David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
NOT Traveling Blog, 3rd Week Of May
In 2014 I was voted by USA Today readers as one of the top ten business travel bloggers in the USA. Now mind you, I turned out to be number ten on the list of ten, but I did make it on (with my thanks to all those who voted.) Now that we’re all stuck at home and not traveling, I had to think about what to do with my blogs. I could stop writing them entirely – waiting till we all get through the current COVID19 pandemic / crisis. I could wax nostalgic and/or complain about past trips. Or, I could focus all of my efforts on my day job – growing the use of collaboration technologies – especially in light of how many people are now forced to use those tools for the first time. In reflecting upon those choices, what I decided to do is compile an ongoing list of observations during the crisis. Some of these may amuse, some may inform, some may sadden and others may help. My goal will be for you to have seen something in a different light than you did before you stopped to read the blog. I was going to apologize for how disjointed these thoughts may seem when put together, but then it dawned on me that feeling disjointed is our new normal – at least for a little while.
So, in no particular order:
· I suppose it is in some ways comforting to realize that while many things have changed during the crisis, some things have not. Unfortunately, one of the things that hasn’t changed is the dishonesty of United Airlines. Having sent an email to all of its customers stating clearly that: “We're automatically blocking middle seats to give you enough space on board…” a doctor who volunteered to help the struggling medical professionals in New York found on his flight home this week that that was just one more deception. His flight from EWR to SFO was generally packed, with no middle seats blocked.
The doctor said people on the plane were “scared and shocked” and he felt more exposed there than his weeks in a COVID19 emergency room. United’s reply to the situation was essentially well, yes, we said we’d block middle seats, but that’s for paying customers, these doctors flew for free. Apparently, two things we can always count upon – regardless of any global crises - are airline doublespeak, and airlines prioritizing dollars over lives. It’s just one more of the apparently continuous reasons that I feel these US airline companies should just go bankrupt and be rebuilt / nationalized. There is no humanity / empathy built into their operational process.
· In a stunning announcement, Delta says they’re permanently retiring the Boeing 777. So long to the last, big, comfortable aircraft that will likely ever be built. Wow – it’s a New Normal indeed.
· It is just amazing to see that American’s feelings about fighting the pandemic are predominantly split across political lines. Science is science, and the virus doesn’t care who you vote for. It is both an incrimination of the US educational system and the failure of honestly in much of the politically biased media outlets. It brings to mind the saying on one of my favorite T-shirt:
· We found out this week that New York’s Broadway will be shut-down at least through Labor Day weekend. I have tickets to see Hugh Jackman in a revival of The Music Man (one of my favorite plays) late in September. If it is performed then – and there is still no treatment nor vaccine – I doubt I’ll be OK with going. While thinking about it, it reminded me of the Wells Fargo Wagon number in the show, where everyone is super eager to see what things are being delivered that day. If the revival does happen they should modernize the number and replace Wells Fargo with Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, UPS and the rest of the delivery vans that are keeping us alive during the pandemic nowadays.
· I purchased Last Week Tonight stamps to support the USPS. Have you? https://photostamps.com/products/laststamptonight. If you don’t like his, make your own. Let’s drive as many stamp purchases as we can.
As always please feel free to write to me with comments or items I should add to a future Not Traveling blog (or if you just need someone to write to.) Stay safe, be well, hug those you’re sheltering with (but no one else) and do your best to stay positive. We’re going to be in this for a long while.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.