There are quite a few stories here in patrickWeb about my travel woes (see travel category). There are many things people complain about including security, paying to check bags, late departures and arrivals, and grumpy service. My report from this past week is much more sanguine. I left Connecticut last Saturday for Dublin, Ohio to attend a board meeting at OCLC. On Sunday night, it was down to Orlando, FLorida to give a keynote speech at the opening of Data Center World. That afternoon took me to Minneapolis, Minnesota and then on to San Jose, California for the Demo conference and finally on Wednesday from San Jose to Salt Lake City, Utah to JFK in New York, and on home to Connecticut.
I have more than a million miles with Delta, but I am sure the attendants I encountered did not know that. Service was friendly and efficient. Things are more spartan that in the past, but they seem to have the processes working pretty well. All the flights were on time. They were all full also, which bodes well for them from a business perspective. The web site has come a l
ong long way from the early days. It is easy to checkin from home or a hotel and they are exploiting the quick response (QR) code for use on your mobile phone for checkin. Nice to not have to have scrunched up boarding passes in your pocket. More on QR codes another time. They are becoming ubiquitous. That is mine there on the left. You can scan it with an iPhone app.
The next big thing for aviation is the FAA plan for NextGen. NextGen is a comprehensive overhaul of our National Airspace System to make air travel more convenient, dependable, safe, secure and hassle-free. The heart of NextGen is replacing radar tracking with GPS that can guide and track air traffic more precisely and efficiently to save fuel (more than a billion gallons over the next seven years), reduce noise and pollution, more predictability, fewer delays, less time sitting on the ground and holding in the air, and more flexibility to get around weather problems. The only thing standing in the way is–you guessed it–congress. There doesn’t seem to be much they can agree on.