Saturday, November 18, 2006


Five cities in six days. Not the kind of travel I like, but it needed to be done. The problem was that it shouldn't have been five cities. United Airlines left me stranded in Chicago's O'Hare Airport at midnight on Sunday after leaving me and other passenger stewing for six hours in Newark. We were waiting for a plane from Denver that didn't show up, and by time we reached Chicago, all of our connections had departed.

There is no airline provision for messing up one's schedule, so I was on my own. I went over to the Hilton at the airport, and they offered me a room for more than $300 for just six hours of sleep. After complaining, the manager backed the amount down to $199. Whoopee. I was barely in bed when I had to get up again for the first flight to the town I was already supposed to be in. When I got to the gate, United had delayed the flight by 20 minutes, then delayed it 20 more minutes. I was late for my first meeting as a result. I'm sure United has good reasons for all this, but next time, I will fly another carrier to see if it can do better.

I learned how to fit into middle seats on Northwest Airlines and Delta. Planes ran full with no way to change to anything more comfortable. (If any airline should wonder why people dislike them so much, I will offer this week's travel as a perfect example.) Northwest, of course, offered to sell me a snack on the trip from Minneapolis to California. I declined the honor. Delta distributed snacks on the way from California to Salt Lake and from Salt Lake to Newark. Delta didn't charge for them, but they weren't much above cheese and crackers or a cookie. Delta's middle seats were the most comfortable.

Now I've got to take a mountain of information and boil it into something sensible with the assistance of colleagues. That means I won't have to get on a plane. I like that.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?