Well I (Shannon) had my first non-rev experience this past weekend. I booked a flight to L.A. to visit my friend from college and to take in some of California. I flew out on Friday night and headed home Sunday morning. I managed to catch both of the flights I wanted to get on and without much trouble.
To fly on the NRSA list it takes some patience and luck. Even though I didn't have any money tied up in the flight I did get pretty nervous sitting at the terminal hoping that my name made the "cleared" list. It will take a little practice to get more comfortable with how it all works but I think a laid back attitude is the only way to enjoy non-reving. The 20 minutes or so watching all the paying customers get on the plane is what got my heart pumping. It is pretty hard to gauge how many people have actually gotten on or if there will be an empty seat. You can really sike yourself out if you think too much about it in that window of boarding. The best thing to do is probably just watch the standby list with your fingers crossed. I need to work on being calm, it really isn't the end of the world if you miss a flight or get bumped. It is all one big adventure/gamble so even a bad trip could produce a few good stories. Most everyone likes something free and I'm no different. Free flights is pretty sweet even if you don't always make it.
A summary of the weekend trip. Friday, flew in and got something to eat and drink at a local restaurant in Hermosa Beach with Matt and his roomate. Saturday, ate breakfast, picked up an extra surf board and went to Huntington for my second attempt ever at surfing. Got worked over by the ocean but managed to stand up a number of times on the board so it was a good time and better than my last try at surfing. Got some lunch at a place near the beach and then went to check out some local slope soaring at Pt. Fermin (http://www.rudyalicelighthouse.net/CalLts/PtFermin/PtFermin.htm). Unfortunately there was only one guy flying a combat wing there but the site is pretty cool in itself. He told us about some other slope soaring at White Point just a mile away were more people were so we checked that out. Headed back to Redondo Beach (where Matt lives) and stopped at an In and Out Burger to have a burger of all things. Went back Matt's house to rest a little and get ready for one of his friends Birthday party. Went to the birthday party at "The Velvet Lounge", a nice club in L.A. then out to eat at a Korean restaurant. Crashed on Matt's couch then got up to fly home first thing in the morning. It was a fun trip and I hope to do it again.
P. S. Mary and I are planning to go to San Francisco this coming weekend so we'll see if we make it. Fingers crossed.