Unexpected Delays

I’m sitting here in Baltimore, at the airport.

I’m waiting for a flight home – well, to Detroit.

I booked this Spirit flight over the Southwest flight because the layover was shorter – only 52 minutes.

…or so it was supposed to be.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Our flight from Orlando to Baltimore was delayed because of an incident with a passenger on the flight before ours.

It was all good, though.

He apologized to us after he was walked off by the officers.

After he exited the aircraft, we were able to board.

The flight was mostly uneventful, until the captain came on the speaker and announced that we would be experiencing some turbulence during our landing.

That may have been an understatement.

My kids said they felt like they were riding the Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios.

I’d agree with that.

As we decended into Baltimore, the weather was wet and visibility was poor from our window. I didn’t even see the ground until moments before we touched down.

We applauded.

I couldn’t help but feel like something was wrong with the plane.

I said a little prayer asking God to have them check the plane before we took off again to Detroit.

You know what?

They did.

They announced that they needed to run some diagnostics on the plane and we would be delayed an hour.

No biggie.

An hour went by.

No word.

Nothing.

Finally, they announced that our flight would be delayed for 4.5 hours.

People started screaming and that’s when you start to see things that make you shake your head.

They offered everyone vouchers.

It was 8:45pm.

I waited in line for our vouchers.

The options were

  1. Get a refund, find your own flight
  2. Get a $7 food voucher and wait the 4.5 hours
  3. Rebook the same flight for the next day, 7:30pm

We took option 2. It was really our only option because we had nowhere to go in Baltimore.

It was now 8:52pm, I walked down the corridor to the food places. They all seemed to be closing their gates.

I asked the lady at McDonald’s.

Yes, they all close at 9pm.

McDonald’s gave me all the food they had available – a 10 pack of chicken tenders, 3 fries and 2 ice cream cones.

Now, as I write this, everyone is sitting, charging their devices, sharing food and waiting another 2 hours for our plane to arrive.

So much for my decision to book the shorter layover.

It’s all good, though.

The way I look at it, there are two ways to process this.

  1. Get mad at everyone and everything.
  2. Be grateful for our safety.

I choose option 2.

I choose gratefulness.

I would much rather arrive 5 hours late, than not at all.

So, for that, I am grateful that Spirit has my safety in their best interest.

All in all, our travels home took us more than 12 hours, but we arrived.

Safe.

Cosmopolitan Luggage Review | Personal Item

Ok, I did it.

It’s all booked.

The car.

The Disney tickets.

The flights…

…with NO LUGGAGE!

Yes, we are taking the kids on vacation in December to Florida.

I’m serious. I love vacation. I love organizing it. I love experiencing it. Maybe most of all, I love figuring out the challenges of finding the best prices and packing in the most efficient way.

I really want to save for a Disney cruise, but until I wrap my head around spending 2 years’ worth of vacation resources on one trip, it’s not going to happen. Although, we did go to Israel, so I guess anything can happen.

Let’s get back to the topic of luggage.

You all know how much I like to save money, so once again Spirit came through with $50 flights. You also probably know that if you want luggage (including a carry-on), you have to pay for it.

I opted out.

That means that I have the challenge of packing 4 people in 4 pieces of underseat luggage!

18″ x 14″ x 8″, to be exact.

I thought the challenge was going to be packing, but I’ve come to realize that the real challenge is going to be finding the perfect underseat luggage.

It seems that there’s no standard underseat luggage size, so I was out to find one specific to the exact allowance for Spirit.

After much searching, I found one.

Yes, only one.

The sad part is that I can’t even find it online – only in-store at Wal-Mart in Canada.

Nonetheless, I found it.

It is exactly 18″ x 14″ x 8″!

That means that I will be able to maximize my packing!

It retails for $69.97 CDN, which is reasonable, but still on the higher end of reasonable.

I’ll explain why.

The stitching and manufacturing have a few flaws, but nothing that I’m upset about. The lining has some exposed rough edges, the stitching has some inconsistencies and one of the wheel housings is attached on a slight angle (but doesn’t affect the wheel moving).

These are the only cons and are all things I can live with as it will be in my care/hands at all times. Plus, I’m not super rough on my luggage. If this was checked luggage, or even a carry-on, it would be a different story.

Let’s get to the pros of this piece!

I love the look and colour of it – quilted black with rose gold zippers/accents. The interior is a soft pink and it’s so pretty and girly.

It has a hidden telescopic handle that extends 27″ (42″ from the ground). The handles are large enough that you can carry the bag like a purse on your arm or shoulder, or lift it like a bag with your hands.

There are 3 compartments, plus 2 mesh pockets on each side of the bag.

The main compartment is huge. I will be able to fit ample clothes/shoes/accessories for our 10-day vacation (comment below if you’d like to see a video on how I pack). There are 3 pockets inside the main compartment that you can use for undergarments, toiletries and/or documents.

The second compartment unzips and has a padded section for a small laptop/iPad. It also has a pocket for a phone and 4 slots for papers/ID. There is also a mesh pocket on the flap-side.

The third one is a single zipper-pocket with lots of space for cords or anything similar.

All of the hardware seems to be good quality. The zippers are thick and heavy-duty, and the wheels are similar to roller blade ones.

The dimensions are exact to Spirit’s allowance, so it will probably be a tight fit. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little worried about how exact it is, especially because I just realized that the wheels stick out about 1/2″. It’s not a hard shell, so it seems to be easily squishable.

What do you think? Should I keep it or keep looking?