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.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

If It's Thursday, It Must Be London, Detroit, and Indianapolis

Eight flights, four rental cars, and four hotels to and from four destination cities since Monday morning, and I am not sure it's really Thursday. Was it just last night (Wednesday) that I flew from chilly and remote "Youper" city, Marquette, Michigan to Detroit; rented a car from Hertz; drove to London, Ontario to the downtown Hilton; had a business dinner until 1030 PM with two colleagues; worked email and phone messages until 1:30 AM; got up at 5:30 AM; had a client meeting at his big factory (and important Ontario employer) until 8:30 AM; drove back to Detroit (through beautiful Sarnia and Port Huron); flew to Indianapolis; and worked nonstop from 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM on client matters to catch up?

How time flies when you are having fun--especially when you are being grilled by Canadian Immigration officials about your reason for entering Canada. "Well, yes, I AM having a BUSINESS meeting, but, honestly, it has to do with trying to hire two more Canadian citizens. I promise I am NOT stealing jobs from Canadians!"

That finally did the trick. All true, too. Doesn't pay to shave the truth with Immigrations and Customs pros. They can spot even a little lie from ten thousand feet.

And I didn't even mention how I got from Raleigh Monday to Indianapolis and then to Detroit and then to Marquette before Wednesday afternoon. To be honest, it's all a blur.

And that's the point: When things go right with the airlines, the rental car companies, and the hotels, a lot can be accomplished in a short time. This week American and Northwest did a great job, and so did National, Hertz, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and Hilton. My flights were reasonably on time; my cars were OK (well, one smelled like pipe tobacco); and my hotel beds slept well (though the Internet was out at the Hampton and Holiday Inn).

How nice to be able to write about a productive business week because the folks who make life on the road possible all clicked for once. Whew!


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