Saturday, September 16, 2006

Queen, and the Ft. Lauderdale Int'l. Airport

In a rousing corporate rendition of "Who's On First", I was asked to travel to Florida to learn "everything our Senior VP of Financial Reporting" does - on his own - to either a) provide inputs to the financial month-end closing process, or b) help prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements. On day 2, I learn - as does the whole company - that the Senior VP of Accounting is also leaving.

Wait, hold the fort! After further review, we have a reversal. Mr. Senior VP of Financial Reporting decides to stay. I imagine the CFO was singing "Oh, won't you sta-a-ay, just a little bit longer". The combination of his cool voice, the increase in $$$, and increase in responsibility all helped sway his decision.

So, my reason for traveling to Florida has changed, right? Nope, not one iota. The person who decided to stay still cannot run all the reports he used to run. Someone in IT needs to get those programs into the proper hands, pronto! So, my responsibility hasn't changed, and we will commence to continue what started LAST AUGUST, and finish the job soon (I hope).

Oh, the title of the post? Yeah, I almost forgot about it. Here it goes:

Continental Airlines has great direct flights between Cleveland and Ft. Lauderdale, but the return flight to Cleveland departs at 1:00pm. I wanted to leave later - you know, get as much time with the Finance pawns (er, maybe Rooks and Bishops) as possible before leaving Dodge. So, instead of booking the return flight back with Continental, I go with US Scare. My flight is scheduled to leave at 18:55.

Cue weather...

Something about being in Florida, I guess, makes the air traffic controllers break into song - "Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening", when the weather goes south (er, deep south). We waited IN the plane, AT the terminal, for 90 minutes. Lightning, bad...veeeeeerrrrrrry baaaaaaaad.

Suffice to say, I learned how not to coddle your kids in an airplane. The one kid on the flight, probably 3 yrs old, was constantly begged by her parents to be nice and quiet down. They gave her toys, distractions, etc., but NEVER DISCIPLINED HER. Ugh!!! It was a distraction during the delay, though.

So anyway, back to our regularly scheduled folly. This happens each time I've had a flight scheduled to leave Ft. Lauderdale in late afternoon or early evening. It always seems to rain, and the airport freaks out. (Golly, good thing they don't see snow.)

When we arrive in Charlotte - US Scare doesn't do direct flights to Cleveland - the Cleveland contingency on our flight are told that "if you run, you can catch your flight. It's not leaving for 10 minutes." We pull our best, pre-murder OJ and run through the airport, running somewhere between a quarter and third of a mile with laptop cases, etc. Guess what? Flight "just left two minutes ago". That would mean it left five minutes early. And, it's the last flight of the night. Turns out, the same thing happened to folks trying to return to the Philly area and Columbus, OH, too. Sounds like US Scare has a recurring theme.

Oh well, I got to stay in a lovely Fairfield Inn, courtesy Yep, since the problem was not an airline problem, US Scare wouldn't pay for lodging. Thankfully, the company allows me to expense it. My flight left this morning, promptly at 8:20 as expected, and I got home in time to crash on my own bed and wake up for lunch.

Thankfully, I scheduled next week's round trip with Continental, all nonstop flights. Start spreading the news, I'm leaving Tuesday....


Marie N. said...

Queen, the Fort Lauderdale Internatioanl Airport

and Sinatra! <

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Airlines a re pathetic. After a similar go-around with Omega Airlines, my husband threw his frequent flier card down on the counter and told the spokesrobot behind the counter to tell his superior why it had been turned in. A few weeks later he got his frequent flier card in the mail. Just the card, in an otherwise empty envelope.

Jane said...

I got to enjoy sitting in front of two children much like the three year old you enjoyed on one of my trips this summer. For three hours the little three-year-old DEAR kicked my seat, whined, and screamed while her mother tried to bribe, cajole, beg, and once threaten with ejection by the pilot.

Quipper said...

Jane, you said "bribe, cajole, beg". Are you talking about bad parents, or politicians getting ready for the November elections? :-)