Tuesday, March 3, 2015

21st Century Travel

I could complain a great deal about how hard it was to get home from Berlin--that after two days of flight cancellations, I ended up driving home via rental car.  Instead, as my brother noted (I stayed overnight at his house in between the day I was supposed to fly back to Ottawa from Newark and the rescheduled day where I was supposed to fly to DC and then to Ottawa, which was then cancelled and led to a proposed flight to Chicago yesterday and then on to Ottawa today):
Messed up map--too much work, too little time
No, the point of this post is to celebrate.  What?  The modern smartphone and all of its apps.  I have FlightTrack, which along with alerts from United via email, informed me all along the way of flight changes.  This allowed me to call directly (one app has a button that spits out the United phone number) or go to the desk and start work on the next flight plan.  I got immediate service since I was just ahead of the curve.  I also got phone calls and emails from family who assisted me along the way (that the GOES card people found my lost Nexus card, that my wife could call National and rent me a car, that National informed me that I had a reservation before I stepped on the Chicago flight).  If I got on the Chicago flight, I would have called the airport Hilton to get a reservation before I landed....

The phone also has a GPS app which helped me navigate out of NYC until I was on I-80 and knew how to drive home from there. 

So, I could have been more stressed, but I was constantly informed and then reacting (keeping the illusion of control) all along.  Good times.  Woot for the 21st century smartphone plus apps!

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