So, for those not in the know, in January we have twelve weeks in either Miami, Saginaw, or back here (why why oh why). The majority go to Miami. Saginaw, by word-of-mouth, is the "better" of the two programs in the states. I would personally prefer Saginaw simply because it's not Florida. I'm not a fan of Florida. Either way, given I do not have a STELLAR GPA, a good, solid one, but not a stellar one, and all of the people who do have the stellar GPAs AND say that they want to go to Michigan are people I find incredibly obnoxious, I put in for Miami. That is not to say that everybody I know who wants to go to Michigan is obnoxious...but rather that it seems everyone I FIND obnoxious is going. Verstehst du? Now, that would require a place to LIVE for twelve weeks.
When I came to Dominica, I had no idea where my apartment was when I signed for it. Simply that it was well rated and within walking distance. I am not taking such chances with Miami!!! I want to know where I'm living, how far away it is from campus, and all sorts of other things!! That and I need a break. My trip to Puerto Rico in July did wonders for my sanity. So I booked my flights.
Because I'm just that lucky, American Airlines was booked solid out of Dominica on my outbound leg, so I had to get a little creative. Luckily, I'm an airplane/travel geek and know pretty much all of the routes and major operators everywhere in the world. Thus, one can deduce I'm familiar with the same in the Caribbean. That's all well and good until one considers that there are only four nonstop destinations served out of Dominica: Antigua, Barbados, San Juan, and St. Maarten. St. Maarten immediately got the axe because the nonstops are operated by Winair and their ten-seater planes. No thank you. San Juan was eliminated on the outbound due to American Airlines being booked. (Thankfully, American Airlines DID have open seats to Dominica on my return leg). That left Antigua or Barbados for the outbound plane--cue Suzy Bogguss. This was pretty much perfect, as it meant one less flight on LIAT, an airline I abhor. Had I not taken American on on the return, it would have LIAT out of Antigua or Barbados and a tight (Antigua) or next day (Barbados) connection, . Neither of those was acceptable. All in all, I would rather do a short connection in San Juan and I get to avoid Antigua--an airport I abhor, see the trend here--completely. I do, however, have a rather lengthy 8am-240pm layover in Barbados during which I can read and study.
I made all my flight arrangements, paid for it, then looked over it. I discovered I was an idiot and booked the return flight for one day early...BONK! Thankfully I just called up American Airlines and they changed it no charge. This was literally minutes after I'd made the initial booking. My opinion of American Airlines is SLIGHTLY raised. They still have a year's worth of flight schedule-related aggravation to overcome. I'm currently debating whether or not to put this and any future American Airlines flights on my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account. The AS account gets much more use as it is attached to a credit card.