Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Running for another plane

Travel agents and airlines have this concept that they call a “legal connection.” I have asked and no one can point me to the statute that makes this legal. A legal connection is one that the airlines dreams that you can make . . . yeah, if you can fly through the airport like Peter Pan and never have to stop to urinate. I have seen legal connections as short as 28 or 29 minutes. Making this connection assumes that the incoming plane arrives on time (yeah right) and that you are not in the back row of the plane (4 out our 6 most recent flights) so that you can actually get off the plane within 10 minutes of the time the door opens. Getting off in a timely manner would be more likely to happen if so many people didn’t stuff steamer trunks and car parts in the overhead bins. We have to wait while they pry Aunt Gertrude’s Nash out of the overhead bin so that they can get off the plane. With this the time to change planes is down to about 20 minutes; about the time they start calling all aboard who are coming aboard on some flights. Running through the airport we have to try not to run over the people who stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the corridor to read War and Peace; or because they spotted a bathroom from 50 feet away and want to stop and think if they need to stop. Inevitably a short bathroom break is needed, yet another opportunity for slow people to delay those of us who are about to misconnect. (Am I the only one who is grossed out by businessmen talking on conference calls on their cell phones while seated in an airport bathroom? It makes me want to go into the adjoining stall and repeatedly hit the flush button.) There are two real risks on a barely legal connection, 1) that the connecting flight is on time (or heaven forbid ahead of schedule, I nearly p-missed one of these one night in Cincinnati when I stopped to answer natures call) 2) that even if you make the flight, will your checked baggage. If it is all I can do to make it from gate C-76 to Gate A-1, how in the world will my baggage. Oh yes, traveling for business can be mighty fun.


  1. And let's not forget that the one flight lands and goes to gate A-1 and you connecting flight is at the other end of the city at gate Z-78 and the free shuttle leaves every 30 minutes and the clock read 11:31am as you see the shuttle driving away. Oh, and you connecting flight departs at 11:50.

    I was going to miss a connection flight one time, so I called the airline 1-800 customer service number as I was running through the airport and asked if they would hold the flight for me, NO! was the answer, so I just asked if my bags were on the flight and since it's FAA regulations that I have to be on the flight with my bags, please remove my bags for me. Needless to say I made the flight because somehow, there just happened to be a delay of somekind that fixed itself just as I got on the plane...lucky me.

  2. Don't get me wrong here, I love to travel and see everything. It's just not always a joy to get there.