The Hecks are headed for New York! Sue won an all-expenses paid trip to the Big Apple. Unfortunately, it's an all-expenses paid trip for four. Last time we checked, there were five folks living in the Heck house. Frankie says, "Okay, we can think of this as a problem or we can think of it as a problatunity."
The family picks up an extra ticket at a discount price. An early departure time causes a mad dash to the airport. Things get held up a bit when Frankie's oversized bag doesn't quite fit through the x-ray conveyor belt. There's no way Frankie Heck is paying 25 bucks to check her luggage. She makes her family layer up on the clothing until the luggage finally slides through security. Too bad Frankie makes a derogatory remark to the guard causing an even longer delay.
When the family finally boards the plane, Axl calls dibs on the lone first class seat. Back in coach, Frankie does some seat rearranging with her fellow fliers so that the rest of the family can sit together. All is well until they realize that Frankie left the snack bag on the kitchen counter a few feet away from all the books Brick accidentally left behind. This is gonna be a long two-and-a-half hour flight for the little guy. It'll feel longer for Mike, who has never flown before. At least he gets a cool set of wings for being a first-time flier!
Sue gets into a scuffle with Axl when her brother won't budge when his allotted time in first class is up. This little brouhaha forces Frankie to send Brick to the front of the plane where he's able to enjoy fresh cookies, full cans of pop and a crisp new issue of The Wall Street Journal. Sue eventually ends up in the first class seat which sends Brick on a plane-wide search to find something to read. The only thing he can scrounge up is Sue's diary which is just too dull to peruse. Hey, he can always read the barf bag again!
Frankie can see New York City out the window. They made it! Well, not really. The entire eastern seaboard is socked in by a snowstorm. They end up circling the city for hours. This makes Mike even more anxious. Frankie believes he has control issues. He could say the same thing about her. In fact, he does. This sends Frankie up to first class where she boots Sue back to coach with her brothers. Well, make that "brother" singular. Brick has gone missing.
The family eventually finds Brick sitting in a back compartment thumbing through a book on menopause. What can we say? The boy needs to read. Brick will have plenty of time to get through all the best chapters since their flight is being diverted to the nearest airport that's not snowed in. Yes, the Hecks are headed for Pittsburgh!
When the family arrives in the Steel City, there are chartered buses waiting to drive them to the greater New York area. Mike's not real hip on that idea. The trip has been a disaster and he doesn't feel like sitting on a bus for nine hours heading into a snowstorm. Axl and Brick would also prefer to skip the trip and just head home. This devastates Sue. Winning this trip was huge for her. She says, "Wow, even when I win I lose."
Then something amazing happens. Axl says, "You know what? I kinda want to go to New York." Earlier, Sue had said that he couldn't ever be nice to her. Well, Pittsburgh is a magical place. Axl's fleeting selfless act inspires the rest of the family to board the bus to NYC where they see all the sites. Of course, visibility was a little tough since they were touring the town during a blizzard.