Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Airline schedules stink

In the coming weeks, I'm going to be traveling a lot. By my count, I have five trips between now and Thanksgiving, not including Thanksgiving, and two trips thereafter. All but two -- including Thanksgiving -- are work trips. I am referring to this period of my life as my "World Tour." In actuality, it's a North American Tour, but why split hairs?

Today, I went to go book the first of the work trips, to a large city in the southwestern part of the country. Because of where I work, not only is it budget-constrained, but we have contracts with various airlines, and we can only get exceptions for very limited purposes. The city to which I'm going is a hub for one airline -- but said airline is not one of our contracted airlines. So, I have to take a connecting flight, which means, that, at a minimum, my trip will take around six hours. Which also means that, if I don't want to spend an extra night in a hotel, I'll have to be prepared to leave the downtown area around 2pm. Ultimately, the sum of this is that I will have to (1) stay two nights -- the day before and the day after my eight-hour long work event, and (2) ask someone else in my office to cover something for me on my travel day.

This, while very very annoying, is moderately acceptable. What will be unacceptable is when a very similar trip screws with my Thanksgiving plans.


Ryane said...

haha. Yeah, you need to learn to manipulate those airline schedules to make sure that no holiday plans are compromised. Although, for what it's worth...I sadly think that most airlines live to screw w/peoples holiday plans. =-)

mad said...

Ah, I feel your pain. Traveling has become such a drudge. I guess it would be too much to ask, as a law abiding taxpayer, that the freaken government use some common sense and allow its employees to find the cheapest but also the most convenient flight plans.

dara said...

Ryane: There's no doubt in my mind, airlines are evil.

mad: Ignoring your assumptions about the identity of my employer, it actually is about saving money. A fixed contract rate means that as schedules change, travel plans can be changed accordingly -- which saves money because we're not extorted to pay ridiculously high fares or charges for booking or changing at the last minute.