January 23, 2010

New Rules for Business Travel

Business travel blows.

Don't get me wrong, I like the people I am travelling to see, and like to think I am making a valuable contribution in a healthy and positive way (well, most days).

But the travel part? The actual getting from here to there part? Totally blows.

This week my business excursion was a one-day trip from Edmonton to Winnipeg, work the day there, then come home that night. Pretty straightforward in concept, not so much so in execution.

Yes, crappy weather had something to do with it, making my expected 16-hour day magically morph into a 19-hour day. Ever get stuck on the runway during a run of 'freezing fog'? Not fun.

Weather is out of everyone's control. Tons of other crap isn't. So here's a few suggestions for new rules for travel:

1- Start at the beginning: have enough parking at the airport, dammit. And make sure there is plentiful and logical signage, it really and truly is better for us all if I can find my car again.

2- Yes, security issues are huge, and I will submit to a full body scan, be frisked, cavity searched, whatever; your end of the deal is to hire enough people to work the effing security area. Having a village worth of travellers snaking through the line to go through just two security checkpoints, while the other checkpoints sit unmanned and unused, just don't cut it.

3- Have enough seats at the gate area. This is not rocket science, just do the math: if the plane holds 200 people, 40 seats will not be enough.

4- Have enough bathrooms. Do the math, and then visualize the down side if you get this one wrong.

5- Be consistent with patrolling the carry-on baggage. Some people follow the rules, some try to work around the rules, and then there's the douchebag dude in front of me wheeling on more crap than most people checked through. More crap than some of us own. Make the jerk check it.

6- On the plane itself, well I know you aren't going to make the seats any wider or plusher back here in steerage, so can I at least ask that the audio system work properly? I want to hear the soundtrack as I watch those Three's Company repeats while I sit on the runway getting older.

7- "Bits and Bites" do not fall into any food group.

8- Ensure the flight attendants know where the hell we are going. Really. Hearing them ask a coworker does not inspire confidence.

9- Back on the ground, people get stuck at airports for long periods of time, especially in winter areas. Have food options beyond crappy donuts. That's you, Winnipeg.

10- After a long flight we are cranky, tired, and smell like recycled air and bad cheese. Get the luggage out faster. By the way... where the hell does it go between the plane and the carousel?

More rules to come. Ideas, anyone?

For the airlines and airports... you're welcome.


Stephen said...

I love to be in another city, but the getting there is no longer any fun!

Anonymous said...

my poor niece was returning home from austrailia last weekend.What was originally to be a 4 hour layover in Sydney, turned to 8 hrs. Then from there, once in L.A. She missed 3 flights to Vancouver. It seems that with the heightened security measures and the even earlier suggested time to be at check in,people are missing flights whilst waiting in mile long lines!! She called me in tears and venting her frustration. Im keeping the faith (haha) that travel will once again in future be enjoyable.

Vodka Logic said...

I don't travel for business but for fun... and yeah the getting to and from suck.

All very good points thanks


i feel for you, but i when i hear of winnipeg.... i can't help laughing!!! sorry! must be something in the eastern air. didn't you catch it on its way here??? you should get it first....

Lena said...

I think you pretty much covered everything! The most annoying thing for me is always the number of seats in the gate area. It's annoying when there are way more people than seats!

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