wine by the color

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In honor of one of the worst air travel days of the year, as well as the official end of my 2005 travel for the year, which happened yesterday, I offer you this, the results of a survey of the airline industry. Not surprisingly, travelers are not happy. I shouldn't complain too much, since Continental is doing better than most of the other airlines.

But this did remind me of the trip I made in July from Newark to Boise via Houston. At the time, I sent this semi-rant to Darren...

I arrived at IAH at 5:15 Houston time and got to gate B84 at 5:20 p.m. At 5:25 p.m., they informed us our gate had been changed to B81, which was clear on the other side of the B terminal. (Given that there was a differential of three digits in the gates, I don't know how that could be, but it was.) So I arrived at B81 to find it even more crowded than the original gate area. It was a complete circus. There must have been 1,100 people in an area suited for 300. It was so crowded, I couldn’t get close to the gate to determine the status of my flight, which was due to depart at 6 p.m. That didn’t happen. The departure time came and went without a single word from the Continental representatives.

At 6:25, they finally made an announcement about the status of our flight. While the plane was there, the crew was coming in on a flight from Dallas, which had yet to take off. We were looking at an 8 p.m. departure at the earliest. For a while, things weren’t too bad because there was a group of high school girls from South Carolina who struck up a conversation with me. Not the brightest girls (after one of them incorrectly guessed that St. Louis was in Louisiana, another sheepishly pointed out that S.C. has the lowest SAT scores in the nation) but very nice and entertaining.

We finally took off shortly before 9 Houston time. Here’s another complaint: for a flight lasting three hours and 20 minutes, we were crammed into an Express Jet, with no movie or entertainment options. Additionally, my seat did not recline.

Upon deplaning, I went to Hertz and mercifully, they were still open, despite the fact they close at midnight and it was now 12:05 a.m. I picked up the keys and returned to baggage. Yep, no bags. Somehow, I sat in the Houston airport for three and a half hours and they couldn’t figure out how to get my bags from one plane to the other.

For everyone who thinks that life on the road is all fancy steak dinners and limo rides, let me assure you it's not. More often than not, it's days like the ones above.


  • At 11/24/2005 4:53 AM, Blogger Maggie said…

    I don't envy you any of it. Limo rides and fancy steaks don't make up for the actual travelling part. I think I would be a very unpleasant person with bald spots and a cocaine problem if I had to travel for my job.

    I like being in new places, I just don't like getting to them.

    I want a transporter.


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