Well, if you have to be on the road for Thanksgiving, it may as well be in Maui, which is a lot better than Michigan, at least in November. We got to stay at a truly stunning resort out on the northwest section of the island [for 24 hours!]. Since it was Hawaii, the weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm.
If you work for the airlines you’re going to be working a lot of holidays; most of them if you’re junior in the particular seat you occupy, which I happen to be. In 26 years flying for the airlines I’ve been off on Thanksgiving maybe two or three times, and the same goes for Christmas. I’m mostly on the road around the holidays.
This has made for some interesting holiday trips, and by interesting I mean sad, pathetic, and lonely. I once spent Christmas at a Holiday Inn in West Palm Beach and I SWEAR the only people in the whole place were the six airline crew members and one actual employee who manned the front desk. Do you think there was any food anywhere? There was not, inside the hotel or outside, everything was closed. We had to eat from vending machines until we left for the airport at 3 pm on Christmas Day. This was not a fun Christmas.
We once rolled into Columbus, Ohio, [if memory serves this was a Holiday Inn also, I am sensing a pattern here] on Thanksgiving Day at about 6pmish. They actually had a full holiday meal for the
few, pathetic travelers holiday guests. Sweet! Finally, an actual Thanksgiving feast! We quickly changed and headed down to the excellent meal only to find out that the restaurant closed at 6. Instead I got to have another gourmet dinner consisting of Skittles from the vending machine.
I once had a Christmas trip in which I took off for Amsterdam on Christmas Eve. The trip lasted 12 days. I think it went to Amsterdam then to Philadelphia, back to Amsterdam, on to Mumbai, India, and back to Amsterdam. On the morning of day 12 [going home day, Yippee!] we got a call from crew schedules saying, “we’re going to have to send you on a side trip to Delhi.” Our 12 day trip ended up lasting 16 days. I left on the 24th of December and got home on the 9th of January [fortunately for me, I have a longsuffering wife]. This was not a fun Christmas OR New Year.
The way we got our kids to actually buy in to Dad being gone every Christmas was to make sure that Christmas always took place before the 25th. Usually it was whatever day was my last one home before my Christmas trip, somewhere between the 21st and 24th. I’m sure our neighbors saw the pile of torn up Christmas wrapping paper and assorted boxes in our trash on the 23rd or 24th every year and told themselves, “there they go again, just couldn’t way until Christmas.”
I don’t like working the holidays, but I’m not ever going to complain about it. There are so many good benefits of working for the airlines [fly pretty much anywhere for free], that working Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s/Easter/Memorial Day/Independence Day/etc. is a small price to pay.