all the time changes, especially crossing the international date line twice. I took two flights that were just over 10 hours long (maybe a little longer) with an hour long layover in between. But somehow I left Fiji Nov 13 at 11:05 am and landed in Vancouver on Nov 13 at 11:45 am. Yeah.. I dont get it either.

Then landing in Vancouver my flight was delayed so again I only had an hour connection to make it through customs, security and get on my next flight but huzzaaaah I made it!!! Once I got to Toronto Pearson Airport I truly felt like I was back home. Probably because I spend more time in terminal 3 than I do anywhere else in this world. I even had enough time to run into the lounge and grab dinner before heading on my flight back home!! YAY

I can’t believe how much flying I’ve done in such a short period of time.. and that’s saying a lot considering I’m a flight attendant. BUT YAY I MADE IT HOME ❤

xx S

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