Back in October, when I wrote about how difficult it was to get to Qatar via military aircraft, I described the lengthy process of getting from point A to point B. Also, several weeks ago, I lamented how I had not received my flight information about a month out from departure.
I’m starting to think there are some inefficiencies in getting people booked on flights.
I’m very close to my supposed departure date, and I still don’t have my flight information for flying out of theater. What makes it funnier is that they gave me the flight information for my Baltimore to Montgomery flights. Why can’t I just fly Delta the whole way?
So, to recap: no idea when I’m leaving Baghdad, but they have booked me on a commercial flight once I land in the states. This brings up the obvious question — how the heck do you book a specific flight home from Baltimore when you have no idea what day your military flight gets into there?
Don’t think about this too hard, or you’ll hurt yourself.
I wish I could say this worked really well on my trip to Baghdad, but it was equally frustrating. On my last full duty day in Montgomery, the travel office finally got around to booking my flight.
At first, they tried to put me in Baghdad one day after the date required by my orders. When I pointed that out, the travel clerk looked at me as if I was high. His supervisor actually rebooked me, and I found myself packing quickly for the impending trip.
Arriving at my transition point, I found myself unconfirmed for a flight into Baghdad. So, I had to wait it out for a couple days.
So, I suppose my point is this. We are the finest Air Force in the world. We have the tools and the technology to bring air superiority to any corner of the world. We can fire a missile directly at Osama Bin Laden’s left kidney and score a direct hit without touching the right kidney. However, when it comes to booking passengers on our aircraft, we become the village idiot. We’re tied to a completely manual process that fosters inefficiency.
I’m packing my bags. I have a feeling someone will call me one day and say my flight leaves in two hours.
I’m done venting now. I’ll probably take tomorrow off from the blog just to calm down a little bit.
(Photo courtesy Luis Argerich at Flickr)