Hayley Jasinski: From Textbook to Unexpected, We Have All Boarded and are Cleared for Takeoff

Day 1

Today was the day we wanted to get out of the way as soon as we could: it was flying day. This may seem glamorous, as movies paint a picture of rich celebrities sitting in cushy leather seats, drinking champagne, and walking off the plane looking like they were ready to film a shampoo commercial. As I’m writing this, I’m envisioning myself looking fabulous while listening to Ella Fitzgerald and drinking a cup of warm tea. But, as any seasoned traveler would know, flying on commercial airlines that carry passengers from different walks of life is decidedly unglamorous.

Making sure everyone gets to their gate on time, has their boarding passes, passports, and instruments is tricky – I have no doubt that this is one of the most stressful parts of a tour guide’s job. Thankfully, the American Airlines group I’m in has been prompt (mostly), organized and kind to the plane crews they’ve encountered.

After adding everything up, I have found that we’ve spent 2.5 hours at MYAC, one hour on a coach bus to O’Hare, three hours getting luggage tags, going through security, and playing spoons at our gates – and that’s all before we’ve even stepped onto a plane. As soon as we deftly organized our instruments (I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re Group 8 on your ticket, if your tour guide is good at negotiating, you get priority seats), we were promptly seated and off to our first connection in Miami.

Things ran as normal, we made it to the Miami International Airport 10 minutes early, and everyone’s musical equipment was intact. It seems like everyone took advantage of their speedy half hour break between flights to grab a bite and use the facilities, among other things.

Although we were first on the plane to Buenos Aires, it appeared as though the plane wasn’t quite ready for us. After a 45 minute mechanical delay, the pilot announced that there was rough weather over Cuba and we would have to wait an estimated half hour before we were cleared for take off. Luckily, this flight had quite a few built in features, including free movies, TV, music, games, and in-flight chats with other passengers. After no time, we were in the air once again.

That’s where we are right now as well! Although our landing time has been delayed, I’m confident that the team on the ground in Buenos Aires is accustomed to these types of inconveniences and will have flexibility in their plans. Until Tuesday night, buenos noches!

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