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July 1, 2006

The “B” in Business Travel Stands For…

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By: Tom Alfano
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Photo by Michael C. Sikoutris
Photo by Michael C. Sikoutris
Well I wont go there, yet. For the good part of the last three years I’ve done some pretty decent business travel and I wanted to take a minute and share some stories and dispel some myths about frequent travel for business.

Photo by Michael C. Sikoutris

Photo by Michael C. Sikoutris

Now, I’m a plane geek and proud of it, and so are you if you’re part of this site. But before you put on your propeller hat and say “Oh man I’d love to travel for my job,” settle down. You know it’s interesting, when I talk to my friends about traveling for work, they think its glamorous and dashing. Well I’ll agree 100% that it’s dashing; I’ve dashed from one gate to another plenty of times to make a connection that’s leaving in five minutes. If you ever had to do the DFW dash you’ll know what I mean. I love getting into gate C39 and then have to perform a marathon to A15 to make my flight with a laptop bag while wearing a suit. I’m going to set a new record so root me on.

“American flight 341 will be delayed until 5:30 due to ATC in Chicago”. Then “Flight 341 will now be delayed to 6, no 6:30, hold on 7, oh wait its cancelled”. You know I really don’t remember the last time I left on time when I’ve traveled for business. You learn quickly after your second cancellation that you should keep all the airlines phone numbers stored in your phone because chances are calling them directly is faster then waiting on line to rebook and having to listen to Cletus and Tammy Fay bitch that they have to get home because Tony Stewart is polling for the next NASCAR race. Yes, I’ve heard that before.

Oh that brings me to the flying public. Do people own mirrors??? For crying out loud people look at the mirror before you display yourself to the world. Just this past month I had Shamu the whale letting it all hang out in front of me. I’ll say one thing; her tattoos were great reading material as I stood waiting for the checkpoints to open at 4:45am. Wonderful site to start my day.

So by now you’re probably saying I bitch a lot and if I don’t like traveling on business then I should find another job. Well I really do like traveling for work anminutesd sometimes little things happen that really make the trip not all that bad. Just such a thing happened on an American Airlines flight. I was flying to Chicago, first flight out on AA one morning and I was exhausted. Our flight was cancelled the night before so I had to be up at 2:30 to make it there on time. I slept the entire flight and about 20 minutes before we landed I woke up to the FA, who was sitting near me and got up to say “You slept the entire way, I feel bad you missed the service. Here, I put these to the side for you”. She handed me two OJs and a bag of muffins and said “It’s good to eat something in the morning.” I was completely taken back and really didn’t know what to say but thank you.

Now while that doesn’t happen on every flight it’s those rare occasions that make the journey and your job worthwhile and sometimes make traveling on business a real “B”enefit to your job.