Sunday, August 05, 2007

Travel Post

I've been a little slow on the postings lately, haven't I? I was so busy on my last work trip that posting was on my mind, but not at the top of my priority list. It did not help that I didn't have lot going on to post about. I'm working on it.

I believe I have mentioned that before this job, I have never been much of a business traveler. It is completely different than vacation or pleasure travel. I am not sure if it should be - it just is. You can't get as annoyed with oversold planes, delayed flights and missed connections. Or you shouldn't. The more you travel, the more your odds are increased for these things to happen. You just have to deal.

Take last Monday. I as on my way to DC and had a 7:35 a.m. flight out. I loathe early Monday flights because every business traveler starts out then. Security lines are backed up much farther than any other time of the day or week - today it was out the door.....literally. Where I'd normally be at the airport maybe 75 minutes before my flight, this time I leave for the airport at least two hours before hand. So yes, I'm out the door by 5:15 a.m.. whoo-hoooo?

As I'm driving to the airport, and observing the full moon low in the sky, I get an automated call from the airline that my flight has been cancelled! This is not delayed or oversold. I don't deal the cancelled very well. My planned work schedule was immediately all off.

The good thing with DC is there are three airports to deal with: BWI, Dulles and National. This gave me least in theory. The airline, without asking me, automatically booked me on the 8:55 a.m. ...for the following day. This would not work for me.

So, I got on stand-by for each airport and multiple different flights per airport. I did get a definite ticket for a 5 p.m. flight to Baltimore, which then meant an Amtrak ride...but I'd be there. Naturally each stand-by was in a different terminal, so I got a work-out. It was like a big Blobby ping-pong game.

I did get to see the DC / Ohio crowd. Once again, Sherrod Brown was on my flight. But on one of my four (or was it five?) unsuccessful stand-by attempts, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones got on and so did representative/presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich.

The same x amount of people affected by the cancelled flight were attempting the same thing I was and we would all be standing at the gate like vultures, hoping for some minor miracle of an open seat. One of these guys asked if I had seen Kucinich at that one gate. Then he asked, who was that with him? I responded, that's his wife. The guy was stunned.

Dennis is about 5'2" (ok...maybe taller), but his wife is at least 6' with long red hair. It's his new wife, as they got married around the holidays last year. She's British I think, so I just call her his mail-order bride. The guy assumed it was his aide and couldn't believe he could be married to someone who was 'that hot'. I told him, I think it would have been in appropriate for him to be stroking the hair of his aide while waiting at the gate. ....but slimier things have happened with politicians.

I think I finally made the 3 p.m. flight to National. One woman didn't show up. They kept paging "Jennifer" to arrive or lose her seat. It would have been hypocritical to pray that Jennifer not show or something happen to her, as I just don't pray...period. G-d, would probably smite me for praying have Jennifer apperate out of nowhere to claim her seat.

The funny thing about travelers - we're all stuck there and doing some bonding, but no one really wants the other to succeed if it means the others are left behind. When the gate-guy finally called my name (yes!), and I made my way to the jetway, two of the folks kept saying "goodbye Jennifer". As I entered the ramp, I turned and said, "I've been called worse things."

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