7 Pitfalls of Life on the Road

This one is for the road warriors out there.

No long preamble or set-up. Let’s get right to it. Like you, I’ve logged lots of miles and made many a trip on the road. Here’s my list of the 7 most annoying things when we’re on the road:

Number 7

Hotels that have a 3 pm check-in and an 11 am check-out. Really? Besides the inconvenience, besides short-changing the traveler of four hours in a 24-hour stay, this policy sends a loud message that the hotel is not good at housekeeping. It’s slow in servicing its rooms. And, rather than figure out a better way to streamline their room cleaning process they simply stick it to the traveler.

Number 6

Regarding air travel, this is a two-for. The first has to do with the number of announcements that are made by the flight crew nowadays. Seriously, on a recent flight from Chicago to San Francisco I counted being reminded to fasten my seat belt 10 times. The other annoyance – finally getting to your destination after a series of flight delays, only to arrive at the gate to find that there is no crew at the gate to receive the flight. Ouch.

Number 5

The casual traveler who steps on the moving sidewalk in the airport terminal, drops his/her luggage and stands – on the left. Sorry to single out the casual traveler, but what the heck.

Number 4

Can’t leave the car rental companies out of this. How about anything rented over one hour into the next day is charged as a full new day…

Number 3

The ever-shrinking seat on most airplanes. Seems it’s harder and harder to score an upgrade, so we get used to sitting in coach. The physical space available to us is so restricted we can’t work on a laptop and manage a drink cup at the same time. Even if the guy in front of you does not recline, you’re still sitting like tuna in a can.

Number 2

The mindset of our fellow travelers. It’s a dog eat dog world sometimes. Here’s the classic: The flight is running behind schedule. As the plane approaches its destination the fight attendant comes on the PA system and announces that several passengers on the plane have tight connections. All are asked if they don’t have a tight connection to remain seated when the plane reaches the jet bridge so that those with tight connections can de-plane first. That bell rings signaling it’s okay to get out of your seat, and in a most Pavlovian way, nearly everyone stands up – stranding those sorry folks toward the back of the plane that had the tight connections. Geez.

Number 1

Airlines that communicate delays in bits and bites. You know the drill. There’s bad weather perhaps. A delay is posted – say 25 minutes. Then, as that new departure time approaches another delay is posted – say 40 minutes. And so on. The flight ends up being 2-3 hours delayed but the passengers were kept in the dark. The airline chooses to kick the can down the road 20-30 minutes at a time instead of posting the lengthier delay we all know is going to take place.

What’s on your list?

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