Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stuck in Memphis

I've been at the Memphis airport all day long trying to get home. The weather has not been nice. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to get somewhere, but I'm thinking it might just be another day of waiting. I spent most of the day waiting in line when flights were canceled and it got me thinking. Instead of complaining about a bad situation, how would I fix it? So, I started to spend my time brainstorming ideas to make canceled flights easier on everyone. Here's my list:
  1. Create more than one line. I would divide them up by flexibility of travel plans. I notice a lot of time is spent with just a few passengers. You could use one line to determine what the needs are and then pass them on to more dedicated lines. This would speed things up for everyone on the whole.
  2. Updated information on the boards. Most of the problem is that you don't know what's going and there's no confirmation that you're doing the right thing. It's chaos. Some road signs would answer most people's questions (flight delayed - for how long - and yep, it's canceled and with the reason!).
  3. Send flight information to your cell phone for each of your flights. If it gets canceled and they automatically rebook, then notify me. If the default is unacceptable, then I'll wait in line. But, give me options. I'm thinking the default would the best for most people and reduce the line size.
  4. "Feed" the line. People are generally tired, cranky, and hungry. Pass out refreshments while they wait in long lines. It will keep the natives peaceful.
  5. Workout a deal with a local taxi company to pick up the slack to take people to the hotel. I waited an hour tonight just to get to the hotel.
  6. Workout a deal with the tourism department to show around town if their flight is canceled. They have time to waste and might want to venture out.
  7. Have shuttles from the hotel that take people to malls or Wal-Mart. Why? Because you don't have your luggage and might want a fresh set of clothes.
  8. Have private areas in the airport. I would spend money just to have a small place to prop up my feet and take off my shoes. I'm thinking something with walls and a Laz-E-Boy chair.
  9. Better food. Airport food is expensive and junky. Sometimes I would give anything for some vegetables and something healthy. How hard can that be?
Well, that's all I can think of right now on 2 hours of sleep. I'm sure I'll think of more tomorrow. Good night.

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