That said, it doesn't look like anything we do is going to change the situation, so many of us are taking advantage of the benefits we have while they last. This weekend, I had four days off and Dawn was busy, so I was looking to take a quick trip somewhere. My mom, who has never been overseas, said she'd like to go to Europe before her benefits get cut off. To my mind, if you can only go one place in Europe in your lifetime, it has to be Paris or Rome. I've spent about an equal amount of time in each, but the flight loads favored Rome, so that's where we went.
I got off work at 8pm on Thursday, traded in my crew bag for a pre-stashed backpack, met up with mom, and boarded the 9:50pm flight to London. We got business class on the way over - the lie-flat seats on the B767-400 are great! - and landed in London a few minutes early. Good thing, too, for the later Alitalia flight to Rome had filled up; our early arrival allowed us to just make the earlier connection. We touched down in Rome a mere 10 hours 20 minutes after takeoff from Minneapolis, which has to be close to a non-rev record!
We had a great weekend. Highlights included unexpectedly seeing the Pope say Mass at St. Peter's Basilica and a madcap scooter ride through Rome's crazy traffic. Despite forecasts calling for rain, the weather stayed very pleasant (partly cloudy & 70º F) until Monday morning, when we departed. We got on the first flight out that we tried, although we subsequently made it out of JFK by the skin of our teeth after flights to Minneapolis unexpectedly filled up. And then I got to fly MSP-ORD-DTW-BHM-DTW on Tuesday, just as the largest windstorm in recent memory struck the Midwest. The altimeter in MSP was 28.66 when I took off on Tuesday morning!
I'm going to miss taking little trips like this. It's just added motivation to get out of NewCo ASAP. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend.