Dear Web Guest:

There is a sense of adventure every time that I go to the airport to get on an airplane. What type of exciting adventures will await me on my travel day? Since I travel every week it seems that the odds of adventure will always be a constant in my life.

The airport is usually teaming with harried travelers. I try to be rigid in my arrival time. Always ninety minutes before a flight. I try to leave plenty of time to go through security.

I am getting quite good at going through security. I no longer wear tie shoes. Way to risky that I could trip un-lacing them and fall on my fanny in front of the always stern looking TSA crowd. Yep, it’s loafers for me! I can whip my computer out of its case in less than 10 seconds. I can return it to its case in under 10 seconds too. I always remember to show my boarding pass clearly to the uninterested TSA agent, but rules are rules, of course. I always watch some travelers get to the security checkpoint and seem to not realize that they have to disrobe and get metal out of their pockets. Where have these people been the last few years? On the moon? You can’t wear your coat loaded with $10 worth of change through the detector. How can you think your 3 foot wide metal belt buckle is going to pass without an alarm going off? Your Rockport shoes are history buddy! I really want to set up a pre security station where we regular travelers can badger these unprepared travelers just for fun.

Now the other thing that has set me off today is the snack food introduced recently by my favorite airline who, of course will remain nameless but has an Atlanta hub. They now distribute these snacks on all their flights. Animal crackers? Are you kidding me? Is everyone on the plane three years old? Naturally I have to get a pack since I have a three year old granddaughter and she loves them. But really, this is a snack for a grownup? Okay sometimes I get upgraded to first class. It’s rare but sometimes there is a seat for us frequent but not long distance travelers. On first class flights I get a snack. I use to get a snack in coach but the airlines is saving money, so the snack is now animal crackers or of course those ever present peanuts with 4 to a bag. My snack in first class is usually a sandwich that has just come out of the freezer. I try to avoid biting it heavily as I could break a tooth. In fact, other than for something to do I don’t really eat it at all. I play with it a bit so that the flight attendant doesn’t ask me if I am dissatisfied with my snack and offer me something else like animal crackers or peanuts.

Also when we land at the airport after another exciting flight, why do all the passengers get up immediately and clog the aisles? We always seem to let the exiting process proceed in order of seating arrangement with nobody going ahead of anyone else, so it seems silly to just stand up pretending to jockey for position when we aren’t going anywhere. It’s also a good opportunity to watch someone try to take their 50 pound luggage bag out of the overhead compartment as they whack the guy standing in the aisle in front of them. I have seen football games where the players aren’t hit as hard as the guy on the plane getting clonked by a bag from the over head compartment being pulled out by a zealous passenger.

Well, the life of a traveling man has some humorous moments which is good because there are so many times when you really just want to scream at the airlines, the other passengers, the TSA people, the lady in the gift shop, the flight attendant, the pilots and of course your computer when it doesn’t want to come out of your briefcase in under 10 seconds causing you to finish out of a medal round in the “Airport Security Olympics” (smile).

By the way, as an ending to my reflections as I have mentioned in the past, how about calling or writing me about any hotel management opportunities that you may know or hear about for our company? After all you didn’t think this was a column without a sales pitch did you? We are building this company and we are very good at what we do and we would like to share our story with you at anytime.

Thank you for reading my “reflections”.

Marc Leffman-COO
Dec 31, 2005.