Checking a flight schedule the night before a flight and finding out it’s a go doesn’t mean it’s a go–not if you happen to be going on United Airlines from Columbus to Chicago. At least, not if you are the person I met yesterday at the Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio. I was able to meet him because he was not at the business meeting that he was scheduled to attend.
Friday night, he checked his flight status. Everything was fine. He checked the status again before he left for the airport the next morning. The flight was still fine. At the airport, two hours later, he found out after the drive from Hocking Hills, that the flight was canceled, and he was rebooked on a flight for an hour after that. Then, that flight was delayed because of some plane trouble. It was unclear how long he would have to wait. As he sat in the Columbus airport waiting and waiting, the business meeting started and he decided not to go after all. What was the point?
United extended his ticket so he can go to Chicago another time. He doesn’t necessarily want to go to Chicago another time. I forgot to tell him that Chicago is one of the top 10 summer destinations which might have changed his mind.
During this conversation, as the details unfolded, people were tsk tsking over the state of the airlines.
I’m thinking that in the future, more and more business meetings will be held in cyberspace as the airlines struggle to deliver service. If people can talk to each other in video conference calls, why hassle with trying to meet in person for a meeting, unless it’s crucial?