This blog entry comes to you from the Sheraton hotel at Washington Dulles airport. Why? Well, because I can and because I have nothing better to do on a Friday night. I had plans of flying back home from San Francisco but United thought otherwise. The plane had problems in San Francisco: the left engine wouldn’t start. “Probably just a spark plug; shouldn’t take the maintenance crew more than an hour!“ the pilot declared cheerfully.
”That takes the hour switch over time I have in Dulles,“ I thought, less cheerfully. In a way it is amazing. Hours before I’ll get there I already know that I won’t make the connection and won’t make it home today.
It set me thinking about how often my travel plans have not gone to plan this year so far:
– In January Rachel and I were delayed several hours in Chicago on our way to Tampa, Florida.
– In February on my way back from Brussels my flight from Washington Dulles to Rochester was cancelled. United eventually routed me via LaGuardia to Syracuse, the closest they could get me to Rochester. The flight from LaGuardia to Syracuse was delayed by several hours. By that time a snow storm had caught up causing Rachel to drive through it to Syracuse at 2am at night to pick me up.
– In March business meetings required me to fly back home from San Jose on Saturday instead of the planned Friday.
– In late April my connection at Chicago to San Jose was delayed by a few hours causing me to miss the Monday afternoon meetings.
– In June my flight from Rochester to Washington Dulles was delayed which would have me miss my connection to Frankfurt. United routed me through Orlando, Florida. That flight, Orlando to Frankfurt was delayed by four hours. Between Airtran, United and Lufthansa my luggage got lost. The flight from Munich to London turned around haflway so I spent the night in an airport hotel flying to London eventually the next morning.
I am writing this from the hotel bar. There are about 8-10 patrons and we are all delayed. The bartender has volunteered to stay open till 1am instead of midnight. A reason for a good tip if ever I heard one!