It used to be I could fly from Chicago to New York or Chicago to Washington in a day. Out in the morning. Back the same evening. Plenty of time for work in between. We called these trips "quickies" in our house because for my 4-year old the experience of these trips - and my related absence from home - was the same as if I was just working down the street in our global headquarters.
But in the past 12 months, that changed. After missing two important meetings due to cancelled flights or airport closures, I decided that if it was something I absolutely, positively had to attend, I'd have to go the night before. But now, with the repeated wholesale flight cancellations, even planning to go the night before isn't always enough. These days to be absolutely, positively certain to make a meeting, I have to start trying to get there at least 24 hours in advance. 24 hours before my meeting, I'm at the airport just trying to make a 1 ½ hour flight. And, I know I'm not alone in this.
It's expensive, a productivity killer and tough on families.
I'm not blaming anyone. That's not the point. The point is that we can't possibly hope to win in a global business environment if we can't even reliably transport Americans to and from meetings in our own country. I am not willing to compromise on safety and I am all for actions related to protecting the traveling public. But, the whole system is clearly in need of a major fix. We can't afford another year like this. So, as a plea from one hard working, frequent traveling American, could everybody please just get together and sort out this mess!