Tuesday, November 27, 2007

At Your Own Risk

Monday was a the biggest waste of a day I've had in quite a while, even stacked up against days where I've been so hungover I've pretty much slept through to the next day without ever getting out of bed. I've been putting off a work trip to visit a client down in Knoxville, Tenn. It's not even my client per se but it was a favor to my manager so I agreed to go, it was a quick day trip, in and out in a few hours, right?

Problem #1, finding a flight. Well, first really was the fact that it's around a major travel holiday, I originally scheduled it for last week not realizing Thanksgiving was early this year so I bumped it to yesterday. My real dilemma is I'm a finicky traveler when it comes to flying. There are three major airports around me, BWI, Dulles and Reagan. BWI being less than 15 minutes from my door and the latter two being an hour plus drive in and around DC/NoVA. I would obviously prefer to fly out of BWI, but there in lies Problem #2, for a trip this short I'm looking for a direct flight but guess what? No airline flies direct to Knoxville from BWI, but 6 or 7 go direct to Nashville. Now, do I take a flight with a layover from the airport 15 minutes from my house or do I hike it over to Dulles for a direct and have to fight driving to and from the airport in both morning and evening rush hour traffic?

I opted for the former having found a relatively "safe" route that had me stopping in Cincinnati, my other option was O'Hare, HELL NO. I also had to fly Delta, the same F*@!s who tried to screw me flying home from Paris on our honeymoon. Up at 4am to get there for a 6:15 departure out of BWI, relatively short flight to Cinci with an hour and a half layover. As I was sitting around the terminal I felt grateful that my flight was probably the only Delta flight out of Cinci not overbooked. But that would have been much more welcome than the extra 2 hours my flight was delayed due to a mechanical.

Long story short, I finally leave Cinci at 11:30, get to Knoxville around 12:45, walk out the terminal, go 300 feet to the Hilton and meet my customer for lunch. Eat, shoot the shit walk back to the airport and board my 3:oo flight back through Cinci. Land in Cinci, take a leak, grab a coffee and get right back on a plane parked next to the one I just got off of. Almost get airsick on the flight to Baltimore because the turbulence was so bad and when I asked to use the restroom, the flight attendant said it was at my own risk. Isn't hurdling through the sky at a couple hundred miles an hour in a metal tube with highly flammable fuel strapped to it considered a risk? Land around 6:00, have to wait 15 min just to get off the plane because the lazy baggage guys at BWI didn't come out when the plane landed to unload the gate checked luggage. Finally home around 7.

15hrs of travel for a 1 hour meeting that could have been done on a con call. Who says there's no value in meeting face to face?

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