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The Joys of Business Travel

The Joys of Business Travel

In the last week members of our team have had some interesting times traveling. At first I thought I have to tell people about these stories because nobody is going to believe them. But the more I thought I realized, everyone is going to believe them because they happen all the time so it would be far less surprising and much more therapy for others knowing they are not alone.

Last Thursday Duncan was traveling from Greensboro, NC to upstate New York for a presentation that was Friday at 1pm. He was scheduled to leave in the early afternoon from Greensboro, land in Philadelphia, then go from Philadelphia to upstate New York. Because of storms, his flight leaving Greensboro was going to leave late and he would miss his connecting flight in Philadelphia. So Duncan is on the phone with Becci back here in Orlando trying to find another flight from Philadelphia to New York that he can get on after his flight from Greensboro lands in Philadelphia later than scheduled, none. Then they decide to have Duncan fly to Philadelphia, then get a 1-way car rental and drive from Philadelphia to upstate NY. Duncan understandably didn’t like that option because it would get him to his end destination really late Thursday night (after midnight) and would mean driving by himself in a location he’s not completely familiar with at night. As it turns out, he couldn’t get a car to do that from Philadelphia anyway. On to the next option, which would be to find a 1-way car rental in Greensboro and start driving north. Duncan would get as far as he could Thursday night, stop off at a hotel, get a few hours of sleep and get up early Friday morning and drive the rest of the way to get to Upstate NY by the 1pm presentation. He didn’t like that idea more than the previous one because it’s more driving in less than familiar territory with less sleep. At that time though, it was the best option so Duncan was about to head out on his road trip. Just as Becci was making those arrangements for Duncan, he found a flight from Philadelphia that, because people on other connecting flights were going to be late and miss that flight, seats opened up for him. So he was delayed in Greensboro, eventually got to Philadelphia, got on his later connecting flight and ended up in his hotel room in upstate NY after midnight but at least he didn’t have to drive. He woke up in the morning, worked with Shirley, who had much better luck getting there, and they presented after lunch, presentation went very well and then it was off to the airport again.

Duncan had issues getting there, getting home went smoothly for him. Shirley, on the other hand, had issues getting back from New York. There was not much time between the end of the presentation and Shirley’s flight back to Orlando so as soon as the presentation was over and everyone shook hands and it was a sprint to the airport. Once she got there she found out he flight was delayed. That info would have been nice to have as she was sprinting back to the airport. Anyway, 3 hours later, her flight left, got back to Orlando just before midnight and was thankfully in bed by 1am.

But wait, it gets better. Rick Stone was scheduled to leave last night just after 6pm to go to Washington, DC. Just before 5pm Becci came to Christine and me and tells us Rick left one of his bags in his office and asked if one of us could run it to the airport. I rhetorically asked “how did he leave a bag in his office” but given the time restrictions I didn’t wasn’t really that concerned about the answer at that point. I left our office at 5:05pm and got to the airport as fast as legally possible. At 5:35pm I pulled up to the drop off area with Rick waiting, he opened the car door, took the bag and was off. Rick then proceeded to make his second trip through security, got on the monorail to the gate area, ran to the gate, got there at 5:50pm for his 6:05pm flight and saw the “Delayed” message on the board. After sitting at the gate for 30 minutes they announced that the flight was cancelled due to “mechanical problems with the plane”. So just as Duncan did last week, Rick scurried around trying to find a flight to DC last night so he could be at his 9am meeting this morning. He found one but instead of flying to Reagan he was now flying to Dulles (or maybe the other way around, I can’t keep it straight) so he needed to cancel his car rental from one airport and get one at the other. Another hour or so later, he was boarding his flight to DC, got there 2 hours later, got his car and arrived at the hotel after midnight.

Like I said, originally I thought people wouldn’t believe these stories but the more they kept happening it occurred to me that people do this all the time, this is nothing new. Thus, the joys of business travel.

John Lux
As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.