Posts Tagged ‘Business Traveler’

Managing Travel Delays

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
View from the gate

The rain is not to blame

File this under the heading “So that is how it works”.  Imagine your flight arrives on time, but you cannot collect your baggage. Frustrated passengers pace back and forth and then you find a helpful airline employee who fills you in on what is going on.  The passengers had been led to believe that the light drizzle of rain (check out the photograph) was responsible for the delay. Actually, the baggage handlers will collect overtime if they can unload your bags just a little bit later. So while you are eager to take your luggage, leave the airport and get on with your life, you are being held hostage to the fine print in their union contract.  But other travelers do get their baggage right away – the elite tiers of the frequent flyers. So we asked and learned – the baggage of the elite tiers of the frequent flyer (platinum, gold, whatever they are called) are unloaded by a private sector company with which the airline has a contract. They are not union workers and they have no incentive to delay unloading the bags. So that is another unadvertised benefit of accruing your miles on a single airline to qualify for the elite tier status.

I will likely be blogging more about business travel issues as they relate to disruptions (minor disasters) and remote productivity. I have just been appointed to the Globility Board, the board of advisers for Global Traveler magazine. I am quoted in the article announcing the new board, saying “As an entrepreneur, I recognize the importance of face-to-face meetings to build relationships, but I am also attentive to the costs associated with business travel; I seek to maximize value for dollar spent. I am willing to pay for the amenities that enhance my travel experience and remote productivity, but I want to see value for the spend. That is a different approach from across-the-board cost-cutting that is often in place in larger corporations.” Please let me know of your travel experiences and feedback that you would like to share with the airlines, hotels and other travel vendors. Small businesses are important customers and we need to be heard.