Most of the past week I spent at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York, not only attending panels, but also meeting with my editors, and my publisher, as well as being a panelist and giving a reading. It’s also one of the few times in the year when I can meet with other professionals in the field, given that my home town has exactly one other professional in the field, and she’s an artist who specializes in dragons, something that hasn’t exactly been a staple in in my fantasy. It’s also why there wasn’t a post last Friday.
More and more, however, I get tired of the same pattern in air travel. While occasionally I do get decent flight connections, more often than not, my connections fall into one of two patterns. Either I have to almost run, if not sprint, to make them, or I spend hours waiting for the next flight. On the flight out from Cedar City, a half hour before the flight was due to take off, the temperature dropped below freezing, and it started to snow. The plane was already a few minutes behind schedule, but when the de-icing time was added, when we reached Salt Lake, the airline was already boarding my flight to Detroit – two concourses away. I hurried and made it, but it wouldn’t even have been a problem if the scheduled time between flights had been even fifty minutes, rather than thirty five. Then when I got to Detroit, I had a four hour layover before the flight to Albany took off. I finally arrived in Saratoga Springs at 11:15 p.m.
On the return leg, my flight from Albany was delayed, and the gate agents told me I’d likely miss the flight from Detroit to Salt Lake. The pilot and ground crew made heroic efforts, and once more a great deal of hustle sufficed to get me aboard with even a few minutes to spare… so that I could wait for almost three hours in Salt Lake for my last flight home.
Now… these connections weren’t made in search of the least expensive fares. They were the only connections possible that would get me from Cedar City to Albany in one day, one very long day. I realize that creating airline schedules is a near-impossibility, but…
I really am getting tired of either worrying about whether I’ll make connections [because a few times I haven’t] or spending endless hours waiting, all of which are reasons why I don’t travel as much as I once did.