At least once a year I normally will attend an offsite meeting that requires me to travel the “friendly skies.” This year was no different. We purchased a new core software system and were offered two tickets to a Banking Conference in Orlando, Florida. Fun...right? The conference was fantastic, but once again I had another action packed trip in the air.
For a little background, in June we had just finished a huge software conversion that required about a year of planning and information gathering. Every day we were signing, amending, and terminating contracts and building reports to supply the new vendor with information. Our new software provider offered us the tickets and it sounded like an interesting trip. I had taken a week off to travel to Colorado with my family when Jill e-mailed me and asked if I would like to attend. After some discussion I agreed to go and politely said I would let her handle the reservations as I had no preference. Big mistake! Never let your boss order your tickets. If she had it her way you would be flying with the luggage if it would save a couple bucks.
The trip started off great. I picked up Lori and we headed to Des Moines. We worked our way in and my bag was under the 50lb limit and I breezed through security with my three totes so I could take my work laptop along.
Last year I wasn’t so lucky. I had to cram stuff into Jill’s bag. Then I thought I would carry on my cleanup bag forgetting that you couldn’t take liquids over 3.4 ounces. My face was red when they stopped me and I told them to just throw the stuff away. I then had to buy new upon arrival to my destination. Things were really looking up.
Prior to leaving I reviewed my itinerary. What? I had four flights? Ok, wait a minute. I wasn’t flying non-stop and I had a layover in Detroit. How do you go from Iowa to Michigan if you are headed for Florida? Let me tell ya. You save $20! We flew to Detroit strolled around the airport and enjoyed our layover time before boarding the busiest flight I have ever been on. Families headed to Disney World! This was a completely full flight. The passengers were crammed in like sardines.
After my wife and I had our first child I have been pretty much housebound. Trying to make sure our son doesn’t get sick or make a scene. This has caused me to pack on a few extra pounds. Maybe I am a little bigger but the seats this year sure seemed smaller. Then we took off. The couple behind us bickered. The dad was telling the mom how much money he made while the child relentlessly kicked the back of Lori’s chair. I thought this was actually kind of humorous until the little guy decided it was time to go to the bathroom fifteen minutes in on a two and a half hour flight. Needless to say we sat in the brown cloud for the next two hours and 15 minutes.
At the same time Lori and I both made the comment we should have got more involved in the planning of this trip. Maybe Jill was trying to teach us something but I think she was just saving a dollar or two. One thing is for sure. When we arrived in Orlando we quickly called the airline and upgraded, not to first class, but premium economy. Trust me people….. it’s worth the $19!