Have you ever bought something on clearance, when all sales are final, and then almost instantly regret it?
I was on the plane to come back to St. Louis. I was sitting in my seat with the diaper bag under the seat in front of me, baby on my lap. But then the plane was oversold. They were looking for one passenger to be a voluntary bump. No one took it. Seconds passed. They offered again, detailing the sweet rewards you would get if you were willing to take a later flight. I found myself volunteering. Deep down, I had always wanted to be bumped. I've volunteered in the past, but they've never needed me.
I was INVOLUNTARILY bumped on my way to China a decade ago. That was a totally different experience than a voluntary bump. We lost of day of vacation, were almost kicked out of the country when we finally did arrive in China and it caused a lot of stress, and because we were dealing with Air China, there were no sweet rewards. Another passenger was so upset about being bumped that the LAX police became involved.
So I found myself exiting the plane, and then began wondering, "What was I thinking?" It was too late. I couldn't take it back. I slowly realized how inconvenient this was, and how much inconvenience it would cause my family. I was feeling pretty dumb for having gotten myself into this mess of taking the same flight the next morning.
My luggage was on its way to St. Louis without me. Because I had checked my car seat, Jo Ellen had to go to Shannon's house to get hers, then come and pick us up at the airport. I was in town for the evening, but not there long enough to get anything done or see anybody. Then the only thing I had time for in the morning was to go to the airport again.
The upside to this whole mess of imposing on my family is that Southwest gave me enough credit for the bump to cover Nick's round trip ticket to his away rotation in California. So, it was a day of work, but a well-paid day I guess.