02 March 2009

Business Traveler Haiku

Metal tube fly me
across the land, air and sea
Big snow screws the pooch

I was supposed to fly into NYC late Sunday night for a very early Monday a.m. meeting and then fly back mid-afternoon on Monday.

On Saturday evening, my cellphone started buzzing with alert updates from United. It ran as follows (all times central):
Sat. 8:56pm: 5:04pm Sunday flight canceled.
Sat. 9:05pm: re-booked on 8:55pm Sunday flight
Sun. 11:24am: 8:55pm Sunday flight canceled
Sun. 11:35am: re-booked on 9:58am Monday flight
(meeting Monday was to start at 7:30am, so I'd be landing about 20 minutes before the end)
Sun. 4:30pm: notification that I could check-in online for my return flight for Monday afternoon
Mon. 7:01am: notification that 9:58am flight is still on time
Mon. 10:00am: notification that 9:58am flight is now 10:31am (landing me 1 hour after meeting would end)
Mon 11:14am: notification that my 4:04pm return flight is canceled
Mon 11:29am: re-booked on 3:50pm return flight (oh good, I would have landed in NYC 80 minutes before that)
Mon 11:58am: 3:50pm return flight is now delayed to 5:00pm
Mon 1:53pm: now delayed to 6:23pm
Mon 6:10pm: now leaving at 6:08pm (uh, what am I, a time traveler?? Alert comes after I supposedly would have pushed back from the gate)

FYI: Monday 6:10pm, I was actually feeding Aidan some dinner and waiting for MK to get home so we could eat.

Good thing I just stayed home and went into work normally!!

I realize the weather was pretty severe out East, but can the airlines understand why people get so frustrated with them? They claim that they are usually just working with the most up-to-date information that they are getting but within 3 hours today my return flight was canceled and then my re-booking changed departure times THREE times. The snow had ended so what was the deal??

I'm so glad I don't travel for business as much as I used to. Sure I miss the "status" benefits from when I was cranking out 25K+/year but I'll show up a little earlier and board last just to avoid so many headaches.

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