Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Positive externalities from long (segmented) haul flights

When I was coming back from Europe I had to face a hard route for the sake of saving some valuable bucks: from Maastricht I took a bus to Aachen, then a train to Cologne/Bonn Airport and then three planes: 1. Cologne-London Heathrow; 2. London-Washington Dulles; 3. Washington - Albany, NY. I was supposed to arrive in Albany close to midnight after an overall 23 hours of travel. However, in London, where always (almost) "funny" things happen, they managed to put the luggage load somehow wrong and they had to re-position it (30-40 minutes) and then re-fuel (why? and why not at the same time?) (another 10-15 minutes). Well, overall we had about 1:30 hrs delay which we never recovered. In Washington, unlike my previous trip from Mexico, there were a lot more officers at the US entry and things moved relatively swiftly. However, by the time I got out it was already 10:00 pm. My Albany plane was probably closing the boarding gate. However, the UNITED guys were on top of things: a person was already expecting us there with new tickets for next morning and hotel, dinner vouchers. Which is very nice. I had to spend some extra half an hour negociating to exchange my 8:00 am ticket to a 12:00 pm one..but it was fine. The I head out to the Hilton in Dulles which was very nice and confortable way to get re-accostumed to the US.

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