As I write this, I am en route from Chicago to Dallas. We woke early today, so after we dropped our Chevy Equinox off at the Avis rental return, we headed for the terminal at O’Hare. Looking like the lost tourists we were, we got into a rather long line in order to check our bags. As we waited, an airline representative informed us that we could get in the international line, since there were fewer people there. As it always seems to happen, by the time we got to this 'shorter' line, it was no longer the shorter line. So, like the good airport patrons we are, we waited our turn.
According to the weather channel, which seemed to be the favorite channel of one of our trio this trip, rain was coming in to the Chicago area. Given that the most recent rain there caused a 5-hour delay in flights, we thought it best to try and jump an earlier flight to Dallas. Since our true final destination is Texarkana, hopping the earlier flight meant two things: 1) we would get to Dallas at about the time our regular flight would have been taking off, and 2)we would now have about a 3-hour layover in Dallas because we would still have the same flight from Dallas to Texarkana. Yay.
As we waited for our names to be called, we got pushed further and further down the standby list. This was due in large part to the numerous American airlines personnel who were also on standby, and they get priority over a couple guys that just wanted to beat an incoming storm. Naturally, at this point I have no idea if taking the early flight was worth it or not. I digress. As the other people boarded, it looked like we'd have to stick around chi-town after all. But at the minute, the woman behind the desk called my name. I explained that there were three of us and that we would rather travel together if at all possible. A few clickity-clicks on the keyboard, and sure enough, three boarding passes soon came spitting out of the printer. Again, yay.
I have flown many times during my lifetime, and will be flying again in less than a week (to NYC!) but I do not recall ever willingly putting myself on standby in order to catch an early flight that ultimately has no bearing on my arrival time to my final destination. Basically, if the storm never comes/came to Chicago, I hopped an earlier plane so I could veg out in a different airport. In some parallel universe, I am sure it makes sense.