|I fly a lot for business, and overall I love it. For me, long flights have often been a chance to read, think, plan for the future, and work on plots for the mystery novels I write (the latest is The Secrets You Keep).
But oy, being on airplanes these days is so often NOT relaxing or inspiring, is it? Even though we all aren’t subjected to having our teeth knocked out by security and then being dragged off the plane, we face to so many indignities.
A couple of weeks ago I flew to Richmond, Virginia for a fantastic book and author event, sponsored by the amazing Richmond Junior League. On the return leg of the journey, American Airlines came close to bringing me to tears.
I arrived at the Richmond airport at 7:30 a.m. and after being told my flight to NYC was canceled due (understandably) to weather conditions in the city, I was flown to Charlotte, North Carolina (huh? No explanation) to pick up an 11:30 a.m. flight to New York’s LaGuardia from there.
That flight to the city left on time, but after two hours in the air, we were diverted back to Charlotte because the weather still hadn’t cleared. Again, understandable. But after American canceled the flight altogether, they just let passengers disgorge into the Charlotte airport with BARELY ANY DIRECTION. It was just every man, woman, and child for him or herself.
All other flights to New York that day were either canceled or full. Finally, at 8:30 p.m. that night, I boarded a flight to Allentown PA, where my husband picked me up.
The weather wasn’t American’s fault, but they made me feel so stressed, vulnerable, and powerless. Not because I had to wait, but rather because they provided so little information. I didn’t know what was going on. No one said anything.
It made me think how stressful failure to communicate can be in other situations, including work. If you’re a boss, it’s essential to keep people in the loop. When you leave them in the dark, it makes them confused, cranky, scared, or all of the above.
Some quick guidelines: