Learned something today

I have been going to Chicago once a month for the past four months for some meetings for the National Association of Realtors. I have yet to experience that elusive goal of on-time delivery of my person from place A to place B.

Having flown from Charlottesville through Washington Dulles, Charlotte and New York LaGuardia, I figured this time I would try Cincinnati. When asked this afternoon why I tried so many different connections, I responded saying, “each time I get a new story.” If I do not look at the bright side, I will focus on my missing my family …

This evening I garnered a new story:

The flight from Chicago to Cincinnati was delayed about an hour or so. Love that sittin’ in the plane on the tarmac, watching scores of planes, big and small, idle away!

Arriving in Cincinnati at 7:40 for my 7:55 pm flight, I felt mildly confident that I would be in Charlottesville this evening. I and five other passengers arrived, breathless from our runs and full of hope, at about 7:52 for our flight only to find that Comair’s policy is to close the doors six minutes prior to departure. Doors closed at 7:49.

They knew we were coming.
They aren’t paying for this hotel.
I will never fly Comair or Delta again.

You learn something new every day. And sometimes a fundamental lesson is reinforced. Sometimes a company gets only one chance to make a lasting impression. This evening was an opportunity to send six people home on their scheduled flight. They failed to take advantage of an opportunity.

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PS: There is nothing quite like staying in a smoking room to make one appreciate the value of having quit smoking. That and seeing that cigarettes cost $8 in Chicago!

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  1. Daniel Rothamel September 13, 2006 at 17:10


    You are right about only getting one chance to make an impression. I had a similar experience on Continental in Chicago, but they paid for my hotel room, and a nice one at that. They also paid for dinner and breakfast the next morning.

    If you want to avoid the whole mess, drive the hour-and-a-half to Dulles and fly non-stop. It is usually cheaper for the flight, even if you figure in gas and parking. I haven’t flown from CHO in at least 4 years. The drive can suck sometimes, but a non-stop flight is worth it, IMHO.

  2. Ray Hyde September 13, 2006 at 20:51

    I was in volved in an effort to start a commuter /shuttle service from Charlottesville to Dulles using 12 passenger commuter planes. Flights would have left hourly from Charlottesville for around fifty bucks, and the flight was 25 minutes. We had investor support, but the state basically said, call us when you get started.

    There are more than thirty smaller airports with inadequate, inconvenient or no commercial service within 250 miles of the three major DC airports. As the commuter turboprops were given over in favor of regional jets a lot of airports lost service entirely.

    We figured it was as good as nonstop because you park at your local airport (free in most smaller airports) and you go through security with a small number of passengers, so when you get to Dulles, you are inside the security perimeter.

    When the planes hit the world trade center towers, we gave up on the plan.

  3. CEF September 22, 2006 at 21:56

    Delta is the worst and I avoid them whenever possible. They misrouted my luggage on one trip and for 3 days they told me it was on the list to be delivered that day/night (sometimes as late as midnight. All of a sudden, a delivery service called me and said they just received my luggage to deliver. It arrived 3 days after my flight and countless calls to rude, unconcerned Delta reps — I would fire them all if they worked for me. I’m sure it starts at the top and they’ve earned their troubles.