Air Travel Isn't What It Used To Be!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

I used to travel quite a bit for my engineering job.  Not Up in The Air kind of travel, but 60 to 70 weekdays on the road wasn't uncommon, but with technology changes (you can do a lot remotely with digital pictures and Imperial Garden in Tokyovideo!) and tighter budgets, travel is WAY down, less than 10 days total!

It's NOT a bad thing getting to spend so much more time at home, although Delta probably misses my annual trips to Japan and the corporate
dollars spent!  From Platinum Sky Miles Member, to Gold to Silver to hey...I'm just another flier to them!  Am I a Lead member?  Sand?  I don't know :)

The ease of travel has significantly changed for the Cincinnati area residents since the Delta/Northwest merger.  I'm not calling the Delta management team a liar (nope...not going there), but their promise that Cincinnati (CVG) would remain a hub and not be significantly impacted?  Well, it doesn't take an engineer to realize the number of flights has radically reduced, that what used to be three concourses of flights is now 1, that many cities that used to have direct service?  GONE!

For instance, we used to have four direct flights to Buffalo (BUF) every weekday.  Then it went
Detroit terminal to two, and now none.  Our choices?  Buffalo via Detroit, Philly, JFK or Atlanta.  Detroit (DTW) gives us the quickest connections and least overall time, so seems like the logical choice, right?


So this week was time for my annual meeting with a Buffalo supplier.  BTW, following social media safety protocol, only posting this since I'm now BACK home!  The meetings go well, coming home last night!
Everything is initially routine.  We get pushed back from the Buffalo gate last night on time.... but then stop about 30 yards from the gate!  Huh?? 
Announcement by pilot, "Detroit is too busy and beyond capacity, so we can't leave the ground!" 

Same Old View, Different airportBy rule, they've managed to meet their "departed on time" metric since we left the gate on time!  Doesn't get us to Detroit any faster though...oh well, it happens.  I'm traveling with two other business associates, and we figure this may get a little tight making the flight from Detroit to Cincy since we only had an hour layoever,  but we should make it, just no time for dinner in between.

About 40 minutes later, we finally get the all clear, and take off.  We fly over Canada most of the way... did you know, lots of wind farms along the lake?  More wind turbines than I've seen anywhere else...but I digress :)

We watch the clock tick away, 7:25 scheduled departure...this is going to be tight!  We land about 20 minutes before scheduled take off of our flight home.  Maybe???  A long trip on the ground from landing to the gate, then...of course, another delay because there's no service personnel at the gate!  While we're rolling in, cell phones are allowed again, so punching the Blackberry for Delta's schedules...and the 7:25 is the last chance to get home!  By the time we're finally at the gate and off the plane, about 10 to 15 minutes too late... SOOO CLOSE!

And if you think I'm torqued at this point?  Not even close!  I've been extremely lucky in all my business trips and have NEVER been stuck somewhere overnight!  I've been delayed (frequently), had bags lost and then found, but I was due for the outright cancellation, and getting upset wasn't going to get me home any faster. Lots of life situations like this, getting "hyper" doesn't usually make it better!

Now the part that I do think is wrong on Delta's part...they don't give you a hotel room, or meal money for having to stay overnight...you get a discount to stay at the Day's Inn if you want, but that was it!  For a consumer on vacation, we're talking probably at least a $100 extra out of their pockets for something that was not of their doing, and this wasn't a weather related delay, just a capacity issue!  Not very fair to the average flyer.

As a business traveler, no big deal to book a room in the Westin attached to the terminal instead, get some dinner and call it a night.  We got the 9 a.m. flight home this morning, back to Cincinnati and all is right again.

It's always good to be back home!

Bill the Engineer/REALTOR©

P.S.  ALWAYS add an extra set of clothes when you travel, just in case :)

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Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
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Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Bill, traveling always come with needing a bit of patience, even more during Holiday times!    Glad you are back home safe!

Sep 30, 2010 08:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Good attitude, Bill. I'm not surprised about the Delta problems. Seems they're a few bricks short of a load. I wanted to get to Columbus once from Seattle. It was about $500 per person. But they had a $198 special that went Seattle-Columbus-Cincinnati. Had to be round trip. Couldn't get off in Columbus or they would cancel the leg home. We flew into Chicago and rented a car. Go Southwest.

Sep 30, 2010 08:27 AM #2
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Joan, We only drive during the holidays :)

Glenn, Delta has "owned" Cincinnati for a long time...almost no one else here, as a result, we paid some of the highest fares around.  For business travel, not such a big deal, but for personal, we'd often go to Dayton or Columbus to fly, airfare was MUCH lower.  And we've seen the same as you, we've done Dayton to Cincinnti to someplace else, and that price was WAY lower than just Cincy to destination!

Sep 30, 2010 08:31 AM #3
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468,350
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

I like Jet Blue. I have never been stranded or stuck in a plane for many hours, and the leg room is great!

Sep 30, 2010 09:19 AM #4
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Hello Marcy, Unfortunately Jet Blue doesn't service our area yet, but have always heard great things about them!  Even with our Delta flights, most of the flights are on the 50 passenger smaller jets, so no amenities to speak of.

Sep 30, 2010 09:25 AM #5
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bill it sure has changed over the years - not nearly as clean and simple anymore.  I used to be able to hop on flights (with a pass) and fly non-stop first class to just about anywhere if there were seats available - cheap too. Now - hardly ever are there seats available and the plan is jammed packed almost always.  Oh well - tis what is for now.

Sep 30, 2010 09:31 AM #6
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Anna Banana, After a year of business travel, I was quickly in the free upgrade category, so lots of "bumps" to first class, but then most of the planes had a first class.  It's rare for me to be on a plane with first class...most flights are now regional commuter jets, and the best I can hope for is that the seat next to me might be empty!  Still have lots of frequent flyer miles in our accounts, but using them is a whole different story!

Sep 30, 2010 09:45 AM #7
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Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

You can't win.  You are getting screwed now with the Continental United merger.  Less flights to and from Cleveland.  What happened to you is unconscionable.  I would write to them and ask for a free flight.

Sep 30, 2010 02:17 PM #8
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jane, A co-worker of mine got delayed form the better part of a day...two canx flights before finally getting one.  Delta gave him a HUGE 1000 bonus miles.. so at 2 cents per bonus mile... $20 for his trouble??

They don't care, because they don't have to.  I'll drop a complaint email, but I don't expect anything further from them based on historical performance.

Sep 30, 2010 03:37 PM #9
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