(Actually from last night during the flight, but then I got home…)
As part of my new position for CampusEAI I’ve had a fairly aggressive travel schedule over the past few weeks (the cost of not relocating). It has however forced me to become much more closely acquainted with the airlines (and Continental in particular) and prompted a few observations:
1. Upgrades: Getting upgraded is nice. The biggest problem? Generally people who travel enough to get upgraded are flying on business — and — hence flying at the same time as others flying on business (who fly even more). It’s almost disheartening to watch half the people waiting for the flight standup when they’re boarding Elite Access. Still, it’s nice when it happens.
2. Delays: So far out of 6 flight segments between Newark (EWR) and Cleveland (CLE) I’ve been delayed 3 times. It doesn’t seem possible to get delayed by less than about an hour either, though so far I’ve been fortunate enough with nothing longer than about 2 1/2. Still, a 50% hit rate is pretty… good? bad?
3. Airline Clubs: Worth every penny. If you travel a lot. Normally I try to cut my arrival at the airport pretty tight with my flight departure, to grab more time at home with the kids, but during those aforementioned delays… There’s a big difference between an hour delay in the concourse fighting it out with other grumpy bench residents, and an hour delay while sitting in the lounge on the wifi, by the bar, munching on an apple.
4. Security: Surprisingly I’ve actually gotten used to security — to the point where someone I was traveling with was like “wow — that’s crazy” and my instinctual response was “eh”. Of course, I no longer travel with belts, a watch, coins in my pocket…
5. Pricing: This is kind of a crazy subject. Right now — a Sun-Wed roundtrip between EWR-CLE is ~ $260. A Sun-Tue roundtrip? ~ $850. Whaaaat!?!?! I’m not sure that there’s any way to explain that other than trying to segment the market into business travelers,since who else would stay less than 3 days? Though, if I book 2 weeks at a time, with 2 weeklong stays that just happen to overlap… hmmm…
In general, business travel (especially regular, sustained travel) has been something to endure. It feels good to vent though 🙂