August 10, 2012

Please read this one with Pink Floyd’s “Time” playing in the background.

Had a flight scheduled for 6 a.m. this morning to Los Angeles and arrived at the airport at the requisite two-hours before boarding time (yep, awoke at 3 a.m.) only to be informed that the flight had been cancelled due to weather.

The options presented were thus:  take another flight at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow; take an 8:00 a.m. flight later this morning at another airport in a city one hour away (not sure how one would have gotten there in time due to the already building rush-hour traffic, especially with the road construction between here and there); or fly out at 6:00 p.m. this evening.  The decision was made to take this latter flight as the purpose of the trip out-weighed the irritation of the process.

So, I rode back to Long Term Parking and picked up the car after being at the airport for about two hours.  Fortunately, the charge was only $2, which was a surprise-I was expecting to pay the full $8 per day fee.

Interestingly, when checking email as soon as I arrived home, there was a message from the online booking agent, one who advertises heavily in all media, saying to “Please call us immediately regarding your 8/10/2012 flight.”  as there was a problem.  The kicker in this story:  the sent time for the email was 6:13 a.m.-thirteen minutes after the flight was supposed to have left.

How is that for a head’s up?

I did call the listed phone number to discuss the flight only to be immediately put on hold for a “longer than usual wait time”.  After 5 minutes, I hung up.

To re-cap:  I had driven to the airport, been told the fight had been cancelled by airline personnel, waited in line to discuss the options with the counter-person, made a choice, re-booked, got the car, and drove home all before the online service had sent the email advising me of the problem.

The saving grace in this mess was the counter-person-she was quite patient and pleasant and aside from automatically booking the next day’s flight, she calmly explained the situation and the options and allowed time for a decision.  That was customer service.

On a different note, with time still the theme here, I realized that I could have driven to Ithaca, New York and arrived at 8:30 a.m. after a 5-hour drive.  The original touch-down time for the flight to LA was also 8:30 a.m. after a 6:00 a.m. departure.  Time zones sure do mess with continuity as the distance to LA is ten-times that to Ithaca, but it would be covered in half the time.

This bring me to the final comment (for now-we’ll see how this trip plays out after this inauspicious beginning) in this post.  It really is possible to get anywhere in the world within 24 hours due to the sophistication of modern air travel.  However, weather is local.  If the plane on which you are scheduled to fly gets hammered by a storm in another city, then it may not be available for your flight, which is a point that you may, or may not, be informed of in a timely manner.

Take care.

One Response to “Time”

  1. Laurel Says:

    Yep, the travel to LA vs. Ithaca is definitely a bit more involved 😉 Hope you can relax a bit today, we’ll get you here one way or another!

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