Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On Travel and Airlines

Inspired by this, of course.

So, I am sitting here in  San Jose Airport even though I am supposed to be flying to Hartford, CT to speak at OWASP. Why am I sitting here? Well, 'cause the NWA plane got a flat tire (literally, I actually noticed the flat while "deplaning") and the nearest replacement tire  is in San Francisco. A three hour delay -> missed connection -> missing my conference presentation (which sucks hard!)

I do travel a lot (especially lately), but I am still amazed when smart people follow the logic of "weather delay + wet luggage  = airline sucks."  Admittedly, I had fun travel stories (here and overall here), but I never bitch about airlines. I guess I am funny that way. To top it off, I like US Airways (gasp!), which definitely makes me a weirdo among the "high-travel cognocenti" :-)

What is the reason for this "phenomenon"? Here it is: I am used to expecting A LOT from an airline and, so far, I have always gotten it. ALWAYS! Specifically, I expect "not dying at the hands of the airline that is transporting me."  That means A LOT to me, it really does :-)  And, so far, it worked marvelously!

So, anything else is an awesome perk! For example, I was flying United  (with which I don't have any Elite status) from JFK to SFO and right after my attempt to stand-by for an earlier flight failed and I was about to stick my wireless card in and do some work, the gate agent called my name.  I approached the gate thinking they bumped me or took away my coveted exit row seat. On the opposite, the gate agent said "Mr Chuvakin, would you mind if we upgrade you?" -  "No, not at all."  So I got my comfy United p.s. business class seat and a good breakfast (as well as some sleep)...

Some would say that I have "lowered my expectations", but I beg to differ: I do expect a lot. And I get it, which is, some say, a key to [travel] happiness :-)

Finally, apologies to my OWASP CT chapter audience: sorry, next time!

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Dr Anton Chuvakin