My trip to Hungary, Italy, and Kazakhstan Day 1

Day 1

Recently I took a school trip to both Hungary and Italy for the completion of my Executive MBA program. I decided to tack on a work trip to Kazakhstan at the tail end of it.

In the days leading up to the trip, I thought that the trip was going to be cancelled due to the volcanic ash problem. As I posted here and here, it really was looking pretty grim.

While we headed off to the airport, we were just hoping for the best and coming to the realization that we may not even make it over there.

I arrived at the airport in Salt Lake City and there were signs that air traffic was starting to move again.

Last year, I was very close to hitting Gold status. I was actually 3000 Skymiles away and was debating a last minute mileage run. However, due to Delta’s announcement about rollover MQMs, I decided to not make the run and get a head start on Platinum qualification for 2010.

I therefore wasn’t upgraded from SLC – NYC, but I wasn’t expecting to be either. I had picked an exit row aisle seat long ago and this was ample legroom for me.

We arrived in New York City and the airport seemed to be extra busy. In the terminal where the Budapest flight was leaving, there were hundreds of stranded passengers there – all eager for the latest information.

Due to the large amount of stranded passengers, Delta was upgrading everyone Gold and above for the transatlantic flight. In retrospect, I wish I had made the push and had Gold status.

I felt a bit sorry for all the passengers who had been there for days as our entire group boarded the plane and took off to Budapest. We were one of the first flights allowed to leave for the European airspace and we had somehow managed to not have our trip cancelled.

If we had left one day earlier, we would have been caught up in the backlog with everyone else. We were truly lucky to have made it.

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