Allen On Travel

A 30 year veteran of world travel (but knows nil about Orlando-area attractions), Will Allen III writes about his weekly odysseys by air on business and how the airlines rob him--and you--of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Time: It's all we have, and the airlines routinely take it from us. This blog challenges the airlines to keep their basic promises.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Born 1948 in Kinston, NC and raised there in beautiful eastern North Carolina, I now live in Raleigh and commute around the country and the world.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Fine Example of Misery, Thanks To New Millennium Travel Purveyors

This took all took place on one recent Sunday:

AirTran MSY/ATL – 20 mins late; no reason given; no apologies made; look of surprise by gate agent when I asked why; she said she had no idea.

AirTran ATL/RDU – 20 mins late; no reason given; no apologies made; ATL gate agent was surly, then indifferent when I asked where was the inbound airplane that was to make up our flight; she said she had no idea.

Delta RDU/ATL – Inbound aircraft arrived RDU 20 mins late due to “late crew in ATL” (flight came from ATL); left 40 mins late; no reason or apology given; arrived gate in ATL 55 mins late; again, no explanation.

Delta ATL/DFW – Boarded on time (30 mins ahead of departure); somehow got out of gate 20 mins late; no reason or apology given; managed to arrive DFW 40 mins late; no announcement as to why, just “The local time is one hour earlier than Atlanta.”

DFW Airport’s consolidated bus to consolidated rental car center at south end of DFW – waited 20 mins for bus to arrive; packed to SRO limit within 30 seconds of arrival; arrived at DFW off-airport car rental building just before midnight.

Hertz DFW – Despite being Gold & Presidents' Circle, name not on Gold board; Gold Service office closed at 11:00 PM; forced to go back inside & wait in long line of people with similar problem; lost 20 more mins; no reason or apology given; while in line, I phoned Hertz Gold line, where they confirmed that my reservation number was correct & stated for the correct flight number & time (I write those details down from many such bad experiences).

Hilton Garden Inn-Fort Worth – Arrived long past midnight; despite being a Diamond member, they once again (second week in a row) forgot to put my 2 Diamond water bottles in my room, but assured me that they were in fact here, forcing me to return to the desk to get them; no apologies; just a sullen glower from the desk clerk; so much for my exalted HHonors Diamond Status.

I really try to keep a positive attitude when traveling, and I approach the whole experience with a well-practiced Zen-like self-induced aura to protect my sense of privacy.

No matter: They have perfected the Chinese art of exquisitely fine torture. Whether you call it water torture (drip, drip, drip), or being nibbled to death by ducks, or death by a thousand cuts, the effect is the same. It’s maddening; I have no respect for these so-called "service" providers.

Delta, Hertz, Hilton, Northworst, Southworst, Hyatt, Avis, Continental, National, American, Marriott, United, Useless Air, they all seem indifferent to their customers.


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