ago when I still lived in Houston, I heard about a mysterious “ghost face” that
adorned the exterior wall of the University of Texas Medical Branch in
Galveston, TX. Some friends and I had
decided to take our Friday afternoon happy hour to a beach front bar in
Galveston after work where we learned that our friend Dianne was afraid of
ghosts. We told her the story of how the
dead man’s face keeps etching itself into the concrete and several margarita’s
later, Diane (and the rest of us) had screwed up enough courage to walk down
there and see it. There was an old fence
around the building but we were able to crawl under (after removing my good
shoes) and to walk around to the back to get a clear view of the face. Admittedly, it was creepy! We walked down and out of there by a
different route and I walked, barefooted, through the sand and back to the
car. Kirk drove us home and my lack of
shoes didn’t bother me in the least until the following Monday morning when I
dressed for work. Missing my good shoes,
I just put on some tennis shoes and jeans so I wouldn’t be late. My boss saw me and asked, “Making it a casual
Monday today, are we Ken?” All I could
think to say was, “Well, Diane is afraid of ghosts!”
you’d think that my lack of dress shoes and Diane’s documented fear of the
spirit world wouldn’t have anything to do with each other, and ordinarily you’d
be right. This time, however, it was
same is true when you miss your connection.
You’re in Miami at 3pm on a beautiful sunny day and they announce, “Due
to weather conditions, your flight has just been canceled.” How can that be? It’s perfectly sunny outside and the weather
radar indicates clear skies! I’m flying
to Houston where it’s also a perfect sunny day.
What could the weather possibly have to do with this? Is a ghost involved? Well, no, there’s no ghost. Did you ask yourself, “How’s the weather in
New Jersey?” You should have, because
that’s where your plane is coming from!
are like rental car agencies in that, they can’t put you in a car until the
person before you returns a car. They
don’t keep hundreds of cars in the lot all the time. Few airports have the space to keep a bunch
of “spare planes” around in case they need them. Besides, if that’s how the system worked,
then cities with excellent weather year round would eventually accumulate them
all. Imagine some airport in Tempe, AZ
with 57 Boeing 737s lined up in the dessert!
you need to ask yourself three things:
- Where’s my plane coming from?
- Where is it now?
- Where am I going?
for all three of those questions, consider the following:
- How’s the weather there?
- What time is it scheduled to
- What time is it now?
you can get access to this information, it can really help you out. Leaving early is always a good idea because
the first flights out on a given day are almost always going to be on airplanes
that arrived late the night before. Even
if there’s a plane shortage because of bad weather or something, the flights
that do leave in the morning are always the full ones, leaving for other hubs
or for other popular destinations.
Therefore, a late afternoon flight to International Falls, Minnesota,
from Saginaw, Michigan in January, has a much worse chance of making it than a
flight from Detroit to Duluth. The only
difference is, you leave yourself a bit of a drive on both ends.
I’m not suggesting that you be so paranoid as to always use Hub airports and
popular cities, but I am suggesting that you keep an eye on the weather, on
7-day forecasts, and on the importance of your trip. Changing plans with a few days to spare is
far less inconvenient that finding out your plane will not arrive to carry you
to your destination!
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and Ken will
answer the best ones in his Ask
the Expert podcast show.