As far as we know, things like this happen to other stand-by passengers, but this is the first time it happened to us.
The funny thing was that, when checking in, we were told by the airline employees at Atlanta Airport that the flight was overbooked, but we'd probably make it. So we proceeded with the customs and immigration formalities and then lightheartedly talked about this and that while waiting for our names to be called to approach the counter at the gate. There were also other stand-by passengers. You can easily spot them, as they are the only ones who openly show uneasiness before the flight - but not because of the fear of flying.
They were called to approach the counter; we weren't. Actually, we were, but only to be told that there were no seats for us. However, we were advised to wait until the boarding was completed. And then, all of a sudden, when I was least expecting it, they informed us they had two seats. It was momentarily decided that Dominik and I were flying home. We had less than a minute to take our belongings. I still don't know how we managed to take the right passports, how I gave Zoran the dollars from my purse, how he gave me the car keys. We were all totally bewildered and confused.
Luckily, this feeling soon faded away for the two of us, as we were given seats in the business class. We watched our choice of movies when it suited us, played games, slept in the comfortable horizontal position, were fed and watered all the time, or in a nutshell, we thoroughly enjoyed the elite perks of flying business class over the Pond.
In the meanwhile, Zoran and Mislav, with the laptop only, because all the suitcases were on the plane with us, found a room in a hotel with outside corridors. I deeply wanted to spend a night in such a motel, which I call the Psycho Motel, but unfortunately, I didn't have the nerve to do it. The hotels with inside corridors always seemed so much safer and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Anyway, they did it - and it was all right, although they slept lightly, actually they were more awake than asleep, but nothing dangerous happened. It must be all those films that don't allow me to objectively consider this partiality of mine.
They managed to get aboard the next day. What they got were jump seats. Poor things! But most importantly, they arrived home safe and sound.