Travel debacles

Today I have two bitter rants:

  • After spending approximately 24 hours travelling from Brisbane to Baltimore, via Auckland, Los Angeles and Chicago, and feeling somewhat tired from lack of sleep, I was naturally most delighted to find that American Airlines had lost my luggage. When I fly, there are exactly two things I expect:
    • The carrier should get me to my destination
    • The carrier should get my luggage to my destination

    I don’t care about bags of salted peanuts and hot towels, just those two things. Failing on one half of my quite reasonable expectations is, needless to say, a little irritating. Almost a day after arriving, American Airlines still apparently has no idea where my luggage is. Apart from being just plain annoying, this leaves me in a somewhat awkward situation. Tomorrow morning I am due to give my presentation at the CLEO/QELS conference here in Baltimore, and it goes without saying that I would prefer not to deliver this talk to an audience including many prestigious people and potential future employers wearing hiking boots and my crinkled Hawaiian t-shirt that I have been wearing for the last two days.

  • A word of advice for presenters: never deliver a presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint. While I typically refuse to present talks using PowerPoint, instead opting for PDF which is much more stable across platforms, on this occasion I had to submit a PowerPoint file for my talk. Being as paranoid about this prospect as I am, I made sure to go and test my presentation on their computers before delivering the talk. Oh and what a surprise it was! Who would have thought that none of the pictures would display? Surely not using PowerPoint? So, I asked to be allowed to submit a PDF instead. If any conference organizers read this, please accept this advice: phase out PowerPoint. Not only does it not operate across platforms, it does not operate between computers of the same platform, or even the same computer full-stop.

Update: Well, after 24 hours I finally have my luggage back and I once again have the luxury of wearing clean clothes.

2 thoughts on “Travel debacles”

  1. You know after 24 hours you’re probably entitled to go on a shopping spree for new clothes at the expense of your travel insurance. Too late now I guess but something to keep in mind.

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