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SafeFood© Travels and Travails

Are organizational skills really that hard to find? I arrived at the Charleston airport one and a half hours before my scheduled 10 AM flight departure to Atlanta (from there would catch connecting flight to Des Moines). All was well – bag checked, through security, and to gate within fifteen minutes. About 9:45 – we heard an announcement that there was a possible mechanical glitch (doesn’t that inspire confidence?). But no problem, problem solved and we all got in line to board by our assigned zones (supposedly this makes the boarding process more efficient – hah!). But this time there was a problem because the plane sent for our flight wasn’t large enough – about 20 people with seat assignments were left on the tarmac while the flight crew and gate personnel scratched their heads and tried to develop an action plan. I appreciate that mistakes can happen. But how mistakes are resolved is a sign of professionalism, which sadly I did not see. I did not appreciate the lack of communication and information – those of us were left to interpret mixed messages from airline staff and wait in a single line for new connections (while others walked in and were helped by staff administering other lines). In my management classes, the concepts of communication, planning, resource allocation and yes, service, have always been stressed. So why did this major carrier get it soooo wrong?
The rest of the story – I was put on a ground shuttle to Columbia SC (2 hour drive); left Columbia at 5 PM for flight to Atlanta, and then arrived home in DSM at 11 PM CST (midnight real time). A fun long day seeing multiple airports – 16 hours of quality time!
The airline did provide meal vouchers ($12 total) and a $400 flight coupon – but for 9 extra hours of my time, not so sure it was worth it. Send me an email if want to know the airline. I guess the good news is the 16 hours weren’t spent on the tarmac in the plane as we’ve heard with other horror stories!