“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -” Heraclitus
I feel like the end of the year is a time for change, but today’s itinerary had more changes then normal. How people handle change fascinates me.
As I recently tried flying from Salt Lake City to New York City, I observed how people handle travel changes. Similarly, I have seen how different players, coaches, media persons, spectators and referees have responded to the changes in NCAA basketball this year. I posted an earlier blog (Freedom of Movement) about my opinion on the officiating changes, so today lets discuss travel changes!
Original travel agenda/plan:
8:30 a.m. MT – flight to NYC with 4:20 ET arrival (change planes in Philadelphia)
Spend the evening Christmas shopping in Times Square and see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
Ironically, the morning’s church lesson should have been my first clue that things were not going according to my “plan.” Pastor Craig made the point that “our plan is not always our purpose” and most of the time when God intervenes he “interrupts our life”. Since I landed in NYC at 11:30p.m. (7 hours late), I had to just laugh at the irony.
While I laugh – not everyone is so amused. Let me describe the people I saw today. It’s okay to admit which type of flyer you are in the responses/comments. (Go ahead – I dare you to confess)
1st: Up In The Air – George Clooney type: these people (uhhh, me) are on a plane several times a week and belong to the loyalty program, the lounge club, and dial directly to Platinum Customer Care. No standing in line for these frequent flyers. They tend to already have a back up plan with two contingencies before the gate agent even announces the delay. Generally speaking, they don’t react, just roll with the punches, and try to use the new found time to complete a work project or two.
2nd: Semi-frequent business traveler: they are the funniest to me because they tend to think they are more important to the airline then they are, and they tend to be the most dramatic.
3rd: Inexperienced or new traveler: Poor college kid, first time flying wife, or foreigner who may have a language barrier. They kinda work from the place of fear. They don’t want to get left or lost or noticed. They just follow the crowd, stand in the long lines, and hope for the best. They tend to always look a little lost but are generally kind.
4th: App-savvy, but not frequent flyer: They have every app about flying! Flightracker, weather channel, Amtrak, American, hotelstonight, etc are all running. They know the status of all the moving parts, the latest announcement, and they get off the plane and go straight to the bar to keep everyone informed of their knowledge.
5th: Family traveler: God bless em! They are doing their best to entertain their children, so they pretty much ask only one question, “how much longer?” As my friend Charla (mother of two young boys) says, “we are praying the whole time, please don’t let my child scream or cry the entire way. Please don’t let the other passengers hate me.”
So when the pilot announced we’d be re-routed to Pittsburgh because the Philly airport was closed, I did what I do: I got off the plane, made a plan, a couple back up plans, a few phone calls, and went to the lounge bar. I sat within earshot of the savvy know-it-all traveler and completely out of earshot from the family traveler (sorry – but true).
As I wrote this blog posting about change, I am reminded of all the changes that have happened to me this year. I am also drafting all the changes I would like to happen in 2014.
I encourage you to take the time to reflect on the changes in your life this last year. Assess whether you need to make some contingency plans for the changes being announced for your life in 2014.
May God bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!