Readers Share Their Good, Bad, and Ugly Vacation Air Travel Experiences

Readers weigh

“Basically, I lost a day, but in the end, everything was fine.”

A JetBlue flight arrives at Salt Lake City International Airport in March 2021. The Associated Press

Frustrations of air travel made headlines over the holidays due to canceled and delayed flights due to weather and staff shortage due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

  • Which ski resort offers the best restaurants in the mountains?

We asked readers to share their experiences of air travel during the holidays. While some reported no problems, others said they got stuck in another country, their plane ran out of gas, they lost luggage, etc.

Ahead, 10 readers share their good, bad, and ugly stories of vacation air travel.

Stuck in Aruba with COVID-19

A reader who asked that we not use her name shared a story about her family’s trip to Aruba over Christmas. The day before returning home, one of her children tested positive for COVID-19. The rest of the family tested negative.

The reader stayed in Aruba with her daughter who tested positive and sent her husband home with their other child.

She was told that someone from the Aruba Ministry of Health would contact her to place her in government housing during the quarantine period, but she didn’t hear from anyone for two days, so she booked her own Airbnb for $1,600, she wrote. She spent “hours and hours” booking her JetBlue return flight, which was originally booked through a third-party travel site.

“DO NOT TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY NOW – unless you are prepared, both financially and emotionally, to self-quarantine for a time and pay for repeat testing,” she wrote. “This includes being ready to restart the quarantine clock if a new member of your travel party tests positive. You will be alone to understand everything. It’s an incredibly stressful situation that ruins the good memories of the trip. We are still struggling with travel insurance reimbursement – ​​wish us luck! »

The plane needed fuel

Kevin de Quincy was flying direct from Boston to Salt Lake City on JetBlue over the holidays and his flight was delayed two hours, taking off at 8:15 p.m. instead of 6:15 p.m. But that’s not the worst.

“Once airborne, the captain came over and informed us that ‘due to headwinds we will have to divert to Omaha, Nebraska and refuel,’ Kevin wrote.

Kevin’s reaction: “What??”

“We were assured it would only take 20 minutes once there, but it took over an hour. We arrived at SLC [Salt Lake City] 4 hours late!” Kevin wrote.

busy airport

“It was busy, security lines appeared to be back to pre-pandemic levels,” wrote Scott of Cape Cod, who flew direct on Delta Air Lines from Logan Airport over the holidays.

Scott noted that the airport looked very different when he flew again recently.

“We flew again this week and Logan was a ghost town, lots of empty seats on the plane, but no cancellations or delays.”

No hitch while traveling in Prague

“No hitch at all,” wrote Mark Mazzie, who flew to Prague for Christmas.

“I had to get tested before leaving and while I was there,” he wrote. “I had to show my [vaccination] card in every restaurant and public establishment I entered. It was actually good to know that everyone who traveled was [vaccinated]. I wish they would do that for domestic travel.

Honeymoon, take 2

Cambridge’s Tamara Vedaie was ready for her honeymoon in the Cayman Islands, with a direct flight departing over Christmas and returning on January 1.

“We woke up at 4am on Christmas Day to a simple basic email from JetBlue saying YOUR FLIGHT IS CANCELED with no information on whether or not we could be re-booked on another flight,” said she writes. “After a wait time of over 90 minutes, we were able to get a new reservation for Jan 1 (direct flight) and return on Saturday Jan 8, 2022.”

The couple had completed all necessary preparations for the initial trip, including testing negative for COVID-19.

“Although we were able to get a rebooking, the anxiety of having to wait a week meant 1) paying for another COVID test at Sameday Health (those aren’t cheap), 2) making sure we don’t weren’t getting COVID (I went to hot yoga one day with a mask even, and 3) worried that our new flight would also be canceled on Jan 1, 2022,” she wrote.

The trip was “amazing,” she wrote, but she ended up paying $400 in COVID-19 tests in total. The newlywed is grateful to her company for allowing her to spend her vacation and to her attentive Airbnb host on Christmas Day.

“Instead of opening presents with her 4 kids, our host was helping us redo our reservation on the app,” she wrote.

Easy Airy

“Traveling from Boston to Denver Dec. 27 and returning Jan. 3,” Skippy of Waltham wrote. “Return flights were on time with no delays on JetBlue. Pleasantly surprised!!!!”

An unexpected Christmas in the sky

Woburn’s Basak Oztan thought he would spend most of Christmas Day in sunny California, but a canceled and changed flight meant that all of Christmas Day was spent in the sky instead.

He was flying from Boston to Palm Springs, Calif. via New York, leaving at 5 a.m. At 2 a.m., he received the dreaded cancellation notice. The airline booked him on a nonstop flight later in the day, so instead of arriving at 1 p.m., his new arrival time in California was 10 p.m.

“Basically I lost a day, but in the end it was all good,” he wrote. “We were going to have a 3 hour layover at JFK which didn’t excite me with the COVID situation. The nonstop flight was a big plus. It sucked waking up to a cancellation note on your phone but we were still home instead of a long queue at the airport counter.”

‘A normal flight‘ in California

Sherborn’s Pam Hastings flew JetBlue from Boston to San Francisco on Dec. 15 and described her experience as “a normal flight for the current situation.”

The flight attendants were friendly and attentive and the other passengers were patient and kind, she wrote.

“The most interesting thing? Both flights had a female pilot,” Pam wrote.

“Zero Lines”

A Belmont teacher traveling in the Midwest had a flying experience “nothing like what I saw on the news,” she wrote.

There were “no lines” on Christmas Eve, wrote the teacher, who did not give her name, adding, “We walked to the TSA and were at the door in About 10 minutes from start to finish. The flight was on time, everyone was masked.

The teacher also experienced short queues at the airport during the flight home and reported an on-time flight and a “generally uneventful” day of travel.

‘I was quite happy’ despite themost baggage errors

Lori C. of Warren, RI flew Delta Air Lines from Boston to Kansas City via Atlanta on December 22 and returned on December 29. Her bag was lost on her flight home, but Delta located the bag and delivered it to her home the next day before 7 a.m.

“I was very pleased with my travel experience,” Lori wrote. “I recognize that I may be in the minority based on media reports. I think we all need to give airport workers and airline staff more grace. They are doing the best they can in very difficult times.

Answers slightly edited for clarity.

Comments are closed.