Travel fun

photo-176When air travel is good, it is very good. My flight from Philly to Indy last Thursday took off at 8:04 a.m. and by 10:20 a.m. I was in my sister-in-law’s minivan. But the trip home was not so wonderful. They dropped me off around 9:15 a.m. for a 10:45 a.m. flight — a wee bit early, but I figured I’d get a few things done. Little did I know I’d be in that terminal for almost 8 hours.

US Airways delayed our flight twice due to maintenance issues, then decided they couldn’t fly the plane, and canceled it. I am glad this was discovered before we were up in the air. But of course everyone on that flight had to be distributed to other flights, and the airline seems to have prioritized different people for the next Philly flight. In any case, I got put on an American Airlines 4:50 p.m. flight. We landed in Philly at 6:30 or so. I fetched my car from a different terminal than I’d departed from, drove home, and arrived around 7:30. Having taken off in the morning around 8:45 a.m., I am pretty sure I could have driven driveway to driveway in that time.

Making use of time in airports is hard. The afternoon was easier than the morning because I knew I had 4 hours to kill. In the morning we kept getting delayed 45 minutes at a time, so not enough time to really get going on anything. I made a few phone calls (though mostly to iron out logistics: my boys needed to be picked up at camp and my mom, who was watching the 2-year-old, didn’t have a car on Friday, so my husband came home early). I read some. I read some stuff online. I responded to emails and sent out interview requests. I got lunch. I walked the length of the terminal multiple times, getting up to 9000 steps by the time I got on the plane. I would have walked more but I had to lug my carry-on the whole time, which was a little tiring.

I could have sat still and worked more but by Friday afternoon I’m always in wind-down mode. I tried to edit Mosaic but I was having trouble concentrating. In some cases, having several hours of forced downtime would be great. When stuck in an airport on a Friday without a pressing project, it’s not such a great thing.

What do you do when you’ve got long transit delays?

Public Service Announcement: Over at the Papercraft Laboratory, Anandi (who posts here as ARC) reminds readers to back up the photos and videos on your mobile phone. I took a bit of time to do this last week, emailing about 100 items I wanted to save to myself. If you have more, this can be more complicated, but she has instructions. Phones get lost all the time. And unless they’re backed up, the photos and videos will be gone too. 

Photo: I could have made serious progress by horse from Indy in the time it took to fly to Philly last week.

8 thoughts on “Travel fun

  1. Flight delay for me usually means pulling out Kindle (and maybe grabbing a seat at the nearest bar and enjoying a beer while I read).
    I guess I’m not too worried about productivity since I travel infrequently for work (and if its not for work, that means I’ve got my kids and that’s a whole different game)

    re: cell phone backup, iCloud is a beautiful thing. my phone died earlier this year and all my pictures & videos were safe! I do connect to my laptop and download all pics to iphoto once a month or so, and erase my phone since I start running low on storage space.

  2. Thanks for the link! There are a bunch of services that offer easy and free photo backup.

    I like OneDrive personally because it’s not tied to a social network (and I don’t have an iPhone).

    But iCloud, Dropbox and Google all have options. And they are SUPER easy to set up.

  3. Oh, and regarding airport time, when I used to travel all the time for work, I LOVED the airports that had the quick manicure stations – something fun and easy to do that meant I didn’t have to spend time on it during my precious time at home. Those were few and far between, though.

    Seattle has a couple of massage chair stations, too and the prices aren’t completely unreasonable.

    1. @ARC – I thought about getting a massage, especially since I had to lug my carry on around the whole time!

  4. I use traveling time to catching up on work-related reading. With ipads (and not having to turn off hand held devices during take off and landing), I can bring quite a lot of material with me. On occasion, I hand edit documents during flights.

  5. We like traveling through Mitchell in Milwaukee and build extra time in: it has a used bookstore!

  6. I read global newspapers, if I can find them, and local ones too to sniff out the scene. I’m reading everything I can right now on the Malaysian Airlines crisis, because I think it may prove to be a game-changer.

    1. @Louisa – let’s hope it’s not the equivalent of the Archduke Ferdinand shot 100 years ago… But yes, reading the FT and other papers is a perk of traveling. I love when I get them on international flights.

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