Travel sucks nowadays. We all know that. Airlines can’t guarantee arrivals or departures. Meteorologists can’t guarantee the weather. The only thing guaranteed is bad food and weak drinks for as long as you are stuck in the airport. However, there are a few technology bits that at least make it more fun, if not more convenient, if used correctly. Yes, bolded and italicized for a reason.
Paperless boarding passes are not all that new. I’ve been using them for a while now (yes, you can thank Chris, like that’s any big surprise). They download quickly. They pop up quickly on my iPhone. Done and done. The challenge? You have to remember to scroll down to view ALL of your flight information.
I flew into Chicago Midway for a quick in-and-out day at the OLSON Dig offices, worked hard, played hard, and headed home. Got to Midway, got through security, got to the electronic scanner, and: “Invalid.” Tried again. “Invalid.” So, I head back up to the Delta ticket counter to alert them that their scanning device was acting up, only to have them discover that my flight was out of Chicago O’Hare and NOT Midway! WTF?!?! Yeah, Chicago O’Hare. Scroll down, moron. Scroll down. Idiot!
I look down at my watch, look back at the Delta ticket agent, and she points to the airport door and says: “Go!” So I go! Plowing through travelers and doors and diving into the nearest cab! In the meantime, I mentally insert myself into that car commercial where the woman is driving the man to the airport, weaving in and out of traffic and squealing to a stop at the curb, only to see him look at his ticket, hop back and say: “LaGuardia, not JFK!” — and the car peels out through traffic. That was me. (Later, we’ll discuss the efficacy of that commercial, given I have no idea what make or model the car was, just the faces of the man and woman through the windshield…) $75 and an hour and 15 minutes later? Safe and sound at Chicago O’Hare, sipping a weak Margerita (yes, I added a shot), eating someone else’s fries (don’t ask) and talking HR with a woman named Cindy who was trying to get to Nashville to see her boyfriend. Sometimes being a nervous traveler and getting to the airport 2 hours ahead of your flight works to your advantage. If you’re willing to pay for it… and poke fun at yourself.