Friday, September 28, 2007

The joy of business travel...

I LOVE to travel. It's so amazing to me how we can fly all over the world in a matter of hours. It's just so cool!

But, sometimes, it's such a pain! Tonight, I flew from Boston Logan to Chicago O'Hare. First, I can barely get into the airport by myself because I'm carrying so much gear and stuff - 4 bags in all, 2 of them on wheels. Thank God that my brother-in-law, Michael, was able to give me a ride or I'm sure this story would've begun with some crazy cab anecdote. Anyway, so I make it into the airport and walk up to the kiosk to check a couple of bags. I checked-in online, thinking I'd save a little time, right? No. I stood at the kiosk for 10 minutes after I'd finished my part, waiting for someone to check my bags. When they finally came to ask if I needed help, it turns out my luggage tags didn't print. So, they figured that out, and it looks like they've got my bags and I'm all set. Great. Security goes off without a hitch (I've heard that they're sending dSLRs through the x-ray separately now, but not at Logan, yet). So, I head directly to the gate they told me to go to. There's no one there. I think, maybe I'm early? So I sit down, plug in the laptop and surf some blogs. Finally, a lady comes and tells me that my gate has been changed. Ah-ha! I guess that's what I get for not checking. By the time I get to my gate, they're starting to board, I get on with no problems. Sleep through the whole flight :) Wake up, land at 5:30pm, struggle to get my wheeling carry-on into a bathroom stall, and out again, and head down to baggage claim. The bag with my clothes comes out right away - excellent! But, I continue to wait for my tripod bag. And, I wait, and I wait. Finally everyone else has left, the conveyor belt has stopped, and my tripod has still not arrived. So, I go to the United desk and ask a friendly customer service rep. He tells me to try the conveyor belt for oddly-shaped luggage. Ok. No luck, it's not there. So, I go back to the desk. He tells me that I'm not supposed to talk to him, and takes me to a different desk. I fill out the paper work to have my tripod sent to me if it ever shows up (they tell me it's been scanned coming off the plane in Chicago, so I don't know if it's been lost or stolen or what). And I head to the rental car agency. As I walk outside, I see that I just missed the Hertz bus, so I wait for another. In the time it takes Hertz to send another bus, every other company has had 2 - 6 buses pass me by. Deep breath. The Hertz bus finally comes, and gets filled to overflowing on the way to the pick-up. Somehow, I managed to get off the bus ahead of everyone else, and into the queue to get my car, find the car with no problem and head off into some good-ole Chicago traffic. By the time I get to Lincoln Park to my friend's apartment and find a parking spot, it's 8:30pm.

That's a total of 7 1/2 hours door to door for a 2 1/2 hour flight. But, it's still better than the 15 hours it would have taken to drive - and thanks to Tivo, I was still able to watch the whole premiere of The Office. All in all, that's not bad :)

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