Foiled at the Gate


We made it! Our flight to Riga via Copenhagen was uneventful except for a little pre-flight scheming.

We made it to the gate with plenty of time to spare and plopped down by a herd of elderly Southerners bound for Oslo.  We had a few minutes, so we booted the ol’ Macbook and checked our seat location on SeatGuru.

Scandinavian Air stuck us in the last row right by the lavatories.  Reduced legroom.  Reduced pitch.  Reduced sleep.  Great.

As we imagined a night of slamming doors and urine-scented dreams, I remembered a little trick Kim’s friend recently discovered.  I optimistically sauntered over to the gate agent.

“Hello, I noticed our seats are in the middle of the last row.  My wife is pregnant, you see, and we really could use seats by the window and aisle that recline fully.  She will be getting up frequently to use the bathroom, and we really don’t want to bother anyone.  Is anything more comfortable available?”, I asked with a concerned, desperate look.

Go ahead and judge me, but I’ll be the one sleeping peacefully in business class.

“Oh, I see.  Let me see what I can do, sir.” Is it possible this might actually work?

Typing.  Typing.  Typing.  Frowny face.  Typing.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have a single seat available. In fact, we will be looking for volunteers shortly.”

Damn.  Okay, the pregnant thing didn’t work.  Hold on— did she say volunteers?  As usual, our flight was overbooked, and they were asking for volunteers for tomorrow’s flight.

“We are looking for volunteers for tomorrow’s flight to Copenhagen.  You will receive 700 Euro and hotel accommodations.”

Seven hundred euros?  Each?!  That would pay for our flight plus an extra $900! Hell yeah!

No dice.  They were taking one volunteer only, and we really couldn’t separate now that Kim was spontaneously expecting.  Father’s day is coming up, after all.

I retreated to find Kim shaking her head at my attempted fraud.  Our geriatric friends laughed to themselves as they overheard our conversation.

In the end, we made it Copenhagen just fine.  We both got a few hours of sleep despite the cramped conditions, and I finally got to see Dear John.  I call that a successful trip.

Just finished up in Riga.  Today, it’s Tallinn, Estonia for Kim’s birthday.

Kim and Clark Kays
Kim & Clark Kays quit their jobs for an uncertain trip around the world. Originally from St. Louis, they relocated to Chicago after getting married in 2005. After working for five years in middle school and the Fortune 500, they realized there was more to life than the 9-to-5, so made the crazy decision to exchange money for time rather than the other way around.

Their hobbies include fighting over writing styles and searching for gelato. They think food, beer, architecture, and photography are some of the best things about travel—especially when combined. Their travel blog, To Uncertainty and Beyond, includes long-term travel tips as well as humorous anecdotes from their journey through Europe and Asia. They invite you to experience their journey and learn from their adventures and mistakes.
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